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'Zombie' Cicadas Are Coming, Thanks to an STD

Periodical cicadas are also nature's strongest urinators, and they're headed to 2 parts of the US

(Newser) - The periodical cicadas that are about to infest two parts of the US ( the Southeast and the Midwest ) aren't just plentiful—they're downright weird. These insects are the strongest urinators in the animal kingdom, with flows that put humans and elephants to shame. They're also...

Scientists Find 'Super Cool' Way to Spy on Insects
'Super Cool' Mapping
Tracks Down Tiny Invaders

'Super Cool' Mapping Tracks Down Tiny Invaders

Airborne laser mapping could speed tracking of invasive insects, study finds

(Newser) - Scientists in search of insects can spend 1,000 hours checking roughly 10,000 trees across 40 acres. Or, with a more convenient approach, they can do the same in about an hour. More and more, researchers are turning to remote sensing technology to ease the burden of searching landscapes...

Smuggling of Rare Butterflies Doesn't End Well for NY Man

Long Island man who labeled rare insects as 'wall decorations' pleads guilty

(Newser) - A Long Island man has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking bird-wing butterflies and other rare insects, according to a plea deal filed in Brooklyn federal court. Charles Limmer, 75, of Commack, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to smuggle wildlife into the country and agreed to pay a $30,...

Scientists Have New Climate-Change Warning: Locusts

Researchers say climate change will prompt more outbreaks of crop-destroying insects

(Newser) - Extreme wind and rain may lead to bigger and worse desert locust outbreaks, with climate change likely to intensify the weather patterns and cause higher outbreak risks, a new study has found. The desert locust—a short-horned species found in some dry areas of northern and eastern Africa, the Middle...

Insects Gather at Lights Because They're Confused
Insects Gather at Lights
Because They're Confused

Insects Gather at Lights Because They're Confused

Artificial light at night can scramble insects' navigation systems, researcher says

(Newser) - Moths and other flying insects end up fluttering around artificial lights at night not because they find the light itself appealing, but because the light messes with their navigation systems, researchers say. Sam Fabian, co-author of a study published in the journal Nature Communications , says moths and other insects appear...

Killer Swore He Wasn't at Lake. Bug Scientist Proved the Lie

'Smithsonian Magazine' profiles pioneering forensics expert Paola Magni

(Newser) - Investigators in Italy initially ruled the death of teenager Federica Mangiapelo to be from natural causes. Her body was found near an Italian lake, though it wasn't clear whether she had actually been in the water. The case seemed closed until a police officer who had recently attended a...

Unsurprisingly, 'Hitler' Bug Is Causing a 'Ferocious Debate'
This Bug's Scientific Name
Is Causing a Big Uproar

This Bug's Scientific Name Is Causing a Big Uproar

'Anophthalmus hitleri,' aka the 'eyeless Hitler' beetle, is now the subject of 'ferocious debate'

(Newser) - Slovenia: home to former first lady Melania Trump, "breathtaking" landscapes , and one of the most controversial insects on the planet. Not that the Anophthalmus hitleri ground beetle is inherently a troublemaker—but, as you may have surmised from its longer scientific moniker, its designation as the "eyeless Hitler"...

Ahead of Paris Olympics, a Pesky Issue: 'No One Is Safe'

Bedbugs are overrunning France, with the Games less than 10 months away

(Newser) - The Summer Olympics kick off in Paris in a little under 10 months, but France is now contending with a pesky issue it hopes it can contain before then. NPR reports on a nationwide "resurgence of bloodsucking bedbugs," six-legged insects about the size of an apple seed that...

A Section of Nevada Is Basically Just Gross Right Now

Thanks to the invasion of foul-smelling Mormon crickets

(Newser) - Elko, Nevada, is home to about 20,000 people—and, currently, millions of Mormon crickets. It's a migratory population so overwhelming that Department of Transportation crews have been using plows to clear the roads of the insects' squashed bodies. A DOT tweet last week had photos of the guts-slicked...

