Monthly Archives: September 2011

Environmental Sentinels

Aquatic insects are an important part of aquatic ecosystems. They live and feed in the water and rely on the water for oxygen. Insects can be quite sensitive to changes in water quality and degradation of their environment. Chemical monitoring … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, News, Policy | 1 Comment

New Insect Molting Paradigm

Insects have an exoskeleton consisting of a single layer of cells and a non-cellualar layer of proteins and chitin called cuticle. The insect cuticle is comparable to the fingernails of humans but made from different proteins. Human fingernails are primarily … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, Pest Management | 4 Comments

DEET to the Rescue

The repellent DEET has long been one of the best insect repellents. The product of a US Army study, thousands of chemicals were tested for insect repellency and DEET was the clear winner. In the decades since its discovery, no … Continue reading

Posted in Health, News, Pest Management | 2 Comments

Black Margined Blister Beetle

The Black Margined Blister Beetle, Epicauta pestifera, is one of a number of Epicauta species that contaminate hay and poison horses. Blister beetles are known for production of a toxin known as Cantharidin. Cantharadin is toxic to a variety of … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Health, Pest Management | 7 Comments

Attack of the Exploding Ants

The exploding ants of Borneo were first described by Ulrich Maschwitz in 1974. These ants in the genus, Camponotus, would respond to even a light touch with forceps by “exploding”. The body wall would rupture and a sticky yellow “goo” … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Biomaterials, Environment | 63 Comments

Seed Beetles Are No Dummies

Life as an insect is full of hazards. Some beetles can escape predators by laying eggs inside seeds. The larvae hatch and feed inside seeds where predators cannot reach them. However, these beetles are attacked by parasitoid wasps. The parasitoid … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Environment | 8 Comments

Food for the Future?

Recently the Natural History Museum in London sponsored the event, “Edible insects: food for the future? A tasting event with a difference.” The event was hosted by hunger expert, Meredith Alexander, the museum’s resident entomologist Stuart Hine and Chef Daniel … Continue reading

Posted in Food | 41 Comments