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.

Topics to Explore

Learn More

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.

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.

Why Scorpions Glow Under Black Light

There are lots of theories. Maybe fluorescence helps them find each other in the dark?

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.


Recommended