While there are a million different types of insects, all have a hard exoskeleton which is segmented into three parts. In fact the word "insect" is derived from the Latin meaning segmented.
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.
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.
Live birth observed in the Borneostyrax cristatus is the first example of ovovivparity seen in one of the world's largest families of beetles.
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?
Of course they do. You're an attractive person. But what is it about you specifically that draws them in for a tasty meal?
If people had exoskeletons and wings maybe they'd be around forever, too. Insects are born survivors because they have certain traits that other animals don't.
It's not to entertain the insect. Figuring out how mantises perceive the world could lead to tiny, energy-efficient robots with depth perception, too.
The bright colors of this Malaysian spider, first described in 2009, earned it comparisons to the flamboyant styles of David Bowie.
You were a soldier ant. Each day you mostly did that job until one day a scientist came along, jabbed a needle into your brain and your behavior changed.
One startup wants to install observation hives as a way to support bee colonies and spark conversation.
Alfalfa flowers will bop honeybees on the head if they try to get to their delicate parts.
Self-healing materials sound pretty great, right? Writhing masses of fire ants could help us realize them.
Remember that scene from "Big Trouble in Little China" where that guy inflates like a balloon and then explodes everywhere? Turns out that happens in the real world, too.
Scientists wanted to figure out how desert ants found their way home without tree shadows to guide them. This is how they did it.
Slacker ants may not deserve their reputation.
Think spiders are terrifying? It turns out that spiders with a taste for human blood are actually our allies in the fight against malaria.
Scientists put the creepy crawlers' innate affinity for small, dark places to good use assisting in search-and-rescue missions.
Bugs can destroy crops and spread disease, but those little critters also pollinate our plants. These are just a few of the reasons they're important — and even cool! — to study.
Bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. What differentiates the two?
Mating shouldn't be something you lose your head over, but tell that to the male praying mantis. This poor creature has long been the butt of countless procreation jokes, but does he even deserve this unfortunate reputation?
The world is split between people who eat protein-packed insects on purpose and those who accidentally snack on them along with their packaged foods. But let's be honest: Bugs are far from the worst thing you've eaten in the past week.
Periodical Cicadas are pretty strange insects. They burrow in the earth for 17 years only to spend four weeks aboveground en masse before dying. Why do they do this – and do you really have to wait that long to see them?
You probably couldn't draw a mole cricket if someone asked you to, but you almost certainly could depict a ladybug. Or maybe you don't know as much as you think you do about this backyard beetle.