The scientific study of insects.

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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? ...
31
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2answers
1k views

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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2answers
572 views

What are the trajectories of flying insects?

Many flying insects tend to have very jagged trajectories. For moves of a fruit fly looks like a random walk. Is there any research on the properties of trajectories (e.g. their fractal dimension or ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do ants live so long?

I was surprised to learn that worker ants in some species live many years. I would have expected a lifespan of a few weeks or months (which is apparently the case for many species). What factors ...
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3answers
8k views

Why do cockroaches flip over when they die?

This question has always mystified me since young. For beetles, I can reason that they flip over because they have a higher centre of gravity causing them to be in unstable equilibrium when they tuck ...
17
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
13
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1answer
15k views

Are mosquitoes repelled by high frequency sound?

I am totally confused whether ask this question to physics or biology stackexchange. I downloaded a mobile application which claims to repel mosquitoes. This application basically produces sound from ...
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2answers
2k views

How do insects breathe?

Do ants even breathe? If they don't, how do they stay alive? On what resources do they depend upon to stay alive? How are they different form mammals?
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1answer
230 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: ...
11
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1answer
665 views

Can butterflies still fly after their wings are touched?

I have a question about butterflies: When I was a kid, I was told not to ever touch a butterflies wing, otherwise it would loose its ability to fly. This was connected to some dust which was supposed ...
10
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3answers
550 views

How best to count bees entering and leaving a hive to measure hive activity?

This is my first question here, so I apologize for all mistakes I could have possibly made. I'm a high school student in East-Central Europe and I need to complete some research for a biology contest ...
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2answers
560 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.
10
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1answer
163 views

Why don't dragonflies wings collapse?

How do dragonflies manage to fly at such high speeds without their wings collapsing? Their wings are thinner than paper, but they do not even flutter. What gives them their strength?
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103 views

To which distinctions does the term “hymenoptera” refer?

Hymenoptera is an order of insects that includes bees, ants, and wasps. A quick search gives the following etymological analysis of the term hymenoptera. hymen (membrane) + pteron (wing) Does ...
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1answer
373 views

How long can a bee surive in a jar?

So, some people and I encountered an adventure game where you have a bee in a jar and need to move it from place to place before it suffocates, and someone tried to find out how long a bee would ...
9
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
635 views

Horned Mohawk looking insect. What is it?

Any ideas? I didn't know any other way to explain it. I live in Indiana, USA if that helps. Someone said it might be a "stink bug" but I'm not sure and not willing to find out!
9
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2answers
366 views

How do small animals make loud sounds?

Walking past the park today, I heard a cicada so loud I thought at first it must be some sort of large power tool. How is it that that very small animals like cicadas (crickets, etc.) can make such ...
8
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1answer
122 views

How can flies sense mirrors?

I've noted that flies in my house have no problem landing on even perfectly clean mirrors. Why don't they fly straight into them? Can they sense that there is a surface there, even though they can't ...
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2answers
151 views

How do ants sense imminent rainfall?

I have always been told to watch to see if ant-hole mounds are built up as a sign of imminent rainfall. My questions are, if what I have always been told is true, then by what mechanism do ants ...
7
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3answers
851 views

Why don't all ants have wings?

Since the new queens-to-be have wings, it means that ants either evolved from insects that can fly, or insects that can fly evolved from ants, or that we have a case of parallel evolution (which is ...
7
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1answer
102 views

What is this creature?

Since it has six legs, I believe it's some sort of insect, but I could be wrong. I spotted it in my Central Texas backyard (Austin area). It was very slow and not at all skittish. For size ...
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2answers
88 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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3answers
117 views

Are there echolocating insects?

Echolocation is the ability to obtain spatial information of the surroundings from echos generated by the animal. There are bats and other vertebrates that naturally use it. I was wondering if this ...
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2answers
14 views

What is this beetle? Found in heather in snowdonia

We were walking in the hills of snowdonia the other day and my girlfriend found this in the heather: I've never seen anything like it. Can anyone identify it? It was the biggest beetle I've ever ...
7
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1answer
393 views

How long does a mosquito take to land on a host, bite, and fly off?

How long does a mosquito take to land on a host, start its bite, end its bite and then fly off? And what about different species? I am most interested in human hosts. References to web sites or ...
7
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1answer
129 views

Why do flies fly in circles?

Lying on my bed, doing nothing I recently noticed flies usually fly in small circles, right under my ceiling lamp. Worth noting - the lamp was off as it was middle of a day. And those flies kept ...
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2answers
254 views

Can spider silk be synthesized for 3D printing with spider silk?

