Questions tagged [entomology]

The scientific study of Insects. If the question is about some other group of arthropod use 'arthropod' tag.

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96
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2answers
12k views

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 ...
63
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2answers
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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? ...
45
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2answers
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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 ...
45
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1answer
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What is this wasp killing insect?

I spotted these two in my garden. What is this insect? He had firm control over the wasp and was just hanging on by one leg. He appeared to hold on until the wasp stopped moving and then flew away ...
41
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1answer
37k 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 ...
39
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1answer
16k 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 ...
38
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2answers
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What do ants do with human finger nails?

There is place in my house where I cut my nails. Here, there is an ant hole where an ant colony is seen. Whenever I cut my nails from here, they take my nails inside their hole. I was wondering what ...
35
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2answers
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How many mosquitoes would it take to “drain” enough blood to put a person into shock?

I'm just curious, how many mosquito "bites" (mosquitoes which have removed blood from a person) would it take to remove enough blood to put a person into shock? (Putting aside all reasons why it ...
34
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1answer
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Insect identification - Is this a bedbug?

This bug was found on a couch in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The couch, and the two beds in the room show no signs of other bugs. Is this a bed bug that I should worry about or something harmless? It ...
33
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2answers
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What do butterflies eat?

I found a beautiful scarce-swallowtail butterfly in my storeroom, but it was kind of frozen and couldn't fly away. So, I put it on my terrace in the sun. After a little bit, it flew a few meters away ...
32
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2answers
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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 ...
30
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1answer
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What is this bizarre looking animal we found in the forest? Bug identification

Please can someone identify this? I can't find anything on the Internet like it. 2 cm long. North Bohemian mountains (Czech Republic).
29
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2answers
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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 ...
27
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
26
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2answers
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Identification: Creepy 'nope'

While walking back from our routine evening stroll through the hills, we stumbled upon some insect(?). It was the size of an index finger, and it appeared to have some sort of wings. While I tried to ...
26
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4answers
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How to get rid of mosquitoes in a small lake

I own a small lake. Give or take it is about 50 meters wide and 100 meters long (or 160 feet wide, 320 feet long), with a max depth of around 2 meters / 6.5 feet. One third of the lake is surrounded ...
25
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1answer
3k views

Bird brain-eating Mantis - how does it crack the skull?

The New York Times' Science article Birds Beware: The Praying Mantis Wants Your Brain is a good read and is well researched. Apparently the larger Mantises have been documented to occasionally kill ...
24
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1answer
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What kind of creature is this?

I saw this on Facebook today and have tried researching it myself, but I have had no luck.
24
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1answer
5k 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 ...
23
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2answers
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How do burrowing animals get enough oxygen?

Tree borers make a small hole in a tree. At the end of it, they chew on wood to elongate the tunnel. They digest food and grow. All this takes oxygen. The entrance to the tunnel is generally small. ...
22
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2answers
3k views

Are some people more 'attractive' to mosquitos? If so, is that a hereditary trait?

Mosquitos clearly love me-- but I have been told I am just more reactive to mosquito bites. Are some people more 'attractive' to mosquitos (get bit more)? Or is it just that they are more reactive? If ...
22
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2answers
30k 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 ...
21
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2answers
4k views

What is this yellowish insect?

I found this insect inside of my shoe. It is approximately 1cm in length and less than half a centimetre wide. It was found in the Netherlands, in the province Gelderland. Close shot Distant shot ...
21
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2answers
1k views

Identifying a creature that appears to be a worm wrapped in a cocoon

This creature was found on a bed. At first, I thought it was a piece of lint, but then it suddenly moved. I picked it up in a paper towel and put it in an eye cream containers, which it is currently ...
20
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3answers
10k views

Why is a mosquito feeding on human blood not a parasite?

I recently read in my Ecology course notes that a mosquito feeding on human blood is not considered as a parasite. However, since it sucks blood from the human body, shouldn't it be regarded as a ...
20
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2answers
288 views

Selection for less efficient egg transfer in Human Botfly life cycle

I have heard that the Human Botfly transfers its eggs through other invertebrates, and it strikes my curiosity that if an insect could simply land on its host directly to deposit its eggs, then why ...
19
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3answers
253 views

Where can I find historical data on world-wide ecology parameters?

