Monthly Archives: November 2016

Living With Silence

Insects are terrestrial, but their crustacean ancestors were aquatic. Organs for detecting underwater sounds are poorly suited to detecting airborne sounds. Early insects were deaf and many modern insects do not respond to airborne sounds. Over 350000 species of beetles … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy | 1 Comment

The Costs of Zika

The Zika Virus epidemic continues and will impose costs into the future. The World Health Organization has moved Zika off its “Emergency” list and onto its chronic problems list. Hopes of a quick containment have been replaced by a long … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, History, Zika | 1 Comment

Living With a Small Head

In the smallest insects, the appendages on the head can be greatly reduced in size or vestigial as an adaptation. Larvae of Stylops ovinae a Strepsipteran parasite of bees is only a few tenths of a millimeter long. Miniaturization has … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Taxonomy | 1 Comment

The Art of Grabbing Mates

Fifth place in the 2016 Nikon Small World Photomicrography contest goes to Igor Siwanowicz for this stunning image of the suckers on the tarsi of a male diving beetle (Dytiscidae). Male diving beetles are known to latch onto female beetles … Continue reading

Posted in Art, behavior, by jjneal | 1 Comment

Living With Strepsipteran Larvae

Twisted wing parasites are an enigmatic group of insects due to their small size and unusual life history. They are most closely related to the beetles (Coleoptera), but lack elytra, the hard forewings found in beetles. ¬†Stylops ovinae is a … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal | 1 Comment

Living With More Stylops

Stylops is a genus of Strepsiptera, the “Twisted Wing” parasites. Strepsiptera are noted for having only the hindwing fully developed and functional as wings. They are parasites of other bees¬†and many are tiny with morphological features radically altered to adapt … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Taxonomy | Leave a comment

Conservation in the City

When the subject is species and habitat preservation, most thoughts turn to the countryside where vast tracts of open land can be home to many species. Often, urban habitats are overlooked but should not be, especially on the insect scale. … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment