Author Archives: joeballenger2005

Why are burying beetles covered in mites?

@BugQuestions Can you help identify this bug and what insects are on it? pic.twitter.com/3Ht56RJ6IS — Groumpio (@jameslaird1976) October 7, 2015 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Sometimes, when writing for this blog, I learn new things about bugs as well. This is one of those … Continue reading

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Where are we now: Joe

Hi, I’m Joe! For those of who are new to AaE, let me introduce myself. I’m Joe Ballenger. I’m a single dad, and I really like to climb when I’m not working. My background is physiology. Specifically, I’ve done a … Continue reading

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What’s putting bugs in pots on my windowsill?

Written by Joe Ballenger Does anyone know what kind of worms these are? They were in this mudlike ball stuck to the screen (second pic after it burst open) and when I flicked it to remove it, it busted apart … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, Identification, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Interacting With Ekbom’s sufferers: Guidelines from the dermatology literature.

Infestations can be very difficult to handle in online science outreach projects. We do our best to give the best possible advice, but ultimately it’s an issue where you need boots on the ground. During our infestation post, we mentioned … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Education, News, Pest Management, Research | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Are Brown Widows as Dangerous as Black Widows?

Written by Joe Ballenger As a rule, Widows have pretty nasty venom. I was knocked on my butt for about 3 days after a bite I received from a Southern Widow (Lactrodectus mactans) after mishandling her. These sorts of incidents … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Pest Management, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

There’s a lot of misinformation about spider bites on the internet…and some of it comes from academic websites.

Written by Joe Ballenger October is an important time for spiders. Spiders sleep through the winter, and right about now is when they’re looking for places to hunker down. Consequently, we get a lot of pictures of spiders in people’s … Continue reading

Posted in News, Research | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Never growing up: why are there insects which *don’t* go through metamorphosis?

Written by Joe Ballenger If someone begins a statement with ‘this might be a dumb question, but…’ my ears usually perk up, because it’s very likely that something interesting is about to follow. @Stylopidae whoa! this is a dumb question, … Continue reading

Posted in Developmental Biology, Physiology, Taxonomy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much water can ants drink?

Written by Joe Ballenger Your Name: charles Your Bug Question: How much can an ant drink of water? I thought this question about how ants drink was really cool. It’s a question that has a pretty simple answer at first, … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology, Physiology | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Bees carrying leaves? What’s up with that?

Written by Joe Ballenger Your Name: Clark Your Bug Question: I noticed a small flying insect about the size of a honey bee, fuzzy, all black flying around with a small leaf in its legs. It flew down between some … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology, Pollination | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What is it like to be a scientist?

Written by Joe Ballenger Your Name: Chelsea Your Bug Question: Hi, I’m a middle school student and I was hoping you could answer a few of my questions about being an entomologist for a research paper I’m writing. Your Name: … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Education | Tagged , | 2 Comments