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39

A quick search on Web of Science yields "Polyphasic Wake/Sleep Episodes in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis Invicta" (Cassill et al., 2009, @Mike Taylor found an accessable copy here) as one of the first hits. The main points from the abstract: Yes, ants sleep. indicators of deep sleep: ants are non-responsive to contact by other ants and antennae are folded ...


29

Off the top of head as a medical professional I can imagine the following mechanisms (everything is just speculative reasoning): Insects don't have blood. Instead, they have hemolymph whose primary role is not oxygen transport (they have an additional tracheal system for this purpose), but rather that of nutrients. Thus they don't need (and don't have) an ...


28

The short answer is apparently yes. Studies on sleep in insects date back to papers published by Phil and Nellie Rau in 1916 and 1938. Hussaini et al. (2003) showed that sleep does affect memory formation in honey bees. They showed that retention of extinction learning is significantly reduced in bees that were sleep-deprived. More about sleep in honeybees ...


22

Dickinson (2005) has a good review of insect flight, including behavior, biomechanics, electrophysiology, and neural control with links to more of the primary literature. What follows is a general summary thereof. The jagged trajectories you mention are called saccades in the insect flight literature. In Drosophila, saccades are ~90° turns accomplished in ...


20

There are instances of insect muscle growth in response to increased use. The flight muscles of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans) have been observed to grow at a faster rate when subjected to enforced exercise (Anderson and Finlayson, 1976). Also larger mandibular adductor muscles (which power the feeding apparatus), and associated head capsule have been ...


17

There will always be a tradeoff in terms of resource allocation between reproduction and self maintenance. Since worker ants forego reproduction to perform other roles (gathering resources, caring for young etc.) within the colony, it makes sense that this would favour a longer lifespan. This idea works for most animals (i.e. higher reproduction = lower ...


16

Holometaboly is believed to have evolved only once (Labandeira, 2011), but is arguably the most successful mode of development we know of in terms of species richness (Kristensen, 1999 - PDF link). Insects which have adopted this method are far more diverse than their hemimetabolous counterparts. A conservative estimate by Hammond (1992) is that ...


14

Both the Forewing as well as the Hindwing of Butterflies are made of thin chitin structures which are pretty thin and sensitive. If you touch the wing with to much force, it may break. Then the upper side of the butterfly wing is covered with small scales - what you called the "dust". This can be seen in this figure (from here): and also in this electron ...


13

Studies of Deinococcus radiodurans, the most radioactively tolerant microorganism we know, show that it has many genes for DNA repair. In the case of the cockroach, I would assume that in addition to repairing genes, and maybe some antioxidants produced in the cells to quench free radicals produced by radiation, the fact that the roaches lay many, many ...


12

Insect flight muscle is capable of achieving the highest metabolic rate of all animal tissues, and this tissue may be considered an exquisite example of biochemical adaptation. Locusts, for example, may (almost instantaneously) increase their oxygen consumption up to 70-fold when starting to fly. In humans, excercise can increase O2 consumption a maximum ...


12

Certainly ants evolved from insects that could fly. All the earliest wasps (ants are specialized wasps) could fly. Building and maintaining wings is expensive in terms of energy. That's an obvious evolutionary advantage to not having wings. So if there's insufficient benefit from having wings then there's selective pressure against having wings.


11

It's a larvae from a ladybird (or ladybug). Judging by the stripe pattern it is a Common Spotted Ladybird (wiki: Harmonia conformis) and from the body shape & size I'd also say 3rd instar. The one you have photographed, and the one on flickr, are larval forms of the ladybug, just like when a catepillar becomes a butterfly, the ladybugs also have a ...


10

I'm not 100% sure, but I think they look like scale insects (Coccoidea). In particular it looks at bit like a hermaphrodite cottony cushion scale insect (Icerya purchasi)... The white fluffy thing underneath the insects is the ootheca (egg case). The mature insect migrates to the main trunk of its host tree and attaches to the bark. It then secretes the ...


10

Walkingsticks, like that in your photo, belong to the insect order Phasmida (also sometimes called Phasmatodea). The species in your photo belongs to the family Pseudophasmatidae. Texas has two species documented for this family. One is Anisomorpha ferruginea, commonly called the dark walkingstick or northern two-striped walkingstick. The other species is ...


9

The cocoon phase allows lepidopterans (and other holometabolous insects) to reorganize their body and undertake the dramatic metamorphosis from larvae to adult in a safe environment. Cocoons and pupae are typically attached to branches by silk (oftentimes after climbing high into the canopy), thereby removing them from many predatory interactions and ...


