Category Archives: Ecology

Why is spider silk so strong? Can we scale it up?

Written by Joe Ballenger Hi, I’m on a Lego League team with my school and we are wanting to know more about spiders for our research project. Some questions I hope you can help us with are, what makes a … Continue reading

Posted in Chemistry, Culture, Ecology, Economics, Physiology, Research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Striking Gold: Why Are Butterfly Chrysalises Gold?

  Written by Nancy Miorelli Many butterfly chrysalises glimmer in the sunlight with golden studs or gold leafing. Rather than looking like something living, these delicate pupa decorate the surrounding foliage like miniature ornaments. Their beauty and stunning brilliance has been … Continue reading

Posted in Developmental Biology, Ecology, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 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

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

Do insects have personalities?

Written by Joe Ballenger After our spider post, I thought it would be nice to tackle this question because these questions open one of the biggest rabbit holes in the field of insect science: Since you are the experts, my … Continue reading

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

How similar is Entomology to Pokemon? Do scientists ever make bugs fight?

Written by Joe Ballenger The release of Pokemon Go has been great for us entomologists, because we have been able to get people to realize why we love our jobs so much. The creator of Pokemon, Satoshi Tajiri, actually got … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Culture, Developmental Biology, Ecology, Insect Rearing, Physiology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can Spiders Learn From Each Other?

Written by Joe Ballenger Your Name: Mark Your Bug Question: I have spiders in and around my house.  I eventually get around to removing their webs from hard to reach places like living room chandelier.  It takes so long that … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology, Pest Management | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

What are carpet beetles doing on my cilantro?

Written by Joe Ballenger Dear Entomologist, Could you please help with a bug question. I found many small bugs on my cilantro flowers which look like carpet beetles. Should I be worried about them in my vegetable garden and or … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior, Ecology, Pest Management, Physiology, Pollination | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Fleeting Moments: How Long Do Butterflies Live?

  Written by Nancy Miorelli Have you ever found some butterflies, been captivated by their magic, and wondered how long they live? Well if you have, you’re not alone. Not only did we get several questions about this in our … Continue reading

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