101 votes
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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 ...
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  • 49.2k
81 votes
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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 ...
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  • 7,579
62 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 ...
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61 votes
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Do ants or other insects sleep, and if so why?

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....
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  • 745
58 votes
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How many mosquitoes would it take to "drain" enough blood to put a person into shock?

This question falls into different subquestions: 1. How much blood does a mosquito take when feeding? This is not so easy to answer, but there are publications which measure the volume of different ...
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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 ...
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43 votes
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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 ...
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42 votes
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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 ...
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37 votes

Do ants or other insects sleep, and if so why?

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 ...
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37 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.
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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 ...
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  • 13.2k
33 votes

What do ants do with human finger nails?

I believe that MattDMo's hypothesis is incorrect. Only one group of ants, the Attini tribe, cultivates fungus as a food source. This group is exclusively a New World group, thought to have ...
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  • 1,564
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. ...
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  • 8,754
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'...
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  • 736
28 votes
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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 ...
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  • 7,818
24 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 ...
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24 votes
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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 ...
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  • 1,136
23 votes
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What do ants do with human finger nails?

There are a number of papers studying the ability of fungi to metabolize keratin, the primary structural component of nails (as well as skin and hair). Ants are also known to cultivate fungi for ...
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  • 14.8k
23 votes
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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 ...
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  • 801
22 votes
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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 ...
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  • 3,348
21 votes
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Horned Mohawk looking insect. What is it?

Its definitely a True bug (Hemiptera), and based on its distinct pronotum and small head I'm guessing its a Wheel bug (Arilus cristatus). It is a common species that is also found in Indiana. They ...
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20 votes
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What is this droplet of liquid that comes out of a mosquito?

Short answer Excretion of blood and urine may prevent overheating by reducing body temperature through evaporative coolong (akin to perspiration). Excretion of blood and urine also concentrates the ...
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  • 51.2k
20 votes
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Do mantises stalk cicadas?

Yes, mantises hunt cicadas... Mantis eating cicada. Source: Dreamstime. ...and yes, orioles hunt cicadas too... Oriole eating cicada. Source: Bird Ecology Study Group. .., and what may be more ...
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20 votes
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Why does black and yellow indicate danger?

First of all, great question! What you describe here is known as aposematism. Aposematism is the adapation of warning signals against the predator. This word is used for any sound, coloring, and odor ...
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  • 3,069
20 votes
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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 ...
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