Monthly Archives: May 2013

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging:

Caterpillars of the Monarch Butterfly feed on plants in the milkweed family that contain toxins called cardenolides. The caterpillars sequester the toxins from the plant. The toxins are stored in the tissues and protect the adult Monarch Butterflies from predation … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging | 4 Comments

See Like An Insect

The insect compound eye is a fascinating visual system. Its resolution may be less than the human eye, but it offers wider field of vision and more rapid signal processing. These features are useful for robot guidance systems. A European … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Insect Inspired, Vision | 2 Comments

Living With Lace Bugs

Lace bugs are tiny (less than 1 cm), cryptic insects that live on the undersides of leaves. Lace bugs probe leaves with their sucking mouthparts and excrete a sticky honeydew. Typically, we notice the stippling damage visible on the upper … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | Leave a comment

Catalog of Nature

Insect collections are valuable research tools that are moving into the computer age. Insect Museums are digitizing their collections with high pixel density images and digital text searchable labels. The photos of the insects are useful as is. The notes … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Taxonomy | Leave a comment

North American Millipede

Millipedes and insects are both arthropods, but have not shared a common ancestor for over 500 million years. Millipedes have a long body that is supported by numerous legs, two per segment. Most Millipedes are less than 3 centimeters in … Continue reading

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Bluegrass Butterfly

In a recent trip to the Red River in Kentucky, I saw many Little Wood Nymph Butterflies, Megisto cymela, fluttering through the clearings in the woods. Occasionally, a butterfly would alight on the leaf litter. The larvae of these butterflies … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

The Structure of Color

The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle, Cicindela sexguttata, attracts attention with its brilliant emerald green color as it flits along woodland trails. Cicindela sexguttata is a common early spring tiger beetle species in Indiana. How the beetle produces its beautiful color has … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Insect Inspired | 1 Comment