Entomologist and photographer Alex Wild on the process of photographing a funnel-web spider: These Spider Fangs Aren’t Going To Photograph Themselves. "Most photographs involve some combination of creativity and constraint, and this one was no different." [more inside]
Cave insect species discovered in which the female has a penis and the male has a vagina.
Macro photos of insects stinging. What it says on the label - don't click if seeing insects biting and stinging squicks you out. Remarkable photos though.
The USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program designs and develops large and small-scale surveys and identification tools for native bees. A vital aspect of the program is to create accurate and detailed pictures of native bees as well as the plants and insects they interact with. To that end, Sam Droege has curated a collection of more than 1,200 macro photos of insects and posted them to the USGS NBIaMP Flickr collection. You can also browse via sets, if the unfiltered collection is too much to take in at once. This group has also provided a guide to taking macro photographs of insects in a lab setting (PDF).
Intermeshing, rotating mechanical gears have been found in an insect. The gears act to ensure that the legs of the hopping insect move at the same rate when jumping, and are lost during molting to an adult stage. Via reddit, where the journalist is participating. Science magazine report (paywalled).
First Evidence Found for Photosynthesis in Insects: [nature.com] "The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes."
The deadly social web: Anelosimus eximius, also known as the South American Social Spider, are spiders that work together to repair webs and capture and kill prey much larger than any single spider.
Recently Starbuck's customers were upset to learn that their strawberry frappuchinos were being coloured red with insect extract - cochineal. What they probably don't know is that cochineal was once as valuable as gold and silver and is the colour of Catholic Cardinals' robes and the red in the British redcoats of the Revolutionary War.
Unsure what to give your special someone for Valentines Day this year? Why not give their name to one of the Bronx Zoo's 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
Former park ranger Mark W Moffett (aka Doctor Bugs) has found a Giant Weta on Little Barrier Island in New Zealand that might be the world's heaviest insect. It weighs three times more than a mouse. Oh yeah, it also eats carrots.
The University of Florida Book of Insect Records (UFBIR) names insect champions and documents their achievements. [more inside]
The San Francisco Street Food Festival is an annual Summer event in the Mission District that features around 60 different Bay Area vendors and is attended by tens of thousands of foodies. This year the usual mainstays were joined by Don Bugito, which served up insect-based dishes and billed itself as the first "PreHispanic Snackeria." When the food truck commences permanent operations this month, it may be the first eatery in the country devoted exclusively to preparations involving insects. But they're not the only entomophagy pioneers in San Francisco, where Bug Cuisine is Booming. So just how tasty are insects? (Via) [more inside]
That time has come again, the magical time of the century when the, somewhat creepy, bugs we know as the cicada appear. [more inside]
Open air sports stadiums often have issues with birds, insects, and other wildlife. Common preventative measures include ultrasonic devices and bird netting. But Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - one of the venues for the 2010 World Cup - has taken an all-natural approach. It is working with the Urban Raptor Project to install raptors, bats, and owls to patrol the stadium for various pests, while a trained peregrine falcon chases away crows. This is not a new technique - Millennium Stadium in Wales has long used a Harris Hawk for bird control. But according to the NMB stadium manager, it "is the only stadium with a programme like this in place as a pest deterrent".
Galls or plant galls are abnormal outgrowths of plant tissues. Some are hideous and some strangely beautiful, and some can even be mistaken for an actual crop of the tree. Galls often form due to insects or fungi, but the plant is an unwilling and helpless partner.
North American Insects and Spiders - 7000+ close-ups of wolf spiders, black widows, honeybees, a ladybug eating an aphid, gulf fritillary butterflies, praying mantises, and much, much more
The Uprising Of The Ants: "Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillians Universty in Munich found that some of the kidnapped workers don't bow to the whims of their new queen. Once they have matured, they start killing the pupae of their captors, destroying as many as two-thirds of the colony's brood. "
Young American woman eats praying mantis. Asian woman eats large black scorpion. Young Asian woman eating insect while exploitative Westerner goads her. Drunk American woman eats cicada, with much trepidation. Middle aged western man eats giant chinese cockroach. Katie eats a potato bug.
The Insect Close-ups Flickr Pool is full of fascinating pictures. There are all kinds of wonderful images to be found, of spiders, ladybugs, hornets, aphids, grasshoppers, worms, water striders and those superstars of the insect world, bees and butterflies. You can also search a map for pictures by location. If you want to take your own bug photographer Mark Plonsky has written a short how-to guide. He has taken some pretty great photographs of insects himself.
In the little town of Enterprise, Alabama, there stands a bizarre statue that would make any card-carrying surrealist proud: an archetypical Greek goddess raises her arms toward heaven and holds high above her head... an enormous insect. Of course, it's the boll weevil. That cotton-eatin' critter inspired not only the world's only monument to an agricultural pest, but some great tunes as well, from a wide range of artists. [note: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
Miniature Robotic Insect Takes Off Researchers have created a miniature robotic fly that weighs just 60 milligrams and has a wingspan of three centimeters for covert surveillance. Thats progress!
Google Demonstrates Capabilities of Space Based Weapon on 50m Insect Menacing German Town All you folks saying Google wasn't out to take over the world, where are your arguments now? Google now has the capability to destroy enormous mutant bugs from space.
The origins and evolution of human intelligence: parasitic insects? viruses? mushrooms? neural darwinism? foraging? machiavellian competition? emergence? or something else?
The Asian Giant Hornet is cool, unless it's baked. Japanese honeybees can detect the hornet's secretion and they attack en masse. With approximately 500 honeybees surrounding the hornet in a tight ball, the temperature within the cluster rises to 47 degrees Celsius which bakes the hornet alive.
Winnipeg's mosquito population explodes "Heavy rains throughout June and early July have flooded farmlands and fields, leaving pools of water that are perfect for mosquito breeding." The Manitoba government has ordered Winnipeg to spray the controversial chemical malathion across the city. A survey reveals that the vast majority of Manitobans who have contracted West Nile virus have no idea they have been infected. Recommended repellants have contained the chemical DEET and sixty percent of Americans shy away from any insect repellent, even when the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus is a serious threat. CDC has more information and FAQ about insect repellent use and safety.
Desperate Houseflies : "In the backdrop of a picture-perfect neighborhood called Diphtheria Lane live six suburban houseflies whose lives are anything but perfect."
Insect sounds : "but have you heard a rice weevil larva eating inside a wheat kernel, a termite cutting a piece of wood, or a grub chewing on a root?"
The Insect Company: "Over 6,000 listings with more than 1,600 life-size reference photographs."
They're ugly. I mean small and really ugly! And they don't do us any favors at all. We can hold each other's hands, and share support. Our fight against them may lead to knowledge in other battles, but I think its time to go on the offensive. Its time to defang the beastie. (Maybe I should have posted this at Warfilter instead?)
Periodical cicadas, the 13-year and 17-year varieties made up of 23 separate broods, sometimes emerge concurrently, as they did in Missouri in 1998. The result of their combined mating calls is a cacaphony. There are many different varieties of calls: those by Magicicada cassini, Magicicada septendecim and Magicicada septendecula are just a few. Brood XXIII is due this year. The prime numbers of the two cycles make it difficult for predators to evolve matching breeding cycles. More cicada links.