MTPR

bugs

Bug Bytes: Bombardier Beetle

May 7, 2019
Bombardier Beetle - Paussinae subfamily, Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.
Credit Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

If any beetle was said to have an “explosive personality,” it would have to be the bombardier beetle.

They may appear to be your average, everyday beetle, but they’ve got a surprise up their tiny little sleeves — or more accurately, their rear ends. They’ve got some serious junk in the trunk.

Bug Bytes: Moths Vs. Butterflies

May 7, 2019
Assorted Moths (Lepidoptera) in the University of Texas Insect Collection
By Insects Unlocked - CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61293267

In this corner, weighing in with approximately 700 different species in the United States … the Butterflies. And in the opposite corner, weighing in with over 15,000 species in the United States … the Moths.

While butterflies get most of the attention, moths dominate the order Lepidoptera (comprised of moths and butterflies) with 90% of the known species. But when looking at an individual, how can you easily tell which is which?

Bug Bytes: Spider Silk

Feb 5, 2019
Orb weaver spider.
Missoula Insectarium

Thanks to the children’s novel Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, most of us are familiar with the circular shape of an orb weaver spider web. Charlotte certainly had no trouble creating a new web overnight, but it might be more complicated than you think.

Bug Bytes: Mosquitoes

Feb 5, 2019
Mosquito.
Public Domain

Imagine enjoying beautiful summer evenings without the nuisance of mosquitoes.

Humans and other animals know mosquitoes as annoying, buzzing bloodsuckers. Well, at least female mosquitoes are. Only female mosquitoes suck blood, which they need to provision their eggs with essential amino acids.

Bug Bytes: Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Feb 5, 2019
Mourning cloak butterfly.
Missoula Insectarium

If you live in our northern states, some years spring can’t come soon enough. Seeing your first butterfly of the year must be a sure sign that spring has sprung — unless it’s a mourning cloak butterfly.

Mourning cloaks are a type of tortoiseshell butterfly. Along with a handful of butterflies known as anglewings, tortoiseshells are the first butterflies we see flying in late winter or early spring.

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