insects

Interspecies Competition In These Insects Won By Penis Spikiness  

Insects with nightmarish spiky penises that can harm their mates are really nothing new. But a new study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology has determined that given the right conditions, wielding a nightmarish spiky penis could also harm a different species.


At Last, We Understand What Turns Fruit Flies On

We’ve been breeding the fly Drosophila melanogaster in the lab for decades. We’ve tinkered with their genes — giving them extra legs, curly wings, or odd coloured eyes — in pursuit of understanding genetic inheritance and how tissues develop. But until now we didn’t know which chemical made them start to mate.


What You're Looking At Is An Insect Penis Inside Its Mate

One of the biggest challenges for scientists studying the anatomy and physiology of genitalia is the fact that much of the real functional action happens deep inside females. It’s hard to see what’s going on in there. That’s why I love studies that rise to the challenge of giving us a peek inside.


Three Things You Probably Didn't Know About Crab Lice

Crab lice (Pthirus pubis) aren’t crabs at all — they’re parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood and their bites can cause intense itching in their hosts. Often, this itching happens in the pubic area, which is why they’re also known as “pubic lice” — which, it turns out, is actually a misnomer.


This Is An Agricultural Tool

You already know that vibrators are great for erotic release. It turns out they can do something similar for plants. In an article at Wired, Gwen Pearson discusses how vibrators found a home on the farm by mimicking the intense thrum of bumblebees.


Did You Know Getting Bit By A Tick Could Paralyse Your Face?

30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, making it the most common vector-borne disease in America. Both you and your dog are potentially exposed to it outdoors. It can block your heart, cause intense pain and, sometimes, even lead to death. And reported cases are on the rise.


This Shrub Uses A Moonlight Beacon To Signal That It's Ready For Sex

When it’s time for sex, many plants literally tap into animal appetites, attracting them with the promise of sugar and smearing them with pollen while they eat. But if you’re going to rely on a third party for sex, you need some really good advertising. One recent study has identified a plant that makes a beacon out of moonlight.


Moths Rub Their Genitals Together To Jam Bat Sonar

Some species of moth can produce ultrasonic emissions that confuse echolocating bats, and they do it by rubbing their sex organs together.


Watch A Terrifying Worm Bug Thing Shoot Out A Spiderman-esque Web Goo

I no longer want to live in this world anymore because I don’t want to share it with this utterly terrifying ribbon worm that has the ability to spit out an even more terrifying web-shaped goo. The way the substance stretches across that person’s hand just makes me want to never ever go outside again.


How This Beetle Shoots Jets Of Superheated Liquid Out Of Its Butt

You do not want to piss off the bombardier beetle. When disturbed, it sprays noxious, near-boiling liquid out of its abdomen — an effective though confounding ability. After all, how does the beetle pull off such a violent chemical reaction without, well, damaging its insides?