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News stories tagged with "insects"

Photo: <a href="">Tee La Rosa</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved<br />
Photo: Tee La Rosa, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

You're a moth: How do you defend yourself?

The battle for survival among insects is not always carried out with mandible and stinger. This branch of the animal kingdom also employs chemical warfare. Some moths and butterflies store plant poisons in their bodies that make them so toxic, spiders will cut them loose from their webs. Some spiders make their webs and the food stored within deadly to ants and some create toxic "veils" to protect their mates while they are vulnerable. Martha Foley and Paul Smith's College biologist Curt Stager explore the arsenal of the natural world.  Go to full article
Leaf cutter ant. Photo: <a href="">Jim Webber</a>, CC some rights reserved
Leaf cutter ant. Photo: Jim Webber, CC some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Leaf Cutter Ants

Why do Leaf Cutter Ants cut leaves? Nesting material, food? As Martha Foley and Curt Stager explain, these ants are composting. What they actually eat grows on the rotting leaves.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Tent Caterpillars

A common (if unwelcome) sight on trees in the apple and cherry family is the nest of the tent caterpillar, whose voracious appetite can completely strip a tree of foliage. These moth larvae are unusual, both in their engineering feats and their social organization. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager explore the life cycle of this nemesis of orchard and yard.  Go to full article
Photo: Bksimonb, Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Bksimonb, Wikipedia Commons

Natural Selections: Hive economy

In the second in our series about the biological marketplace, Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager look into the beehive. While some worker bees might try to "cheat," introducing their own eggs into the genetic pool of the hive, other workers will detect and destroy them. The queen presides over a society that shares her DNA, but it is run more like a police state than a family.  Go to full article

Mosquitoes in the fall?

You might be enjoying the warm days this September - but experts say those high temperatures are also attracting some unwanted guests. Mosquitoes are usually gone for the year by now - but just walk outside at dusk, and you'll know they're still with us. Tim Mihuc is coordinator of the Lake Champlain Research Institute at Plattsburgh State. He with Julie Grant about how many mosquitoes might be out there, and why they're still bugging us.  Go to full article
David George Gordon, aka the Bug Chef
David George Gordon, aka the Bug Chef

The benefits of eating bugs

Most people in Asia, Africa and South America eat bugs--prepared with shallots, lettuce, chilies, lime or spices. So, why not the rest of us? Seattle-based naturalist and author David George Gordon has written 19 books on a subject that makes some people squirm.

Orzo with Crickets? Three Bee Salad? Waxworm cookies? Gordon says it's all good for us. Todd Moe spoke with him as he was about to bake European house crickets for one of his favorite creepy-crawly dishes. He says it's cuisine he'll share during BuzzFest at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake this Saturday.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Deerfly

As painful and annoying as they are, Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss deerfly - their beauty, the multiple species and why their bites hurt so badly.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Anthills

Wood ant colonies create noticeable hummocks in clearings and fields. The elaborate structures create a temperate micro-climate ideal for protecting larvae, the queen and her workers. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about insect architecture.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: More About Bees

Bees need to be warm in order to fly. That's usually not a problem, since it takes millions of round trips to flowers to make a pound of honey. But should they fall idle long enough to cool down, bees fire up their wing muscles by shivering. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley, with more about bees.  Go to full article
A spiny soldier beetle ("good"), eating a black swallowtail larva ("bad," but turns into a beautiful butterfly...). Photo from master gardener Allison Hoff.
A spiny soldier beetle ("good"), eating a black swallowtail larva ("bad," but turns into a beautiful butterfly...). Photo from master gardener Allison Hoff.

Get to know good garden bugs

Martha Foley and horticulturist Amy Ivy talk about beneficial garden bugs: ladybugs, praying mantis, and other good garden insects provide safe, natural biological solutions to pest control problems in flower and vegetable beds.  Go to full article

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