They'll Soon Be Back, and It's Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them
They'll Soon Be Back, and It's
Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them

They'll Soon Be Back, and It's Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them

Spotted lanternflies are due to start hatching soon; experts say we need to 'smash' invasive species

(Newser) - Since 2014, when they apparently made their way from China to the US in a shipping crate, spotted lanternflies have been the bane of farmers, agricultural officials, and plant lovers throughout the Northeast. Now, it's almost time for the eggs of the invasive species to hatch, and experts are...

Even Insects Have Culture
Even Insects Have Culture

Even Insects Have Culture

Social learning among bumblebees suggests animal culture might be 'widespread'

(Newser) - A new study is helping transform the idea that culture is reserved for humans, primates, and birds, offering evidence of "culture-like phenomena" including social learning in bumblebees. Researchers at London's Queen Mary University trained bumblebees to open a puzzle box holding a sugar solution, either by pushing a...

'Super-Rare' Bug Found at Walmart Stuns Experts
'Super-Rare' Bug Found
at Walmart Stuns Experts

'Super-Rare' Bug Found at Walmart Stuns Experts

It's the first giant lacewing recorded in eastern North America in half a century

(Newser) - Michael Skvarla, director of Penn State's Insect Identification Laboratory, was examining an insect in front of students over Zoom in the fall of 2020 when he froze. He'd just been explaining that this insect from his personal collection—plucked from the side of an Arkansas Walmart during a...

Border Officials Spot This Bug for the First Time

Insect 'corimelaena palmeri' was in a shipment of flowers from Mexico

(Newser) - US border officials intercepted an unwanted visitor at the border—a bug never before seen in this country. Customs inspectors spotted the insect corimelaena palmeri in a shipment of cut flowers from Mexico, reports CNN . A news release from US Customs and Border Protection says inspectors at the Otay Mesa...

These Wasps Love Planes, Could Bring Them Down

Airports employing insecticide, Pitot tube covers to deter keyhole wasp nests

(Newser) - There are numerous examples of birds colliding with planes in incidents that prove deadly for human passengers, hence why airports use various methods to deter fowl. Now, several airports are working to deter a smaller, airborne pest that also proves a deadly threat: wasps. As the Wall Street Journal reports,...

Spiders to Intentionally Run Wild at Museum

Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum is letting its creepy-crawlies have free reign over venue during exhibit

(Newser) - At one of Europe's most famous museums, life is definitely imitating art until early next year. "The museum is teeming with animals this season!" promises Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum in its promotion for "Clara and Crawly Creatures," its new exhibit focusing on insects and other creeping...

The Number of Ants on Earth Is Basically 'Unimaginable'

Try 20 quadrillion

(Newser) - If you've ever dealt with an ant invasion in your kitchen and bemoaned the number of ants that seem to exist, a new study can bring some specificity to your complaints. As Science reports, there had been no reliable estimate of the number of ants currently on the planet....

Researchers Use Novel Method to Study Moth Migration

Little is actually known about where insects go and how they get there

(Newser) - Trillions of insects migrate across the globe each year, yet little is known about their journeys. So to look for clues, scientists in Germany took to the skies, placing tiny trackers on the backs of giant moths and following them by plane, per the AP . To the researchers’ surprise, the...

Monarch Butterflies Go on Global 'Red List'

Numbers have plummeted in recent decades, due in part to loss of milkweed

(Newser) - North America's migratory monarch butterfly, the beloved orange-and-black insect capable of flying 2,500 miles across the continent, is officially an endangered species in the eyes of the leading global authority. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature added migratory monarchs to its Red List of Threatened Species...

Gypsy Moth Is Being Renamed
Gypsy Moth Gets a New Name

Gypsy Moth Gets a New Name

The spongy moth's old name was considered a slur

(Newser) - Update: Scientists have settled on a new name for the gypsy moth, a damaging invasive species whose name was considered a slur by Romani people. The Entomological Society of America says a group of more than 50 scientists considered around 200 nominations and settled on "spongy moth," which...

Only Humans Were Known to Do This—Until Now
Only Humans Were Known
to Do This—Until Now

Only Humans Were Known to Do This—Until Now

Chimpanzees appear to self-medicate with insects: study

(Newser) - Officials with the Ozouga Chimpanzee Project at Loango National Park in Gabon first spotted a female chimp taking a tiny winged insect from her mouth and placing it in a wound on her son's foot in November 2019. She then removed the bug and repeated the process two more...

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