Bugs

Delias sambawana, a butterfly that hails from Indonesia, at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Where Did Butterflies Come From? This Scientist Is On the Case

Akito Kawahara has spent his life devoted to lepidoptera. Now he’s correcting the record on where they first evolved

Western monarchs prefer to cluster in areas with little to no wind, high humidity, dappled sunlight and easy access to nectar-producing plants.

Monarch Butterflies Wintering in California Are Down 30 Percent From Last Year

The insects' population is slowly rebounding from a historic low in 2020, but they remain in crisis, having declined by more than 95 percent since the 1980s

When researchers reviewed footage of flying insects, they saw that the bugs tilted their backs toward the source of artificial light.

Why Are Flying Insects 'Attracted' to Lights? Scientists May Finally Have an Answer

Moths and other insects might turn their backs toward the brightest source of light around—which has historically been the sky—to determine which way is up and which is down, according to a new paper

This spring, Brood XIII and Brood XIX of periodical cicadas will emerge together for the first time since 1803.

Cicadas Are Coming: Rare 'Dual Emergence' Could Bring One Trillion of the Bugs This Year

The 13-year and 17-year broods that will emerge from underground this spring will be appearing together for the first time in 221 years

Paola Magni in 2022, taking a water sample from Italy’s Lake Bracciano—the site of the mysterious death of a local teenager, ten years before.

The Scientist Using Bugs to Help Solve Murders

At crime scenes around the world, the forensic entomologist Paola Magni is taking her field into uncharted waters

Monarch butterflies' signature white spots could help them fly—and inspire better drones.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2023 That Could Lead to New Inventions

Biologists learned lots about animals and plants this year, and their findings could inspire better robots, medicine and environmental technologies

Billions of periodical cicadas emerge every 13 or 17 years in the eastern United States, creating an all-you-can-eat buffet for birds.

Huge Cicada Broods Have Ripple Effects on Birds, Caterpillars and Trees

When Brood X emerged in 2021, scientists measured how the influx of billions of insects affected the ecosystem near Washington, D.C.

Gene-editing silkworms produced this spider silk.

Genetically Modified Silkworms Can Produce Spider Silk That's Stronger Than Kevlar

The sturdy, biodegradable fibers could one day be used for surgical sutures or armored vests

The so-called puss caterpillars have sharp spines that can inject powerful venom into humans.

Scientists Reveal Why Asp Caterpillar Stings Are So Excruciatingly Painful

A toxin in the insect's venom, which can punch a hole in cell walls, could inspire new drug-delivery methods in humans

Mormon crickets, present in several states across the U.S., are linked to crop damage and can be a nuisance.

Mormon Crickets Are Creating Havoc in Nevada

In Elko, the insects have caused accidents on roads and problems in town

Christopher Heckscher, ornithologist by day and firefly hunter by night, at work in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area, Delaware.

The Illuminating Science Behind Fireflies

A dedicated ornithologist with a passion for lightning bugs scours bogs and beaches to discover previously unknown species

Park-goers hoping to catch a glimpse of the synchronized flashing of fireflies can soon enter a lottery.

How You Can See Tens of Thousands of Fireflies Flash in Unison

The lottery for viewing these bioluminescent bugs at Great Smoky Mountains National Park opens Friday

Sarracenia pitcher plants typically live in bogs in the southeastern United States.

Carnivorous Plants May Lure Insects With Specially Tailored Scents

Pitcher plants appear to use different odor cocktails to attract bees, moths, ants and other bugs into their death traps

Have any modern animals adapted to human activity through natural selection? 

 

Have Any Animals Evolved to Adapt to Human Activity?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

Researchers suspect a 75-year-old Alabama man came down with tickborne relapsing fever after being bitten by a lone star tick.

Man's Rare Tickborne Illness Was Caused by an Unexpected Bacteria

Until now, the bacteria from a lone star tick had not been reported to cause tickborne relapsing fever

Giant lacewings date back to the Jurassic Era and hadn't been seen in eastern North America for more than 50 years, until this discovery.

Rare Jurassic-Era Insect Discovered at Arkansas Walmart

The species had not been recorded in eastern North America for more than 50 years—and never documented in the state

Sharpshooters use an appendage called an anal stylus to catapult droplets of pee.

These Tiny Bugs Urinate by Flinging Droplets of Pee

Sharpshooters are the first example of “superpropulsion” in a living organism, according to new research

A homeowner spotted the moth on the wall of his garage in early July.

First U.S. Sighting of Massive Atlas Moth Confirmed

The insect may have escaped from an illegal cocoon-selling operation

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito

How Can Mosquitoes Find Humans So Easily?

A sophisticated sense of smell makes the Earth’s deadliest animal hard-wired to hunt us

An adult spotted lanternfly

People Are ‘Hunting’ Invasive Spotted Lanternflies—and You Should, Too

Officials urge the public to squish the bugs, which are damaging crops and trees in the eastern U.S.

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