Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Caterpillars, Bonobos, European Songbirds and More...
- By T. A. Frail, Jesse Rhodes, Jessica Righthand, Brandon Springer and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, November 2010
(Kazuo Yamazaki / Journal of Insect Science)
Caterpillars that live in treetops typically crawl or jump or rappel down silk threads to the ground, where they spin cocoons. But one nettle caterpillar goes its own way, according to a new study in the Journal of Insect Science. Larvae of the moth Scopelodes contracta—found in Japan, China and India—nibble through a leaf to detach it from the stem. The caterpillars cling to the leaf as it floats to the ground, as if riding down on a parachute.
“Web gigantism in Darwin’s bark spider, a new species from Madagascar (Araneidae: Caerostris),” Matjaž Kunter and Ingi Agnarsson, The Journal of Arachnology, 2010
“Mothers matter! Maternal support, dominance status and mating success in male bonobos (Pan paniscus),” Martin Surbeck et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, September 1, 2010
“Are fish less responsive to a flow stimulus when swimming?” Karla E. Feitl et al., The Journal of Experimental Biology, August 27, 2010
“Artificial Night Lighting Affects Dawn Song, Extra-Pair Siring Success, and Lay Date in Songbirds,” Bart Kempenaers et al., Current Biology, September 16, 2010
“Parachuting behavior and predation by ants in the nettle caterpillar, Scopelodes contracta,” Kazuo Yamazaki, Journal of Insect Science, April 27, 2010