1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

The First 6 Butterflies of Spring

Eastern comma butterfly.

Ever wonder what happens to all those mosquitoes, flies, and beetles during winter?

Insects Spotlight10

Friday Fact - American Pelecinid Wasps

Friday April 18, 2014

Did you know...

The American pelecinid wasp (Pelecinus polyturator) is an unusual-looking wasp with an equally unusual life history. The female has an extremely long, 6-segmented abdomen - about 5 times as long as the length of her head and thorax combined. Why? She uses this extended abdomen to probe the ground, feeling for May beetle grubs. When she finds one, she deposits an egg on the grub. The larva burrows into the grub and feeds on its body, killing it. In temperate regions, males of this species are rarely found, and it's believed that the females can reproduce parthenogenetically.

Bug of the Week - April 16, 2014

Wednesday April 16, 2014
Bug of the Week - April 16, 2014

This week's mystery insect is probably more familiar in the caterpillar stage. Do you recognize the adults shown here? If you know what species this is, post your answer in a comment. Don't forget to return next Wednesday for a new challenge.

Did you recognize the banded cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata) I posted last week? Moni did! I think this is a pretty beetle, but most farmers aren't happy to see it as it's a serious pest of soybeans and other crops.

Photo: Tim McCabe/USDA ARS

Friday Fact - Fly Halteres

Friday April 11, 2014

Did you know...

True flies (order Diptera) have just a single pair of full wings, which will help you distinguish them from other insects (which in most cases, have two pairs of wings). Instead of a second pair of wings, a fly has a pair of tiny club-shaped structures. These structures, called halteres, help the fly maintain its balance during flight, functioning like tiny gyroscopes.

Bug of the Week - April 9, 2014

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Bug of the Week - April 9, 2014

Here's one you should be able to identify to species. If you can name this insect, do so by leaving a comment below. Next Wednesday, I will post a new challenge and give you the answer to this one.

Last week's mystery insect was indeed a rose chafer in the genus Macrodactylus, as Moni correctly identified it. Bugwood lists it specifically as Macrodactylus subspinosus, but it would be difficult to know this from only an image. Although they were named for their love of munching on roses, rose chafers feed on a variety of plants.

Photo: Russ Ottens, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.