Love, Sex, and Cyanide—The Private Life of a Toxic Butterfly

Heliconian butterflies choose mates with similar wing patterns. Their genes make them do it.
A contraption used to extract the silk from a spider

The Tangled History of Weaving with Spider Silk

Spider silk is as strong as steel and as light as a feather, but attempts to industrialize its production have gotten stuck, so to speak.
Cropduster spraying field

War and Pest Control

Since World War I, the connections between pest control and war have been scientific, technological, institutional, and metaphorical.
fruit fly

New Study Finds Insects Speak in Different “Dialects”

Different fruit flies species can learn each other’s language to warn against parasitic wasps.
A phasmid stick insect with egg

The Incredible Phasmid Egg

Stick insects have eggs that look exactly like seeds. Scientists can't figure out why these masters of camouflage would lay eggs that resemble bird snacks.
A pair of tweezers removing a tick

A Brief History of Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is seeing an upswing. But the-now widespread condition was not formally described until 1977, based on a case in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Nuremberg locusts

The Long-Lost Locust

The 1874 locust swarm was estimated to be twice the square mileage of the state of Colorado. Why don't locusts swarm anymore?
Cuckoo wasp

The Overlooked Importance of Parasites

Parasites can be creepy, but according to some ecologists, parasites may substantially impact entire ecosystems—for the better.
Early Spider Orchid (Ophrys sphegodes)

Bees’ and Orchids’ Pseudo-Romance Broken by Climate Change

Rising temperatures are upsetting the bee-orchid pollinating schedule, threatening to snuff out the flower.

Why We Need to Start Listening to Insects

The study of wingbeat has come an incredibly long way and could lead to breakthroughs crucial for human populations facing insect-borne disease and pests.