Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Bumble Bees Learn Trick, Surprise Researchers

Most figured out how to pull string for reward after seeing how it's done

(Newser) - Ever wondered how tiny a bumble bee's brain is? Imagine a sesame seed clinging to a burger bun, reports the Washington Post —in other words, it's about 0.0002% the volume of a human brain, as calculated by Science . But that doesn't mean you can't... More »

Anyone Who Eats Food Should Be Worried About This Bee

It's the first proposed for endangered species list

(Newser) - The rusty patched bumblebee has gone from a widespread and well-known pollinator to the edge of extinction in just 20 years. Reuters reports that the species, which got its name from the reddish patch on its abdomen, has been proposed for the endangered species list by the US Fish and... More »

Meet Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Insect Doppelganger

Praying mantis species named after SC justice

(Newser) - Ruth Bader Ginsburg: booze-swilling Supreme Court justice, part-time actress , and … new namesake of a praying mantis. Scientists from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History were examining 30 praying mantis specimens when they discovered that species—typically classified using a male specimen—could be differentiated simply by looking at female... More »

World's Longest-Distance Flier Is Identified

Tiny dragonfly covers 4.4K miles between continents

(Newser) - The world's longest-distance flier is a fly—a dragonfly to be exact. That's what scientists at Rutgers University-Newark claim in a new genetic study of Pantala flavescens, also known as the wandering glider, per Discovery News . Populations of the dragonfly, which is only 1.5 inches long, have... More »

100 Species of Bugs Live in Your Home

Don't fret: Most are harmless, say scientists

(Newser) - You thought Asian camel crickets were bad. A new report in journal Peer J finds hundreds of bugs likely lurk in your home, including spiders, beetles, ants, and book lice. Scientists got down on their hands and knees and combed 50 houses in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC, picking up... More »

What the Dust in Your House Says About You

Our dust contains, on average, 9K unique species of microbes

(Newser) - Last year, volunteers mailed in dust samples taken from above interior and exterior door frames in 1,200 homes across the US as part of a citizen science project called Wild Life of Our Homes . Now, scientists are reporting in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B that our... More »

This Herb May Rival DEET in Repelling Mosquitoes

Native Americans used to turn to this sweet-smelling herb

(Newser) - Native North Americans have long used the fragrant herb sweetgrass to ward off biting insects like mosquitoes, and new research shows how the traditional repellent works chemically. About to share their findings with the American Chemical Society, researchers at the US Department of Agriculture, the University of Guelph, and the... More »

'Spooky' Quarter-Mile Spider Web Stuns US Suburb

Visitors come to marvel at silky creation

(Newser) - Most people aren't crazy about spiders—but sightseers are finding time to visit an enormous spider web spanning hundreds of feet of trees in a Dallas suburb, WFTV reports. "I've never seen anything like this," a man there with his grandchildren tells WFAA . "I think... More »

Wasp's Scary Name Inspired by Harry Potter

JK Rowling approves of 'Soul-Sucking Dementor' name

(Newser) - What name is worthy for a ferocious flying insect that swoops down on supposedly indestructible cockroaches, paralyzes them with its devastating sting, then drags them off into a corner to devour them? "Soul-Sucking Dementor" sounded pretty good to visitors at Berlin's Museum fuer Naturkunde. They were offered the... More »

Dinosaur-Age Cockroach Was Fearsome Predator

100M-year-old insect also had swiveling head, took flight

(Newser) - A mean-looking cockroach that lived alongside the dinosaurs had a long neck, swiveling head, and elongated legs that enabled it to surprise prey, New Scientist reports via Gizmodo . Found embedded in amber in Myanmar, the 100-million-year-old insect resembles a cross between a roach, a crane fly, and a praying mantis:... More »

30 New Fly Species Found Buzzing in Hazy LA

Entomologists surprised at numbers in 3-year study

(Newser) - It started with a friendly wager. An LA Natural History Museum trustee bet Brian Brown, the museum's entomology curator, that the city's smog-filled nooks were no place for new insect species to be found. The first bug Brown caught proved to be previously undiscovered, inspiring the Biodiversity Science:... More »

Cockroaches Have Individual Personalities

Some are shy; others love to explore, researchers say

(Newser) - Before you spray that bottle of Raid, take a minute to consider: You could be killing a brave little fellow, or perhaps a shy one. That's according to new research indicating that "cockroaches have personalities," as scientists say in a statement. Specifically, they have two, the Guardian... More »

World's 2nd-Biggest Insect Is Nearly 2 Feet Long

Phryganistria heusii yentuenis is 21 inches long with its legs outstretched

(Newser) - Stick insects, which live in remote regions predominantly in southeastern Asia and tend to be most (which isn't to say very) active at night, not to mention well-camouflaged, are for obvious reasons difficult to discover. In fact, in just the past few years, the number of known species has... More »

Insects Made History 400M Years Ago

They were first to grow wings, rule the skies

(Newser) - Want human beings to feel a massive ego-boost? Then look elsewhere, because a ground-breaking study published by Science finds that insects ruled the Earth about 400 million years ago and grew wings long before any other animal, reports Heritage Daily . They cropped up as plants began diversifying, in fact, and... More »

Monarch Origin Shocks Scientists

Study finds Monarch butterflies started out in North America

(Newser) - Monarch butterflies are famous for migrating from the US and Canada to Mexico for the winter. Now a surprising study in Nature suggests the species itself also started out in North America some 2 million years ago. A researcher from the University of Chicago says monarchs were widely thought to... More »

Invasive Asian Crickets May Well Live in Your House

They could be squeezing out native bugs: researcher

(Newser) - Asian camel crickets are now so common in the US, they may even be beating out their native cousins. Hundreds or thousands of the striped creatures may very well be sharing your house, a study from North Carolina State finds; indeed, 90% of scientists responding to a census found them... More »

How Hungry Maggots Spurred Rapid Evolution

Male crickets new to Kauai, Oahu have altered their wings in just 20 generations

(Newser) - Two sets of male crickets on neighboring Hawaiian islands have been able to avoid attracting deadly parasitic flies by simply shutting up. The crickets likely arrived from Oceania in the late 1990s, and the flies came from North America around the same time. When the crickets tried to lure nearby... More »

Wild Discovery: Insects With Female Penises

Tiny creatures have sex for 40 to 70 hours

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have discovered animals whose genitalia seem to be swapped: The female has a penis-like structure while the male has an organ akin to a vagina, LiveScience reports. The animals in question are four species of flea-sized insects from the genus Neotrogla, found in Brazilian caves.... More »

Fruit Flies Move Like Fighter Jets

Speed of evasive turns amazes researchers

(Newser) - Swatting a fruit fly is as tricky as trying to catch a tiny fighter jet with an expert pilot at the controls, researchers say. High-speed cameras captured the insects avoiding threats by executing supercharged, banked turns much like fighter planes, reports the Los Angeles Times . The flies beat their wings... More »

India's Famine Solution: We'll Eat Bugs

FAO discusses farming insects for food

(Newser) - Hopefully people in India like munching on crickets and other, um, delicacies. As the country's Food and Agriculture Organization warns a global famine will strike in 50 years, scientists are experimenting with an interesting source of alternative protein: bugs. "We are now doing a lot of work on... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>