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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The invasive spotted lanternfly is spreading across the Eastern U.S. Here's what you need to know about this voracious pest.

By Frank A. Hale

Spiders don't have wings, so technically can't fly. But some arachnids can soar through the air with the greatest of ease.

By Mark Mancini

Most of us think all bees live in colonies, or hives, but there are far more species that don't produce honey, don't sting and live mostly solitary lives underground.

By Jesslyn Shields

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And we mean really loud. Like up to 100 decibels loud. Get all the buzz on what's making these bug-eyed bugs return.

By John Cooley & Chris Simon

The praying mantis is a powerful predator, and not as robotic (or as romantic!) as it seems.

By Jesslyn Shields

Black widow spider venom can be deadly but how likely are you to be bitten? It might surprise you that these arachnids are on the shy side.

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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That's right – daddy longlegs isn't an actual kind of spider, but a colloquial name that's been applied to a wide range of spiders and non-spiders, insects and non-insects.

By Mark Mancini

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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Mark Mancini

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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."

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Robert Valdes

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.

By Laurie L. Dove

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Mark Mancini

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Nathan Chandler

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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Mark Mancini

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler