Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Living With Tents

Tent caterpillars display social behaviors and cooperate on building shelters. The silk “tents” they make in branches provide protection from predators. There is new evidence that the tents may have a second role, especially for young caterpillars. Fitzgerald and colleagues* … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Environment | Leave a comment

Living With Insect Silk

Insect use silk for a variety of purposes. Lacewings use silk when laying eggs to avoid egg predators such as ants. A female lacewing will place a droplet of silk on a leaf, then lay an egg in the droplet. … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal | 2 Comments

Living With Insect Sentinels

Insects can contribute to monitoring of environmental pollutants, especially in aquatic systems. Aquatic insects live in the water and “continuously sample the environment around them. A burst of pollutants entering the surrounding water then disappearing will be “sampled” by the … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment, Policy | Leave a comment

Living With Malaria In Europe

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum (single cell organism) that is transmitted by mosquitoes. In 2010, the World Health Organization estimates that 655,000 people died of malaria. There is a tendency for people living in temperate zones to view malaria … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Health, Policy | 5 Comments

Beetle Inspired Self-Filling Water Bottle?

Previously, I posted about the Stenocara Beetle of the Namib Desert and its ability to collect water droplets on its cuticle (post with video). Water vapor condenses and forms droplets on the super-hydrophobic exoskeleton, then rolls down hydrophilic channels to … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal, Insect Inspired | Leave a comment

A Mechanical Mind For Insects

JM Gershenson-Gates, author of A Mechanical Mind is an artist who creates designs from mechanical parts, some of them insect inspired. His artistic work is based on childhood curiosity: I would take apart all of my toys as a child … Continue reading

Posted in Art, by jjneal | Leave a comment

Fourteen New Beetle Species

The development of an ocean fleet that could travel to the Americas provided the Western World with a stream of new and wonderful things. Among them were species never before seen by Europeans. Biologists often accompanyied naval vessels on (pre-satellite) … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy | 2 Comments