Monthly Archives: October 2013

Living With Symbionts

The interactions between termites and micro-organsims in the gut is well documented. The termite gut contains dozens of bacteria, flagellates and other microbes. These microbes deliver digestive enzymes vitamins and other nutrients to the termites. The termites chew and grind … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Living With Cold Temperatures

The most widely distributed termite in the United States is the Eastern Subterranean Termite, Reticulitermes flavipes. This termite is found throughout the Eastern United States where ever there are plenty of trees. North of Indiana, these termites become less numerous … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Living With Humidity Detection

Insects can detect differences in humidity. This enables insects to locate in microclimates that have adequate moisture to prevent desiccation. The cockroach, Periplaneta americana, has hygroreceptors on its antennae that respond to humidity. Humidity receptors consist of three nerve cells: … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Living With Micro-livestock Production II

Feeding the population of the future will require more food than is currently produced on earth, especially new protein sources. Thoughts turn to insects (or “Micro-livestock“) as food. Insects can be a good protein source for traditional livestock and many … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Food | 1 Comment

Living With Tergal Glands

Male cockroaches of many species have glandular secretions that have a role in mating. Male German Cockroaches, Blatella germanica, have depressions on the top of the seventh and eighth segments of the abdomen (tergites) that form a reservoir. Underneath the … Continue reading

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Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: The Case of the Clothes Moth

Tinea pellionella is a type of clothes moth that makes a case out of fibers of its food (often wool) tied together with silk. The caterpillar drags its case wherever it goes and will retreat into its case when disturbed. … Continue reading

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Aphids As Surgeons

The phloem of plants is an important tissue for transport of nutrients. Phloem transport is an active process within phloem cells. Cutting the phloem immediately triggers a plant response to stop phloem transport. This response is adaptive. It limits loss … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Insect Inspired | 1 Comment