Have you ever noticed that some summers seem plagued with mosquitoes, while others aren’t? Do you feel personally attacked by mosquitoes year after year? It’s not just in your head. Mosquito numbers vary from year to year, and month to month. And yes, some people attract more mosquitoes than others! We spoke to experts who gave us the buzz on the most annoying (uninvited) guests at your summer BBQs.
Not a fan of insects? We can’t really blame you—creepy crawlies are repeatedly portrayed as ugly, scary, dangerous or downright boring. But take some time to get to know a few species from the mindbogglingly massive world of invertebrates, and you’ll be amazed at how adorable these minibeasts can be. To aid you on your insect … Continued
There are over an estimated 22,000 different species of ants roaming our planet today. They’ve been roaming our planet since about 110 to 130 million years ago, when they evolved from a wasp-like ancestor. And they appear on just about every single landmass on the planet, except the Arctic, a few isolated islands and Antarctica … Continued
To bee or not to bee. That is the question that some invertebrates could be asking themselves on a regular basis, if two Australian academics are correct in their hypothesis that insects such as ants and honeybees have some level of self awareness, instead of merely being dumb drones that operate on a robotically simplistic … Continued
Bees are absolutely fascinating creatures, and play a vital role in the survival of our species. These buzzing insects pollinate 40% of the world’s food crops, and without them, we’d lose many natural staples in our diet. Sadly, bee populations are declining rapidly every year, in a large part due to pesticides. Alex Evans created … Continued
Despite their name, velvet ants are not ants at all… they’re wasps! With brightly coloured hairs to deter predators, an extremely tough endoskeleton, and an incredibly powerful sting, velvet ants are a force to be reckoned with.
African land snails can devour an entire head of lettuce in one sitting, so imagine what a bunch of them could do to your crops.
A newly discovered species of spider has just been named after Johnny Cash. The tarantula, which you can now call Aphonopelma johnnycashi (anything but Sue), lives in the foothills of Folsom Prison in California, where Cash famously recorded a live album while playing a series of concerts for inmates in the late 1960s. But that’s … Continued
As far as we know, water is fundamental to all life on this planet. But there are places on Earth that receive as little as 0.76 mm of rainfall a year and have no open freshwater sources. To live in these extremely arid environments, evolution has favoured those able to adjust to life with little water, … Continued
Wetlands are essential habitats, playing crucial roles in our environment. They protect our shores from waves, reduce the impacts of floods by soaking up water like a sponge, filtering and purifying it so water quality improves, and they absorb pollutants too. Wetlands also provide a habitat for a huge diversity of animals and plants, many of which are … Continued
What sounds like a curse from a mythological tale actually has a very real basis. Plagues of locusts will descend on crops and leave behind a trail of destruction in their path.
These creepy-crawlies have earned a bad reputation thanks to their invasive nature and knack for spreading disease, but cockroaches are more deserving of our admiration than scorn as they hold an impressive ancestry that dates back over 300 million years. And thanks to their incredible ability to adapt to pretty much anything, they may live … Continued
The Little Barrier Island Giant Weta (Deinacrida heteracantha) has several claims to fame. It is old enough to have seen the dinosaurs come and go. It is the biggest grasshopper in the world, and it is also the world’s heaviest insect. There are over 70 species of weta in New Zealand—the only place on earth … Continued