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Insects

While there are a million different types of insects, all have a hard exoskeleton which is segmented into three parts. In fact the word "insect" is derived from the Latin meaning segmented.

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The Luna Moth Is Beautiful and Common — But Rarely Seen

While luna moths aren't exactly rare, they're hard to find so every encounter seems extra special.

Moths Are Mother Nature's Secret Pollinators

Bees get a lot of credit for pollinating important food crops, but they get a lot of secret help from their nocturnal friends, the moths.

The Elephant Hawk Moth Is the 'Ugly Duckling' of Moths

The elephant hawk moth is breathtakingly beautiful as an adult, but as a baby ... not so much.

Some Aphid Babies Are Born Already Pregnant

Born pregnant? You bet. It's a survival instinct but could also explain how these garden pests spread like wildfire.

Asian Giant Hornets Are Now in the U.S. and That's Really Bad

The deadly Asian giant hornet, the largest hornet in the world, was spotted in the U.S. for the first time in late 2019. You'll want to stay far away from this creature. Its nickname? The "murder hornet."

The Ancient Mayfly Briefly Lives Only to Reproduce and Die 

Mayflies have the shortest adult life span of any animal, but swarms of them can still be seen on weather radar.

How Cicadas Work

Some cicadas are annual breeders and some show up loudly about every 17 years, but all cicadas produce a "song" that can reach 120 decibels — very close to a level that can damage human ear drums.

Good News! Some Butterfly Populations Bounced Back in 2019

Work by volunteers and nonprofit organizations, such as butterfly waystations and increased education efforts, has turned around long-term population decline for some butterfly species.

Fruit Flies: The Science Superstars You Want Gone From Your Kitchen

Fruit flies are annoying, but we also owe them a huge debt of scientific gratitude.

Inside a Locust Plague: Desert Grasshoppers Gone Wild

Locusts are just mild-mannered grasshoppers until they swarm up and become monstrous. In parts of the world, locust plagues are becoming a way of life.

Botflies Are Nasty Parasites That Get Under Your Skin

If you've never seen a botfly, it looks rather harmless — like a basic bumblebee even. Until it lays its eggs inside a living host, and that's when things get really gross.

Dragonflies: Ancient and Aggressive Insect Aviators

Dragonflies are fast, powerful and unbelievably aggressive, using a rudimentary form of 'trigonometry' to calculate distance and move in for the kill.

What's the Difference Between a Hornet and a Wasp?

They both sting painfully and hate to be disturbed. But is one more aggressive than the other?

Tarantula Hawks Are Neither Tarantulas nor Hawks

The sting of a tarantula hawk is so painful you are advised to lie on the ground as soon as you're stung to avoid falling.

Will Black Soldier Fly Maggots Save Humanity?

Black soldier fly larvae will eat almost anything and they taste pretty good themselves, too.

We're Losing the Chemical War on Cockroaches

These nasty pests are developing cross-resistance to multiple classes of insecticides.

Wasps Have an Image Problem, But Here's Why We Need Them

Just like bees, wasps are pollinators that are also endangered. But you rarely hear anyone pleading to save wasps. A new study finds out why wasps are despised by the public and researchers alike.

Don't Get Bitten by the Kissing Bug

These nasty little bugs have been reported in 28 U.S. states and can cause an illness called Chagas disease.

Monarch Butterfly Population Blooms This Year

After years in decline, monarchs made a spectacular comeback in 2019. Why's that — and will it continue?

Wallace's Giant Bee, World's Largest, Rediscovered

The world's largest bee, lost to science for 38 years, has been rediscovered on a remote island in Indonesia.

Why Flies Prefer Honey to Vinegar

There's an old saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Scientists have now found out why sour tastes are so repellent to flies.

Roll Up Your Sleeves Honey Bees, Vaccines Are Coming

Bee vaccines might be key to our food security.

Dracula Ant Is 5,000 Times Faster Than the Blink of an Eye

Think a teeny tiny ant can't pack a punch? Think again. The Dracula ant can subdue its prey so fast, they never know it's coming.

Headhunter Ants Decorate Their Nests With Skulls

How do small headhunter ants decapitate larger, fiercer trap-jaw ants? And why do they do it?

Cockroaches Karate-Kick Wasps to Avoid Becoming Zombies

The American cockroach places a well-aimed karate kick to keep the jewel wasp from turning it into a zombified husk of wasp chow. That's what a new study found anyway.

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