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.


African Matabele ants always take the quickest route back to headquarters, which may not be the shortest path.

Oak processionary moth caterpillars can trigger allergic reactions causing everything from eye irritation to anaphylactic shock.

So-called "exploding ants" protect their colony and its territory by rupturing their bodies and sending out a sticky stream of poisonous gel.

Scientists have identified a substance responsible for breaking down pesticides in bees, which will help them come up with a bee-friendlier bug spray.

The pelican spider would just as soon eat another spider as look at one.

Male brown widow spiders stubbornly court the oldest females they can find, though younger females are more fertile and far less dangerous.

A species of termite-hunting sub-Saharan ants tend to their wounded.

Insects are crucial to the functioning of every ecosystem on the planet. Now they're disappearing, and nobody's sure why.

It seems like flying cockroaches want to dive bomb your face. Are they aggressive? Defensive? Or maybe it's all just in your scared ape mind.

Entire colonies of half a million venomous ants are one scary threat following serious flooding.

Spider silk adds another notch to its belt of amazing properties.

And it's amazing to see if you can finagle a spot at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park viewing in late spring.

Scientists planted dummy caterpillars across the globe and discovered that when it comes to safety from predation, it's all about location, location, location.

The secrets to ladybugs' wing-folding could yield new designs in flying robots and even newfangled umbrellas.

Could plastic-eating caterpillars help rid the planet of trillions of bags clogging landfills and other ecosystems? A chance scientific discovery may provide answers.

For one species of dragonfly, the hassle of dealing with aggressive suitors is worth playing possum over.

Spiders not only eat more meat than humans every year, they also spend a lot of time getting eaten themselves.

Bumblebees are smart enough to improve the rules of your stupid game, scientists.

Eating bugs is gaining popularity in the West, but many are still put off simply because they're insects. Might bugs in cocktails make the idea a bit easier to swallow?

With the identification of nine intriguing new bee species, questions about survival in the desert abound.

And its special endowment is not the thing that intrigues scientists the most.

In a state already teeming with pythons, tourists and Jimmy Buffett singalongs, the flesh-eating screwworm makes Florida a little more menacing.

Sharing's generally regarded as a desirable behavior among humans. But for some social spiders, it can be the death of them.

A solo male termite isn't long for this world, but a pair of them stands a much better chance. Once united, that pairing can become deadly for other male termites.

It could be the best weapon we have in the war against Zika, malaria, dengue and other mosquito-borne illnesses.