Fireflies have inspired scientists to modify LEDs so that they are more than one and a half times more efficient. Researchers have studied the internal structure of firefly lanterns, the organs responsible for the insects’ bioluminescence.
Cockroaches feed on garbage and carrion, so anything that’s devouring a cockroach from the inside out must contend with a variety of disease-causing microbes. Now, German scientists have shown that the larva of the emerald cockroach wasp actively disinfects its roach host by exuding antibacterial chemicals from its mouthparts.
Periodical cicadas emerge in North America every 13 or 17 years. Scientists think that the cicadas’ cycles are timed to “engineer” the number of predatory birds. The populations of these birds drop significantly the year that cicadas emerge.
Discovered in the Panamanian jungle, a spider belonging to the genus Cyclosa is capable of producing elaborate, fake spider decoys. It hangs them in its own web and shakes the web, furthering the illusion.
For two years in the Panamanian tropics, entomologists have been laboring in cranes, gliding amongst treetops using helium-filled balloons, hiking through the jungle at night and setting traps that used light as bait in order to come up with en estimate on the biodiversity of arthropods.
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator, and without them the planet would quickly go hungry. All of over the world, their populations are quickly decreasing, and scientists are trying to find out why. With the widely reported Colony Collapse Disorder, which was due to a disease, finally ebbing down, new research indicates that pesticides are also to blame.
A daddy longlegs with a leg span of over 12 inches was discovered in the caves of Laos. Opiliones are an order of arachnids, and are commonly referred to as harvestmen. There are currently 6,500 species of harvestmen worldwide, though the number of extant species may exceed 10,000.
Two 305-million-year-old insect nymphs were scanned in high resolution in order to construct three-dimensional portraits. The two insects were scanned using fossils from the Carboniferous Period, which lasted from 359.2 Ma (million years ago) to the beginning of the Permian Period, at 299 Ma