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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.

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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.

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.

Tarantulas Are Big and Hairy But Not So Scary

Tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world and, believe it or not, some can live for up to 30 years.

Spiders Can Spin Webs of Silk Stronger Than Steel

Not all spiders spin webs, but the eight-legged arachnids that do, spin all kinds of different webs, some big, some small.

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.

The Brown Recluse Spider: Its Reputation Is Worse Than Its Bite

Ninety percent of brown recluse bites don't have any effect at all — but the mythology around these creatures and their bites is legendary.

Will the Real Banana Spider Please Stand Up?

Is the "banana spider" you're looking at the one that sits around harmlessly catching flies, or could its bite kill a small child? If we rely solely on common names, this question is complicated.

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.

Camel Spiders: Murderous Speed Demons of the Desert

These arachnids are aggressive, unbelievably fast and love to murder ants for no reason, but don't worry — they're harmless.

How Many Legs Does a Millipede Really Have?

If you think the answer is 1,000, you're way way off.

Don't Be Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders might find their way into your house and can look threatening, but they're really harmless.

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.

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