With the recent rise in 3D printing, I keep hearing about more novel ways to use the technology: cell 3D printing, liquid aluminum or plastic 3D printing. For example, this Ted talk deals with ...
7
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1answer
741 views

Are there any solitary species of ant or termite?

The social insects consist of the ants, the bees, and the termites, which live in colonies rather than living solitary. But I've heard that there are some species of bee which are solitary and don't ...
7
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2answers
163 views

Is it possible for parasitic wasp to alter the behaviour of it's host after emerging from it?

I know that parasitic wasp larvae could live for a long time inside their alive host (eg. caterpillar), but I always thought that they kill the host when they eventually get out of it. But once I've ...
7
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1answer
279 views

Do mosquitoes need to pump blood out of the host?

Many species of mosquitoes have bloodsucking females. When they bite a host, do they need to pump? Or does the sheer blood pressure combined with capillary action suffice to make the blood rush into ...
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2answers
2k views

Species Identification - small insect: is this a bed bug?

I found this bug in my apartment in Chicago. We had bed bugs in our house the previous year (but we thought we got rid of them). This bug was very small - maybe 2 millimeters in length. These ...
6
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1answer
239 views

What are the white dots on the tree in this photo?

Today in Kongens Have, I noticed a lot of white dots on bark of trees. There are plenty of them, and they were usually on 'bottom' side of branches. Does anyone know what this could be? I took a ...
6
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1answer
257 views

How tolerant are ants to cold?

There was a trail of what are commonly known as sugar ants (small, brown, hyperactive) in my kitchen. Three of them walked onto an ice tray placed in their path. They only walked a short distance on ...
6
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1answer
442 views

What happens to an ant colony when the queen dies?

Does the colony collapse? Do workers keep following the last orders? Or can future queens replace the dead one? I'm guessing this might also depend on each specific sub-species.
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1answer
83 views

Has Colony Collapse Disorder (or its equivalent) been noted in other species?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a well studied phenomenon relating to the decline of bee populations - has this disorder, or its equivalent, been observed in other colony-based species?
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2answers
584 views

Why insects are so energy-efficient while flying?

Why are insects so energy-efficient while flying? Is it because of their light weight and aerodynamics or due to very efficient biochemical transformations (food->energy)?
5
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3answers
196 views

Why don't flies avoid the motorway?

Flies have a short lifespan, therefore evolution should technically happen over a shorter period of time (years). Flies die all the time from getting hit by cars on the motorway. Those flies that ...
5
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2answers
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If I squash an insect and it produces red “juice”, does it always mean it is a blood-sucking type?

If I squash an insect and it produces red "juice", does it always mean it is a blood-sucking type of insect? Or do some insects have red "juice" themselves, so the color is red on its own and not ...
5
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1answer
366 views

What is this beetle and what are the strange antennae for?

I found this wonderful creature in my yard (I live in the south of France) last night: It was about 2-3cm long, with a hard carapace and wings. It also made loud hissing noises when agitated. I ...
5
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1answer
55 views

Can an insect poison itself with food?

Is it possible that an insect poisons itself while eating "wrong" plants/fruits/... and have symptoms like pain (may hard to measure or detect) or orientation disorder? Background: I observed a ...
5
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1answer
121 views

Is there any reason the common housefly continues to return to an area?

This might come off as a really silly question. But I'm wondering (especially in the case of food) if there is any reason a fly would continue to try and sit on top of a piece of food even after ...
5
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2answers
61 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 ...
5
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1answer
157 views

What is this insect I found in Russia?

I found this in Russia. It is approximately 2cm long.
5
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1answer
119 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 ...
5
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1answer
141 views

Homologies to insect wings

All winged vertebrates have wings which are homologous to each other and to the forelimbs of the non-winged vertebrates. But what about insect wings? Are all insect wings homologous, and are there any ...
5
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1answer
197 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), ...
5
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1answer
42 views

Is there a good explanation for this swarming pattern?

A film clip would be helpful here. A few days ago I noticed a swarm of newly hatched flying bugs about 20 feet away from me with the sun behind them so the shape of swarming (such as it was) was easy ...
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0answers
47 views

Honeybee decision process: new food, new home, new threat

I have heard that honeybees send out scouts, then based on the scout reports more bees go then come back and report and so they are supposed to be efficient decision makers. Can you give as complete ...
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2answers
328 views

How do insects such as crickets circulate blood through their antennae?

Some insects, like the crickets pictured below, have such slender antennae it seems no blood could fit. How do they get blood through their antennae?