Ant colonies operate like well-oiled machines. Much of the communication between individuals is mediated by cuticular hydrocarbons (the cuticle on an insect is their tough outer skin), that make up pheromones. Continue reading “Talk like an ant”
J.B.S. Haldane once remarked that if there is a creator, they must have an inordinate fondness for beetles. Hundreds of thousands of beetle species have been named; by contrast, there are only about 60,000 described species of vertebrates*. Naturally, the sheer number and diversity of beetles out there is of great interest to biologists.
You know how antibiotics are great because they kill bad bacteria and make you better, but are also kind of iffy because they kill good bacteria and make you a little ill? Antibiotics are made to kill bacteria, indiscriminately, no matter whether they’re harmful or helpful. The same thing goes on with pesticides (insecticides) and plants. Continue reading “Title translation: Bumblebee vs pesticide”
It’s honey bee day guys! Honey bees are perhaps the most familiar of bees: they’re important pollinators for many agricultural crops, and they make HONEY! Yummm, honey. Continue reading “Happy honey bee day!”
Our good friend Charles Darwin, the most famous idea-guy in evolution, was frustrated by peacocks. Continue reading “Sexual selection in gum-leaf skeletonizers”
Coevolution seems self-explanatory, but there’s more to it than you might think. It’s a term used to describe when organisms evolve in response to one another, but this can happen in different ways and for different reasons. Here’s a brief, very brief, introduction. Continue reading “Coevolution”
Moving house is one of the most stressful events in our lives. Ants make the decision on the location of a new nest for their colony relying a lot on social info from other ants. Continue reading “Ants use social info to choose their new nest”
Cuckoo wasps: a family of pretty small, really cute, parasitic or cleptoparasitic wasps. We hope you’ll learn to like them as much as we do! Continue reading “Introducing: Cuckoo Wasps”