I hope this is the right StackExchange forum for such a question. I'm looking for large data sets on world-wide ecology parameters, such as annual temperatures by latitude, annual rainfall, CO₂ and O₂...
19
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2answers
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Black insect with antennas and large abdomen

I found this insect crawling outside near my house, and I have never seen anything quite like it! It was found in the summer in Denmark. Length is approx 4 cm (1.5 inc) with the antennae. What ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Identify this insect, found in Central Vietnam, with long antennae, black wings, and red body [duplicate]

Last year this insect landed on my hand when visiting the My Son city ruins in Central Vietnam. I've been trying to identify the insect, but until now without result. Can you help me? Or do you know ...
18
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2answers
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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!
17
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1answer
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How do ants follow each other?

I was observing ants in my house.They all were going in a straight line and also some of the ants were coming back through the the same line. I took some water and rubbed the line with my finger, ...
17
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1answer
570 views

Help me identify this insect from Bangladesh

I have seen this insect flying literally everywhere in Dhaka city (Bangladesh) over the last two months. It's small -- around 1-1.5 inches long. It's not an agile flyer and can be easily grabbed by ...
17
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1answer
386 views

Worm inside a millepede

I found a dead millipede lying on the ground in Wayand, Kerala (India). I put it in a bottle and brought it home. After around 5 hours a worm came out of it. It is about about 1.5 cm long and ...
16
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2answers
3k views

What is the name of this biting bug?

I just was bitten by a bug!!! It is 3mm long and has large pincers. Here is a photo: I live in Colorado. Any help identifying it would be great.
16
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1answer
230 views

What made this black cluster on a leaf?

I found this black slug-shaped thing on a leaf by my pond in western Sweden. It's about 15 mm long, positioned on a vertical leaf (I bent it to take the picture). And I don't even know where to ...
16
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2answers
2k 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 ...
16
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1answer
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What is this insect in North Carolina?

This insect is in my house in North Carolina, USA. I think it shares similar body features of that of a wasp, but it is far too narrow and has what appears to be a long stinger. What is it?
16
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1answer
376 views

Identify ~6-7mm long green creature

Here is the creature I found on the glass lid of my light bulb. I guess they are attracted to light as they all concentrate on the light source. I live in Hong Kong. The brown things aren't moving (...
15
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7answers
8k views

How to protect my mounted insect specimens from … insects?

I have a modest collection of insect specimens that I caught, prepared, mounted, and dried myself. I'm entirely an amateur collector, so my procedure may be causing me this trouble now, but here's how ...
15
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2answers
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Species ID: Cape Town mystery insect

This insect bumbled into my bedroom last night - can someone ID it for me? I'm mainly curious because I'd like to know if it poses any danger to my cats (who were very eager to add it to the menu). ...
15
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4answers
2k 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.
15
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1answer
4k views

What is this creature I found on my house? [closed]

What is this creature and what species is this? I found this on my balcony.
15
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2answers
2k views

Why do mosquitoes hover over our heads?

So I play soccer in evening at a nearby park. I noticed many times that after the game and even during it many mosquitoes hover over some of us. They sort of form a structure like a tornado. The more ...
15
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3answers
97k views

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 ...
15
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1answer
1k views

What insect is this? (Central Africa)

I live in Africa (DR Congo). Here we have these insects that look like ants. They appear between May and June. These insects give severe damage if crushed on the skin. They contain something like ...
15
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2answers
3k views

What is this sand covered insect?

I have found in a wooden house, in the mountains of central Spain this very curious insect: I was wondering if that was its skin or whether it's decomposition or sand or saw-dust. That particular ...
15
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1answer
6k views

Why does black and yellow indicate danger?

It is a well-known fact that combination of black and yellow indicates danger or poisonousness. In western society it seems obvious this comes from bees and wasps, but it seems like many tropical ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Insect identification, Chennai, India

Could someone tell me what the species of this beautiful insect is? Location: Chennai, India. Thank you!
15
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2answers
4k 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?
15
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2answers
12k 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 ...