Author Archives: jjneal

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.

Living With Madagascar Silk

Caterpillars of the silk moth, Bombyx mori, are the most common species used for silk production.  Thousands of years of selection have created an insect that can efficiently produce silk. However, all caterpillars produce silk and some other species are used for … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Environment | 1 Comment

Ant Man Returns

Comic book heroes as movie stars have generated surprising blockbuster hits. Ant Man, a second tier Marvel Comics superhero found a wider audience in the 2015 hit movie, Ant Man.  Can the sequel be far behind? The sequel, Ant Man And The … Continue reading

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

Spring Dragonflies

The Common Whitetail Dragonfly, Libellula lydia, has a long activity period. Whitetails can be active in Indiana as early as April and some are still flying late into September and early October. Whitetails rest on the ground to hunt for prey. … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment

Living With Grain Storage Pests II

The original grain elevators were focused on efficient storage and handling of grain. The elevated storage concept was adopted by grain growers throughout the US as evidenced by the grain silos that dot the rural landscape. Silos allowed grain growers … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Pest Management | Leave a comment

Living With Grain Storage Pests

Grain elevators are used to store grain for future shipment. Large concentrations of grain in protected conditions create an ecosystem for insect colonization. The pests vary with geography, but many pests are distributed globally, having made their way around the … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment, History, Pest Management | 1 Comment

Recycling With Insects

I recently posted about the ability of some beetles to grow and develop on polystyrene. A report from Pune, India adds wax moths to the list of plastic consuming insects. Humans produce much plastic waste that contains useful nutrients and energy … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment, Food | Leave a comment

The 2017 Cicada Mystery

This year periodic cicadas are emerging across Maryland and Washington, DC. The last large emergence in Maryland was Brood X in 2004. Brood X is expected to emerge in 2021. Brood VI emerged in NC, TN and GA earlier this … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Environment | 1 Comment