9

The standard answer to this question is - it's down to the delivery of oxygen to respiring tissues. Insects depend upon a process that is essentially diffusion-driven (via spiracles and the tracheal system) whereas vertebrates have a circulatory system that allows oxygen absorbed in the lungs to be carried via the blood to peripheral tissues. And of course ...


9

One thing that's certain is that the activity of bees varies according to time of day, so more important than how long you record for is probably at what time you record. If you always record at the same time of day, this should allow a reasonable comparison between results of different days. For example, recording from time 14:30 to 14:35 every day could be ...


8

The smaller an animal is the easier it becomes for it to fly. That is because surface area increases to the second power of the diameter of the animal whereas mass increases to the third. So the larger a thing is the more mass per surface are it has. And since insects tend to be small they tend to be good at flying. As for any other reason, I don't think ...


8

Wootton (1992) reviewed the anatomy and biomechanics of insect wings. Basically the wing is a lightweight but strong scaffolding of veins, supporting a thin membrane. The veins are composed by a sandwich of cuticle with a potential space in between. The membrane is also a double-layer but without the space. In the venous space are is circulating hemolymph ...


8

From the pattern on the elytra (hard upper wings), it looks like you might have a beautiful male Polyphylla fullo. Compare your photos with the P. fullo in this illustration, or photos on the Wikipedia page. edit to fully respond to the comments: I suspect you're right that the antennae plates in your picture are just tightly closed up, giving a different ...


8

This is an immature "True Bug", order Hemiptera. You can tell this from the general shape of the wings, and from the big "beak", a feature of the Hemiptera. Within Hemiptera, it's possible that with those enlarged front legs, it could be an Assassin Bug, family Reduviidae.


8

The Cicada A careful study of the noise-making apparatus of the cicada can be found in a 1994 paper by Young and Bennet-Clark.$^1$ The authors generated sounds at about 0-16 kHz at peaks on the order of 100 dB using cicadas in various stages of deconstruction. The cicada uses a resonant organ-system called the tymbal which buckles and unbuckles rapidly to ...


8

Pink individuals of the katydid species Amblycorypha oblongifolia are a relatively uncommon but natural phenomenon with a long history of research. It looks from popular press accounts (Science Friday, Scientific American) that the pink coloration may be caused by a dominant allele, and is only rare because of a high selection pressure against pink ...


7

Quick search - Some articles that may interest you: 1) Random walk model of insect movements Kareiva P. M., Shigesada N. (1983). Analyzing insect movement as a correlated random walk. Oecologia 56(2-3) 234-238 2) Artificial life model of flying insects and its comparison to real insects navigation strategies. Dale K., Collett T. C. (2001). Using ...


7

The main difference between tracheal gas exchange, and other forms of gas exchange (except simple diffusion) is that it is generally a passive process. Organisms with lungs, gills, or other modified respiratory organs can actively pump the oxygen-containing medium (usually air or water) across their respiratory surface, and some also pump their blood across ...


7

After seeing your question, I decided to do a bit of research on the topic. First Source: EurekAlert! http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-04/jws-mrt041607.php "Mosquito repellents that emit high-pitched sounds don't prevent bites" Some key-points from the webpage: A Cochrane Systematic Review of the use of electronic mosquito ...


7

I don't have a definitive answer, but I suspect Hymenoptera is "just a name," albeit a name that has lasted through the phylogenetic nomenclature revolution. Hymenoptera was erected by Linnaeus in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae (1758). The description of Hymenoptera (membrane wing; p. 553 [hope your Latin is better than mine]) follows that of ...


7

It is a result from the insecticide you are using. From this excerpt from the 10th Edition of the Mallis Handbook on Pest Control: Neurotoxic insecticides cause tremors and muscle spasms, flipping the cockroach on its back. A healthy cockroach can easily right itself, but without muscle coordination, the cockroach dies on its back. Cockroaches exposed ...


7

Insects and spiders have tremendous sexual dimorphism, with males often being much smaller than females. They are pretty much just sperm carriers and sometimes do not eat. Insects may have two or one sex chromosome, where males my have only one chromosome. As is pointed out in the comments, not all mantis' species display this dimorphism. Since such ...


7

The answer is more or less yes. Normally Firebugs (Pyrrhocoris apterus) go through 5 nymph instar stages (as do most Hemiptera), where they resemble the adults more and more as they grow. Only adults are winged and have have functional reproductive organs. This type of metamorphosis is called hemimetabolous or simple metamorphosis (in contrast to ...



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