insects

CSIRO Infiltrates Fruit Fly Populations With Blindingly Obvious Micro-Sensors

Far from being the insect-equivalent of sci-fi hipster wear, the chip plastered on the back of this Queensland fruit fly, or Q-fly, allows CSIRO researchers to track the movements of the troublesome pests. With this data, scientists and farmers will be better able to deploy traps and other “management options” — including development of a line of infertile bugs — to help keep numbers under control.


Mosquito Matchmaker: An Inside (Itchy) Look At Force-Mating Mosquitoes

The worst thing about feeding hundreds of mosquitoes on your own blood is not the itching — if you do it enough times, your body gets used to the bites. It’s not even the pain, although it is always painful since the mosquitoes will use their snouts to root about your flesh in search of a blood vessel.


This Time Lapse Of Fireflies Is Art In Motion

If you’ve been stressing out or if you’re getting swamped at work or if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, here’s how you fix it: by watching this lovely time lapse of fireflies by Vincent Brady. Just put it on full screen, zone out and watch fireflies (or lightning bugs if that’s what you call them) paint the world with light and create mesmerising art.


Plants Engineered To Produce Insect Perfume Could Act As Pesticides

Swedish and American researchers have successfully engineered plants to produce chemical attractants like those released by insects to find mates. They say their plant factories could be used to lure and trap nuisance bugs as an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides and synthetically produced attractants.


Insect Nervous System Copied To Boost Computing Power

Brains are the most powerful computers known. Now microchips built to mimic insects’ nervous systems have been shown to successfully tackle technical computing problems like object recognition and data mining, researchers say.


Welcome To The Age Of The Bionic Superbug

Like a silent bionic army, the era of the cyborg has crept upon us. Or so a group of reviewers said recently when they evaluated where the science of cyborgs has led.


Badass Spider Uses Insect Corpses To Make A Giant Spider Design Decoy

Like in Game of Thrones, where the Iron Throne was forged from the swords of all the enemies Aegon the Conqueror defeated, this Cyclosa spider uses its dead enemies’ bodies to build a big fake spider decoy design to sit on. Seriously, the spider uses its victim’s insect corpses to construct a larger spider-shaped design on its web to scare off potential predators. That’s so badarse.


Staring At These Spiders Straight In The Eyes Is Sucking My Soul Away

I can’t do it. These photographs by photographer Jimmy Kong are absolutely fantastic in capturing the venomous detail of spiders in their habitat. They look positively alien and almost peaceful. But don’t you dare think that. Not for a second. Because once you think these fur ball mini aliens come in peace, the spiders are going to leap off the screen and rip your freaking head off.


Stolen Ferrets, Fluorescent Fish And The Upside Of Cold

What a weird week for weather, huh? On earth, it was so cold that Canada got frostquakes. In space, a massive solar flare sent so many particles hurtling toward us that northern lights were visible outside of the Arctic circle. Here are some landscape reads for this week, taking you under the sea and deep inside of trees.


This Six-Second Vine Will Make You Scream Of Pure Horror

Kottke found this horrifying six second video by Paglo, a Vine user from Cholula, in Mexico. It looks like a bunch of hairs, some ridiculous abandoned moustache on a plastic container, but wait until he touches it with his finger and try no to recoil and/or scream with what happens next.