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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

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She Mates, She Kills — and That's OK With Male Brown Widows

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

Ants Rescue and Treat Wounded Comrades

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

Alarming Drop in Populations Has Scientists Warning of 'Insect Armageddon'

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

Do Flying Cockroaches Target Your Face, or Does It Just Feel That Way?

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.

Floating Fire Ant Rafts Are Horrifying, Dangerous, Really Cool

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

Unique Silk Physics Keeps Dangling Spiders From Twisting Wildly

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

Synchronized Fireflies Perform a Light Show Like No Other

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

Living Near the Equator Is Seriously Risky (For Caterpillars)

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

How the Ladybug Folds Its Giant Wings

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

Scientists Discover Caterpillar That Actually Eats Plastic

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

Female Dragonflies Fake Death to Avoid Unwanted Male Advances

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

Each Year Spiders Eat Millions of Tons of Food More Than Humans

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

Teaching Bees to Play Ball Reveals Complex Learning Abilities

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

Is That a Cricket in Your Cocktail?

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?

Newly Discovered Desert Bee Species Are Curiously Ant-like

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

Newly Discovered Crane Fly Species: Tiny Wings, Double-barreled Penis

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

Flesh-eating Screwworm Maggots Are Devouring Rare Tiny Florida Deer Alive

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

Spiders May Go Extinct From Oversharing

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

Gay Termites Plot the Death of Kings

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.

Welcome to the Mosquito Factory

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

Sometimes Spiders Go Vegetarian, Scientists Find

A new study documents worldwide instances of arachnids turning to plants and vegetation for nutrition and sustenance.

Beetle That Gives Birth to Live Young Discovered in Borneo, Your Nightmares

Live birth observed in the Borneostyrax cristatus is the first example of ovovivparity seen in one of the world's largest families of beetles.

On the One Hand, Fewer Mosquitoes; On the Other, Increased Autism

New research found that pesticide exposure from aerial spraying for mosquitoes increased the risk of autism by 25 percent. Should we stop aerial pesticide spraying?

Mosquitoes Like You Best. Why Is That?

Of course they do. You're an attractive person. But what is it about you specifically that draws them in for a tasty meal?

Newly Discovered Trap-Jaw Spider Captures Prey With Astonishing Speed

Researchers had to use special high-speed cameras recording at up to 40,000 fps to even witness the 'lightning speed' chelicerae jaw structures snapping shut.

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