100 votes
Accepted

Can HIV be transmitted via mosquitos?

No, this is not possible. There are a few reasons for that, but most important are that the only thing a mosquito injects is its own saliva, while the blood is sucked into the stomach where it is ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
81 votes
Accepted

What's up with this leaf?

That is the work of a leaf miner. A leaf miner is the larval stage of an insect that feeds on the inside layer of leaves. Notice how the galleries (tunnels) start small and then get larger as the ...
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,663
63 votes
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Insect identification - Is this a bedbug?

Unfortunately, you're the first I've seen on here actually to have a bed bug. See this picture from University of Kentucky for comparison: Here is one moving (more footage & info here): Below ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
45 votes

What kind of creature is this?

This actually looks like a Gaudy Sphinx caterpillar (Eumorpha labruscae). It only mimics the appearance of a snake! You can find more information about this species here. Range: Argentina north ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

What is this wasp killing insect?

Given the large eyes, the almost non-existent antennae, the humped back, elongated abdomen and the wings, I'd say it is a robber fly. It is one of many insects known to prey on wasps. Note the ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

What do butterflies eat?

Adult butterflies don't eat! I mean.... not in the sense of chewing on food. They rather drink. They get their nutrients via ingestion of liquid substances. Their mouth consists of a long tube called ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
38 votes

Why do wasps have "wasp waists"? What's been optimized?

Why do humans have such a flexible shoulder? Our ancestors relied on throwing things so the ones who could throw things better did better. What is the wasp's equivalent weapon? The stinger. Wasps ...
Jeremiah's user avatar
  • 831
36 votes
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Why is a mosquito feeding on human blood not a parasite?

A mosquito is a biological parasite, it is not a medical parasite. There are two definitions of parasite. A biological/ecological definition and a medical/physiological interaction definition. A ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.7k
36 votes
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What is this bizarre looking animal we found in the forest? Bug identification

That is the caterpillar of a lobster moth (Stauropus fagi), family Notodotidae. It is mimicking a scorpion to help protect it from predation. An amazing insect.
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,663
32 votes
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What is this yellowish insect?

It is the larva of Harmonia axyridis (Asian lady beetle). The image posted by timbernasley is more accurate because the larva you have shown is in its late instar ,a stage not an early as this one. ...
Tyto alba's user avatar
  • 8,782
29 votes
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Identification: Creepy 'nope'

That's some kind of mole cricket (Gryllotalpidae). According to this website there's only three species found so far in Romania: Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa Gryllotalpa stepposa Gryllotalpa unispina It'...
SiTan's user avatar
  • 736
28 votes
Accepted

Is this a hornet?

This is not a hornet, this is an Ichneumonidea wasp, which is a superfamily of parasitoid wasps with about 100,000 species. I would go so far as to think it is within the Ichneumonidae family and ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 12k
24 votes
Accepted

What is the name of this biting bug?

It's a larva of a green lacewing (Family Chrysopidae). Yes, they can bite hard but you're not its intended victim and they're not only harmless but beneficial as they're aggressive predators of aphids ...
Jude's user avatar
  • 1,136
23 votes

What do butterflies eat?

Several species of the order Lepidoptera don't feed at all in adult form, surviving entirely on the reserves made while they were larva. Two examples I'm aware of are the Atlas moth (as well as most ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

What is this grasshopper doing?

It's its ovipositor & it's trying to dig a hole to lay its eggs. "How Do Grasshoppers Dig Holes to Lay Their Eggs? After breeding, female grasshoppers dig a hole in the ground in which to lay ...
Pelinore's user avatar
  • 801
22 votes
Accepted

How to get rid of mosquitoes in a small lake

There are a number of environmentally destructive methods that would be effective, including draining the lake, covering the surface with a continuous layer of oil, or adding toxins to the water, but ...
arboviral's user avatar
  • 3,344
20 votes
Accepted

How do ants follow each other?

The chemical we are talking about here is called pheromone, trail pheromone to be specific. A pheromone is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

There is a genetic component to mosquito's attraction to humans. Female mosquitoes display preferences for certain individuals over others, which is determined by differences in volatile chemicals ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
20 votes

What's up with this leaf?

This leafminer is a moth in the genus Phyllocnistis (Gracillariidae). If you knew what plant the leaf came from, the moth could probably be identified to species. The marginal leaf fold at lower right ...
Charley Eiseman's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

I saw these patterns on a hill. Which insect makes such a pattern?

It could be an antlion. Antlions are a group of about 2000 species that can be found all around the world (including India). Antlions mainly live in the kind of dry areas you describe and that we see ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
19 votes
Accepted

What insect is this? (Central Africa)

It is a Rove beetle of the Genus Paederus. Why Paederus sp.? They are brightly colored rove beetles, Coleopterans with short elytra. Have metallic blue or green-coloured elytra. Have bright ...
Tyto alba's user avatar
  • 8,782
19 votes

Trying to identify a beetle seen in Ontario, Canada...and its babies, or parasites?

Thanks to pascal's answer, I looked at the genus Nicrophorus and agree that this is some member of that genus. (The spelling Necrophorus has been used in the past but is now deprecated.) The 60+ ...
mgkrebbs's user avatar
  • 9,054
18 votes

Why doesn't blood remain on a mosquito's proboscis in quantities that could spread blood-borne diseases?

A mosquito's proboscis isn't like that of a butterfly, which could easily have nectar clinging to it when it is coiled up; instead, consider that the part of the mosquito's proboscis that enters a ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar

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