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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For decades scientists assumed these insects looked so much like orchids as a form of camouflage. But they were wrong. They look this way because they're deceptive predators.

By Allison Troutner

Creating an insect hotel gives local bugs and pollinators a place to live and people of all ages a super cool garden project.

By Jesslyn Shields

The Atlas moth is one of the largest moths out there, with a wingspan of up to 12 inches, but the 'cobra' faces on its wings are even more frightening to predators than its size.

By Laurie L. Dove

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A bullet ant's sting will hurt for a long time, but it probably won't kill you.

By Jesslyn Shields

Native to East Asia, the Joro spider has adapted to life in the southern U.S. and, as far as we know, is a beneficial addition to the ecosystem.

By Allison Troutner

They love your lawn and, in 2021, they're everywhere. Here's what to do about armyworms and how to spot the little critters.

By Jesslyn Shields

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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