Tag Archives | Bugs

World’s Biggest Insect Found In New Zealand

No word on whether it is available for adoption. Via the Daily Mail:

Mark Moffett’s find is the world’s biggest insect in terms of weight, which at 71g is heavier than a sparrow and three times that of a mouse. The 53-year-old former park ranger discovered the giant weta up a tree and [it] has now been declared the largest ever found. The creepy crawly is only found on Little Barrier Island, in New Zealand, although there are 70 other types of smaller weta found throughout the country.

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World’s Largest Cicada Brood Begins Hatching In U.S. South

cicadasIf the world is going to end this coming weekend, this seems about right. USA Today notes:

Here comes the Brood. An enormous brood of cicadas that covers parts of 16 states is beginning to wake from its 13-year slumber underground.

The inch-long insects have been reported hatching in South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Arkansas. They will appear farther north as soil temperatures reach 64 degrees.

“There are billions of them in the trees,” Greta Beekhuis says, speaking by phone from Pittsboro, N.C. The sound of the cicadas is clearly audible over the line. “When I drove from my house to the grocery store, I ran over thousands of them. They’re everywhere. The air is just thick with them.”

Scientists call these cicadas the Great Southern Brood or Brood XIX. It is the world’s largest “periodical” brood, one that surfaces after years.

Cicadas aren’t dangerous, and are non-toxic and even edible, says Kritsky, a biology professor at the College of Mount St.

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Insects Recover Lost ‘Wings’

Female Buffalo Treehopper (Stictocephala bisonia) boring a hole into a branch for laying eggs. Photo: Quartl (CC)

Female Buffalo Treehopper (Stictocephala bisonia) boring a hole into a branch for laying eggs. Photo: Quartl (CC)

Is evolution backtracking? Physorg reports:

The extravagant headgear of small bugs called treehoppers are in fact wing-like appendages that grew back 200 million years after evolution had supposedly cast them aside, according to a study published Thursday in Nature.

That’s probably shocking news if you are an entomologist, and challenges some very basic ideas about what makes an insect an insect, the researchers said. The thorax of all insects is by definition divided into three segments, each with a pair of legs.

In most orders, there are also two pairs of wings, one on the middle segment of the thorax and another at the rear. Other orders such as flies and mosquitoes have only one set of wings, at the rear, and a few — most ants, for example — have no wings at all.

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