Monthly Archives: June 2012

Surviving the Crash

Insects inspire creation. Watching flies crash headlong into windows, pick themselves up and fly once more inspired a Swiss team of robot designers. If insects can crash and fly again, why not robots? Instead of building a robot that must … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal | Leave a comment

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Gypsy Moth Dermatitis

Some people are sensitive to gypsy moth larvae and suffer skin eruptions when exposed. Reports of “gypsy moth dermatitis” are few during periods of low populations but increase during outbreaks. The gypsy moth caterpillar is distinguished by tufts of hair … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Health, Invasive Species | Leave a comment

Under The Weather

Where do insects go when it rains? Large insects such as butterflies often perch in sheltered areas out of the rain. Rain can be a mortality factor for butterflies. What about smaller insects such as mosquitoes? Dickerson and colleagues, writing … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal | Leave a comment

European Robber Fly

Robber flies are recognizable by the distinctive cleavage between the eyes and the mystax (mustache) on the front of the head. Robber flies can be beneficial by eating mosquitoes and other pest insects. Robber flies can be pests by eating … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 3 Comments

Living With Alderflies

The shores of Lake Leelanau were covered with alderflies (Genus: Sialis) during the first week of June. Alderflies belong to the Neuroptera, the same group that includes lacewings, aphid lions and ant lions. These small black insects with tent-like wings … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | Leave a comment

High Tech Insect Traps

Trapping insects is an art. Entomologists spend countless hours studying the flight behavior of insects to let biology inform the design. Such studies can lead to traps that are effective and efficient. Advances in technology give trap designers new tools … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Pest Management | Leave a comment

Michigan Midge Swarms

On my road trip to Michigan there were surprisingly (pleasantly) few mosquitoes. However, swarms of chironomid midges were common. The swarms are the male midges congregating into a large mass that attracts females. The males release a pheromone that attracts … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment