The scientific study of insects.

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Why do cockroaches burst from soapy water?

(careful, disturbing!) I was experimenting with some stray cockroaches that ended up falling in my bath tub overnight (there is currently an infestation undergoing in my apartment building) and I ...
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3answers
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Why does a cockroach not die even after decapitation?

Why does a cockroach not die after its head is cut off?
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216 views

What insect is this..?

Can anyone tell me what kind of insect (if it is one) is this...!! Or is it the pupa of some insect? Well I don't think that the whole big thing is the insect itself, it appears to be just a kind of ...
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Do ants or other insects sleep, and if so why?

I was thinking yesterday about insects (as there was a spider in the house, and I couldn't help but think of anything else, even though they aren't insects), and I started to wonder if ants sleep? ...
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955 views

Do insects with compound eyes have depth perception?

Do insects with compound eyes have depth perception? They fly as if they do, but their eyes are so close together it seems like the image would be 2 dimensional.
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749 views

Why do flies “rub” their front legs when resting?

I've noted that every time a house fly is resting on a surface, it appears to "rub" or "scrub" its front legs in a repetitive movement. And they do it continuously. Why?
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Insect identification: white spotted beetle

3 pairs of legs, a pair of antenna, wings absent, compound eye, 4-6 centimeter approx. in size. I found this beetle at my door, in Pune, India.
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184 views

Modern reference for Kropotkin's lazy bees

I have been reading through Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution and he mentions a curious fact about bees (bolding by me for emphasis): predatory instincts and laziness continue to ...
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104 views

Bugs' love for light

Do bugs love light bulbs because they resemble the stars or is it the sun? How do they sense the bulb? What is the purpose of this "brightophilia" that has evolved in insects?
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Identification of an Insect (Hemiptera)

I found a a few of these guys on my composter, so they could have easily been eating bugs or decaying organics (or both): To me it looks like a stink bug with oversized legs, not like the ones I'm ...
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Can HIV be transmitted via mosquitos?

It is known that HIV is usually transmitted by direct blood or body fluid contact between an infected individual and a healthy person (like blood transfusion or needle sharing): Suppose a mosquito ...
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Why doesn't blood remain on a mosquito's proboscis in quantities that could spread blood-borne diseases?

We know that HIV can't be transmitted by mosquitos, and nor can other highly virulent viruses that are transmitted through blood and bodily fluid exchanges, such as Ebola (thankfully!). Marcus Junius ...
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How do cockroaches resist the effects of ionizing radiation?

Cockroaches are very hardy insects. It is known that, among other things, they are able to withstand bursts of ionizing radiation that would kill a human being. The explanations of this observed ...
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Do insects' muscles become stronger with exercise?

I am curious to know if insect muscles become stronger with exercise, because I have seen many insects get tired out, but I have never seen one get stronger. They always seem to become permanently ...
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1answer
428 views

Do fake wasp nests actually fool wasps?

I have seen fake wasp nests sold as a deterrent against wasps and similar insects. Do they really work? Is there some scientific evidence for it? A related link: ...
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2answers
270 views

Why do small organisms make faster movements than big organisms?

I hesitated to ask this question because it seems so obvious and intuitive. However, I am not able to explain this tendency. Background It seems to me that small organisms make faster movements than ...
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1answer
306 views

What kind of fly is this?

I found this dude hanging out in my sink, but he didn't fly away when I put a dish in the sink. Turned out it was dead. The front part looks exactly like a housefly. But, I've never seen the back end ...
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1answer
595 views

Will the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide lead to larger insects?

From my understanding, the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will also increase oxygen levels. That makes me wonder if in the near future insects will grow larger than they are today, since their ...
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1answer
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What is this droplet of liquid that comes out of a mosquito?

I have been looking at pictures of different species of mosquito and several times I came across pictures where the mosquito seems to be secreting some kind of fluid. In the pictures one can clearly ...
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148 views

How can insects survive without an adaptive immune system?

How can insects survive in a world full of pathogens that are able to defeat the innate immune system?
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614 views

Questions about insects eating flour and living in the cracks of a wooden cutting boards

I have a large wooden cutting board which is used in my kitchen mainly for preparing egg pasta. The wood type is Populus (poplar or aspen or cottonwood). The main ingredients used with the cutting ...
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2answers
177 views

(How) can a pink grasshopper exist?

