Insects and Arachnids

Insects and arachnids are the most popular wild animal on Earth. Read our collection of articles discussing all sorts of ants, bugs, butterflies, spiders and just about every other type of insect and arachnid.


Wasps and bees are different, yes. But how can we distinguish? Here's a hint: The bee's the one near the flowers. The wasp's the one buzzing around your turkey sandwich.

Cicada singing is often heard during the hot summer months. The distinctive high-pitched noise often fills the air. Have you ever wondered why the cicadas produce this noise. Find out the answer to this question in this HowStuffWorks article.

Chiggers are tiny arachnids that are known for delivering bites that itch intensely. Find out how chiggers work and learn about the chigger reproduction cycle.

Termites have existed for 50 million years and can be found throughout the world. Learn about termites and find out how termite colonies are structured.

Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts -- human or otherwise -- and are known for carrying diseases. Learn all about ticks, including how to remove them.

Fleas have three real talents – eating, breeding and waiting. If you leave your home and take your pets with you, any fleas inside will just wait for you to return so they can get back to eating blood and making babies.

Bees exhibit many traits found in stories and myths -- traits that have led many cultures to view them with reverence or awe. Explore how bees make honey and examine the potential causes and effects of Colony Collapse Disorder.

Entomologists estimate that there are between 5 and 10 million species of insects on Earth. But if asked which insect they hate the most, many people would have no trouble choosing just one -- the cockroach.

If you're tired of the quiet, take heart: The latest swarm of periodical cicadas (Brood II) is emerging along the East Coast right now. They produce a "song" that can reach 120 decibels -- very close to a level that can damage human ear drums.

Love 'em or hate 'em, you've got to admit that spiders are some pretty impressive animals. Movies like "Arachnophobia", "Spider-Man" and "Eight Legged Freaks" even spin their stories around spiders. Check out the real-life web-slinging, wall-crawling, venom-injecting inspiration.

I always see moths circling around and landing on my porch light. Why do they do this? Is it somehow advantageous to them?

In 2005, there were 3,000 verified cases of West Nile Virus in the U.S. alone, and we can probably expect even more this year. This mosquito-borne disease keeps popping up. Find out all about mosquitoes.

Insect respiration is very different from that of a human. Insects do not have lungs that deliver oxygen to all of the cells in their body. So how exactly do flies and other insects breathe then? Find out the answer to that question in this article.

When flickering fireflies light up the summer night, they’re not showing off – they’re talking to each other. How do these insects make their abdomens glow?