insects

19 New Species of Speedy Praying Mantises Found

A scientist has discovered 19 new species of super-speedy praying mantises that roam Central and South America, a new study says. The insects belong to a group called bark mantises, which are flatter and broader than the more commonly known mantis. “They almost look like cockroaches with a narrow front end,” said Gavin Svenson, curator of invertebrate…

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Why Is the Cold U.S. Winter Killing Off Stinkbugs?

Humans aren’t the only species bugging out from the polar vortex, the winter weather system that’s still menacing large swaths of the United States with bone-chilling temperatures.  Be glad you’re not an Asian stinkbug, which are dying off in large numbers due to the cold, a new experiment shows. The invasive insect, commonly called the brown marmorated…

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Bumblebees Can Fly Higher Than Mount Everest, Scientists Find

Talk about a high-altitude buzz. Bumblebees may be capable of scaling Earth’s tallest peaks, flying higher than Mount Everest, according to new research. It’s difficult for most insects and birds to fly at extremely high altitudes where the air is thin and oxygen is scarce. Flapping wings push against the air to generate lift, and…

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Botfly Invasion: Why Parasites Pop Out of Animals’ Skin

It’s fall, and that means squirrels are hurriedly securing food for the winter—and so is another creature, the parasitic botfly. As forest animals scurry about transferring nuts from one hiding place to another, they’re also unknowingly carrying this parasite, which tunnels through squirrel flesh, causing swollen protrusions like the one pictured below. These inflamed tubules…

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New Eyeless Fungus Beetle Found in Cave

Scientists have discovered a new species of fungus beetle that dwells in a single cave in Arizona. Like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, tiny Ptomaphagus parashant has evolved to cope with life in the darkness. The insect once had wings and eyes, but after spending millennia inside such tight quarters, its ancestors eventually began to lose…

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New Eyeless Fungus Beetle Found in Cave

Scientists have discovered a new species of fungus beetle that dwells in a single cave in Arizona. Like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, tiny Ptomaphagus parashant has evolved to cope with life in the darkness. The insect once had wings and eyes, but after spending millennia inside such tight quarters, its ancestors eventually began to lose…

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The Scoop on Termite Poop: Five Cool Facts

By Rachel Kaufman As long as they’re in someone else’s house, termites are rather fascinating creatures. The social insects live in colonies, like bees or ants, and build large nests that can stretch 300 feet (91 meters) across. There are more than 2,600 species of termites—and more than one quadrillion individual termites—on Earth. Their ability…

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The Scoop on Termite Poop: Five Cool Facts

By Rachel Kaufman As long as they’re in someone else’s house, termites are rather fascinating creatures. The social insects live in colonies, like bees or ants, and build large nests that can stretch 300 feet (91 meters) across. There are more than 2,600 species of termites—and more than one quadrillion individual termites—on Earth. Their ability…

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How Do Ants Get Their Magnetic Compasses?

By Ker Than Tropical leafcutter ants don’t need to stop and ask for directions—they have internal magnetic compasses that help them navigate.  Now, scientists have figured out just how the insects get their “sixth sense,” which is also found in an increasing number of animals, including birds, bats, and rodents. (See “5 Amazing Animal Navigators.”)…

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How Do Ants Get Their Magnetic Compasses?

By Ker Than Tropical leafcutter ants don’t need to stop and ask for directions—they have internal magnetic compasses that help them navigate.  Now, scientists have figured out just how the insects get their “sixth sense,” which is also found in an increasing number of animals, including birds, bats, and rodents. (See “5 Amazing Animal Navigators.”)…

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Tiptoeing Across a Raging River (On the Edge of a 600-Foot Drop)

Andrew Short is a National Geographic Grantee and assistant professor of
 Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. An entomologist by training, Short is currently in Suriname, South America searching for aquatic insects to study patterns of freshwater biodiversity that will inform both science and conservation.  —– As we finished our biodiversity survey work around our…

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Tiptoeing Across a Raging River (On the Edge of a 600-Foot Drop)

Andrew Short is a National Geographic Grantee and assistant professor of
 Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. An entomologist by training, Short is currently in Suriname, South America searching for aquatic insects to study patterns of freshwater biodiversity that will inform both science and conservation.  —– As we finished our biodiversity survey work around our…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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