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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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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It's a battle of the buzzing insects. We're talking hornets vs. wasps. How do these two differ and which one has the worst sting?

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Just like bees, wasps are pollinators that are also endangered. But you rarely hear anyone pleading to save wasps. A study finds out why wasps are despised by the public and researchers alike.

By Dave Roos

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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These nasty little bugs have been reported in 28 U.S. states and can cause an illness called Chagas disease.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Danielle Douez

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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The world's largest bee, lost to science for 38 years, has been rediscovered on a remote island in Indonesia.

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By Alia Hoyt

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

By Jesslyn Shields

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.

By John Donovan

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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?

By Jesslyn Shields

Structures in some butterflies' wings are actually part of their ears.

By Jesslyn Shields