Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Caterpillar Crawling

Caterpillars move by crawling. Muscles contract the soft body; deform it; and the caterpillar pushes forward. Crawling requires attachment to a surface in order to push. Caterpillars attach with abdominal prolegs in addition to their true legs. Biophysicists have studied … Continue reading

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

Insects Invade Haute Couture

French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier was so impressed by a display of Blue Morpho butterflies that he incorporated them into his latest fashion show. His show included butterfly garlands, butterfly hats, butterfly veils, jackets with butterfly patterns and a … Continue reading

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

Ants in Space

The International Space Station offers an opportunity to study the effects of microgravity on animal behavior. Space on the station is limited and ants provide an ideal social animal to study in a small space. Myrmecologist, Deborah Gordon, has an … Continue reading

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

Squash Bug Damage

Squash bugs, Anasa tristis, are lacerate and flush feeders. They have sucking mouthparts that can probe inside a plant and excrete enzymes that digest and liquify plant tissue. Squash bugs do most of the damage to plants when stylets enter … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment, Health, Pest Management | Leave a comment

Surviving the Winter

The squash bug, Anasa tristis, only survives on squash plants which in Indiana, are unavailable from Autumn to late Spring. Squash bugs survive this period of inhospitable weather and lack of food by diapause. To prepare to overwinter, adult squash … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | Leave a comment

Insect Street Art

Julian Beever is a street artist who is best known for chalk drawings using a perspectival anamorphosis technique. He creates images that appear 3 dimensional from a single perspective but are necessarily distorted from other angles. Photos of some of … Continue reading

Posted in Art, by jjneal | 1 Comment

Influenza Vaccines and Insects

Flu season has arrived in US. Already during the 2013-4 flu season, 45 flu-related deaths have been reported in California. Vaccination is encouraged. This year, insects cells may have been used to produce your flu shot. In a previous post, … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Health | 2 Comments