I saw this foto on Reddit recently: Is this possible? How can a grasshopper become like this? Is this just natural genetic mutation?
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1answer
291 views

Cicada Killer Behavior

I've had a giant wasp hanging around outside my window the past few days, so I've resolved to learn more about it. I believe it is a male Cicada Killer, because it displays the following behavior: ...
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1answer
131 views

Identification of unknown bagworm (Singapore)

This bagworm was found in Singapore (near McRitchie Reservoir) some time in June 2012. This is the plant from which the bagworms were obtained: A few examples of the bagworms: The bagworm when ...
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316 views

Where do butterflies sleep?

Do butterflies (insects) sleep, and if so, where?? I have googled for information but didn't get an exact answer.
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1answer
164 views

Why insects are so small compared to mammals?

I was wondering what biological limitations make the dimension of the insects small compared to the dimension of the mammals. I know in other eras insect were bigger!
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1answer
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Can galls be formed from mutualistic relationships?

According to Wikipedia, galls (cecidia) are formed by parasitic insects and mites like gall wasps (Neuroterus albipes). At some metamorphic stage, these organisms alter cell division processes in ...
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Why does the butterfly have a cocoon stage in its life cycle?

Why does the butterfly have a cocoon stage in its life cycle? It could have simply grown up within the egg/cocoon, and emerged as a butterfly. Instead it is first an egg, then a worm, then a ...
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735 views

Identifying an insect looking like a crumle

Recently a little insect crawled over the carpet. First I did not notice, as its appearance is quite similar to the coloring of the carpet. Then I understood that it is not a rolling crumble, as the ...
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1answer
703 views

Do ants within a colony ever fight or come to conflict?

I'm investigating how hierarchical groups of a larger organization with a common goal tend to come to conflict with one another over time. As you decompose a large group (for example a corporation), ...
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1answer
199 views

Identification of this fly?

So I find these flies every year in my mulch, and I've never seen them anywhere else. The mulch becomes full of their larvae, which I feed to my toad and lizards. There are so many that you can hear ...
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1answer
292 views

Bee (?) identification

I live in Michigan. I just saw a bee that I think I've seen before, but only this time was I so struck by its uniqueness and - for lack of a better word - scariness. I'll describe it. It was ...
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1answer
78 views

What causes the opaque green colour in Lepidoptera?

Link here to what I mean by 'opaque' colouration on the insect, the colour intensity remains constant despite changes in light intensity and angle (not shown by the picture but the moth exhibits this ...
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1answer
1k views

How long does it take for a cricket to die at subzero temperatures?

I am on a number of reptile groups and I often hear freezing recommended as a humane way to get rid of surplus feeder insects. However, they can also revive if you don't leave them in there long ...
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2answers
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Can ants sense food from a long distance?

I recently had ants find and then swarm to a food container that I put down on a desk, and I'm curious as to whether an ant would have needed to get lucky, discovering the food after crawling up the ...
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190 views

Do insects respond to the detection of dead insects?

Are there insects that change their behavior upon detecting the nearby presence of other dead insects? If there are, can you provide an example?
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547 views

What is this insect?

These photographs were taken today in Marseille, in the Mediterranean coast of France. My French friends inform me that these beasties are called cousins because they are "cousins" of mosquitoes ...
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1answer
127 views

Can insects feel pain?

Insects do have a nervous system, even if it isn't nearly as complex as that of other animals. Can insects or other arthropods sense pain? Does their aversion to harmful stimuli suggest that they can ...
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491 views

What modern insects are not (flying OR descended from flying ancestors)?

What modern insects are not flying or descended from flying ancestors? (I read somewhere that 99% are, so of course I instantly became curious which aren't. xD ) EDIT: Sorry, I should have been ...
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Classification of degree of infested areas by pine processionary moth on regions

I'm making a thesis about pine processionary moth distribution on the regions of algeria! i'm making tests about if there are spatial autocorrelation of this insects on the regions. and i'm doing ...
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Can ant colonies have two “branches”?

Could an ant colony have 2 or more "branches" located far from each other (i.e. physically separated but interconnected nests) ? If so, how far is the limit?