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Glenn Marangelo

Host of Bug Bytes
  • Introducing, the Harvester Butterfly …the only species of butterfly in North America where the caterpillars eat meat. More specifically, Woolly aphids are on their limited menu.
  • While other beetles are known to make various squeaks and hisses, Bess Beetle adults and larvae can make 14 distinctly different sounds to convey danger to the rest of the family, attract a mate, and enable family communications.
  • Lemon Ants prefer to build their homes in the stems of the tree species that survive in Devil’s Gardens. As it turns out, this is not a coincidence. In the eyes of a Lemon Ant, other trees not suitable for housing their kin just get in the way and take up valuable real estate. To make their surroundings more suitable for the continued existence and growth of their colony, it’s the Lemon Ants that rub out any rival vegetation.
  • The aphids survive winter in the egg stage and emerge with the return of warmer weather. Surprisingly, all of the hatching eggs produce females. So, with no males in the population, the ladies employ a different reproductive strategy.
  • To an arachnophobe, nothing is more terrifying than the thought of a spider. Despite efforts to convince them how amazing spiders are, more than a few times our conversation ended with something like, “Well, thank goodness they can’t fly.” I’m sorry to say, that’s not exactly true.
  • Lacking the ability of their larger counterparts to loudly profess their desire to mate, small tree crickets were observed chewing holes in the center of a leaf and sticking their head and forelegs through the opening. With their noisemaking wings now positioned at the center of this do-it-yourself megaphone, the diminutive tree crickets were able to double or triple the volume of their calls.
  • With the colony residing in tunnels, any openings are the primary line of defense against letting other invading ant species or potential parasites in. With their flat, saucer-shaped heads, Door Head Ant soldiers simply wedge their massive heads into the entrance of the colony, effectively plugging up the nest.
  • Unlike most spiders, their bodies are long and stick-like, helping them blend into their surroundings. In addition, two of their eight eyes are large and forward-facing, giving them surprisingly good eyesight at night – even better than that of an owl. But it’s not their physical appearance or amazing night vision that make these spiders so unique, it’s how they use their web.
  • Most species of caterpillars will molt five times before entering the pupal stage – the last stage of development before transforming into an adult moth or butterfly. So what happens to all of those old exoskeletons?
  • With a name like Dracula Ant, you might venture a guess as to why this species received its common name. But rather than the image of a rogue ant roaming the landscapes of Southeast Asia and Australia in search of random victims, in reality they engage in “nondestructive cannibalism”, drinking the blood of their developing young without killing them. Creepy, but not deadly.