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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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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.

Which Insect Inflicts the Most Painful Bite?

Justin O. Schmidt studies insect venom and has a rating system for the relative agony inflicted by the world's most painful stings. Which is the worst?

Some Butterflies Hear Through Their Wings

Structures in some butterflies' wings are actually part of their ears.

Bees Stopped Buzzing During the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Thanks to a citizen science project in the path of totality, researchers studied bee activity and were surprised by the results.

Who Knew a Praying Mantis Could Learn?

For five nights in a row, a praying mantis came to the same garden spot to hunt for fish, completely confounding scientists.

How Beekeeping Works

Beekeeping, when you get down to it, is the art and science of removing honey from hardworking bees without them missing it. But beekeeping is about so much more than just the honey.

New Species of Parasitic Wasps Found Inside Fossilized Fly Cocoons

The tiny fly cocoons are between 34 and 40 million years old and contained well-preserved parasitic fossils.

Bees Are Smart But Don't Try Training Them at Home

Teaching bees to do things like sniff out certain smells is easy. The tricky part is training them to use the skills in the wild.

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