Insects

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Category archives for Insects

What insect is this?

This insect has been sitting on my window, completely motionless, all day. It is about 2in long in the body, probably around 5-6in if one includes the stretched legs. What is this? Does it sting or can I handle it safely, put it on a sheet of white paper to take a better picture?

iNaturalist rocks!

Thanks Bill for drawing my attention to iNaturalist which has the makings of an awesome site! What is it? It is essentially a Google Map where people can add pins every time they see an interesting critter: a plant, fungus, animal, etc. What is recorded is geographical coordinates and time when it was posted. Moreover,…

I had no time to read this in detail and write a really decent overview here, perhaps I will do it later, but for now, here are the links and key excerpts from a pair of exciting new papers in PLoS Biology and PLoS ONE, which describe the patterns of expression of a second type…

Another thing I will also have to miss – the Inaugural Event of the 2007-2008 Pizza Lunch Season of the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC), on October 24th at Sigma Xi Center (the same place where we’ll have the Science Blogging Conference). Organized by The American Scientist and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the first…

The Joys of Blogging Biology

One cool thing about being a blogging biologist is that one can write every day about sex with a straight face and then blame readers for “having a dirty mind”. But sex is so interesting – life would cease to exist without it and it is a central question in biology, so we have a…

Aphids and Enemies

You really don’t want to be an enemy of the aphids – two papers today! The first is quite straightforward: Aphids Make ‘Chemical Weapons’ To Fight Off Killer Ladybirds: Cabbage aphids have developed an internal chemical defence system which enables them to disable attacking predators by setting off a mustard oil ‘bomb’, says new research.…

That Gunk on Your Car

Jonah points to link by Kottke to series of close-up photos of insects splatered on windshields. The images are truly cool and not gross at all. This immediately reminded me of a funny, yet excellent book I read a few years ago, That Gunk on Your Car: A Unique Guide to Insects of North America…

Just quickly for now without commentary: Totally cool paper in the last Science: S. Libert, J. Zwiener, X. Chu, W. VanVoorhies, G. Roman, and S.D.Pletcher Regulation of Drosophila lifespan by olfaction and food-derived odors: Smell is an ancient sensory system present in organisms from bacteria to humans. In the nematode Caeonorhabditis elegans, gustatory and olfactory…

Invertebrate blogging of the month

Circus of the Spineless #16 is up on The force that through…

CO2 Receptors in Insects

Identification Of Carbon Dioxide Receptors In Insects May Help Fight Infectious Disease: Mosquitoes don’t mind morning breath. They use the carbon dioxide people exhale as a way to identify a potential food source. But when they bite, they can pass on a number of dangerous infectious diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile…