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Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Bug Bytes Episode Five: Parthenogenesis – Walking Sticks

Feb 5, 2019
Austrailian walking sticks.
Missoula Insectarium

When it comes to finding a potential mate for female Australian walking sticks, they can afford to “swipe left” all day.

That’s because many species of walking sticks (or phasmids) are parthenogenic, meaning they can successfully produce offspring without needing to mate. This is a form of asexual reproduction where the growth and development of an embryo occurs without fertilization.

Bug Bytes Episode Four: Thar She Glows – Scorpions

Feb 5, 2019
All scorpions glow a beautiful blue-green color under ultraviolet light.
Missoula Insectarium

There are nearly 2,000 species of scorpions in the world. And while individual species may live thousands of miles apart, they have one thing in common: they glow a beautiful blue-green color under ultraviolet light.

A thin, transparent film in the outermost layer of their exoskeleton contains a protein that glows when exposed to ultraviolet rays, which are found in regular sunlight.

Bug Bytes Episode Three: Dragonflies

Feb 5, 2019
Dragonfly
Missoula Insectarium

Beware the dragonfly – This is great advice if you are just about any other flying insect, because dragonflies are incredible predators that rule the buggy skies.

They are considered some of the best hunters in the insect world. Thanks to a combination of amazing eyesight and maneuverability, they catch whatever prey they set their sights on 95 percent of the time.

Bug Bytes Episode Two: Can You Hear Me Now? – Praying Mantis

Feb 5, 2019
Praying mantis.
Missoula Insectarium

Praying mantids are among some of our best-known and well-liked insects. Part of their popularity comes from the fact that:

  • They can be found in all of the lower 48 states, so you’ve likely had an encounter with one at some time.
  • They are more animated than other insect species, moving in ways that are almost human-like.
  • And they’ve also been popularized by being featured in movies like "A Bug’s Life," "Kung Foo Panda," and "Goosebumps" to name a few.

Bug Bytes Episode One: Sheer Numbers

Feb 5, 2019
Goldsmith beetles (Cotalpa lanigera). At any given time, there are an estimated one billion billion arthropods (that’s insects, arachnids, millipedes, centipedes and crustaceans) alive on earth.
Missoula Insectarium

As described by Edward O. Wilson — who is perhaps the best known American biologist, researcher, naturalist and author — invertebrates are: "The Little Things That Run the World." And indeed they do, in so many ways.

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