MTPR

Missoula Insectarium

Bug Bytes: Centipede Or Millipede?

Jul 7, 2019
Millipede and centipede
Shutterstock

So you’re digging in the garden and see something crawling in the freshly turned soil. With its many legs, it’s clearly not a worm. But what is it? A millipede or a centipede?

Both have long, segmented bodies and lots of legs. But despite these visual similarities, they could not be more different in terms of diet and behavior.

Bug Bytes: Aphid Ranchers

Jul 1, 2019
Ants tending to their aphid herd.
Missoula Insectarium

If you’ve ever noticed a group of ants milling about on a leaf or the stem of a plant and wondered why, take a closer look. You might only be seeing half of what’s going on.

While they lack pickup trucks, fencing pliers, and other tools of the trade of their human counterparts, these ants are likely ranchers. But instead of cows, they’re carefully tending their herd of aphids.

Bug Bytes: Fiddler Crabs - The Kings Of Animal Weaponry

Jun 24, 2019
Fiddler crab, Uca leptodactyla in Margarita Island, Venezuela.
(PD)

When you think of an animal with an impressive weapon, the first images that pop to mind might be a bull elk or moose with their massive antlers. Or maybe a bull elephant with its enormous tusks.

But the king of weaponry in the animal kingdom might surprise you: a fiddler crab that’s less than 2 inches long.

Bug Bytes: Earwigs - Creepy But Caring

Jun 10, 2019
Earwig
David Short [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

For some people it’s spiders. For others it’s centipedes. But for many people, the answer to “What kind of bug really creeps you out” is earwigs.

Maybe it’s the big pincers at the end of their abdomen? Maybe it’s the fact that it's a bug with the word “ear” in its name. Whatever the case, they’re not high on many people’s lists of lovable insects.

Bug Bytes: When 'Follow The Leader' Turns Deadly

Jun 3, 2019
Army ants with larvae of a raided wasp nest.
Geoff Gallice [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

There are many games you probably played as a child. Games that for all intents and purposes were innocent and safe. But who would imagine that a game of “follow the leader” could be deadly?

It certainly can be for army ants. In fact, it can actually result in the death of the entire swarm.

Learn about the western sheepmoth, "one of the most beautiful moths we can find in Montana," on "Pea Green Boat."
Glenn Marangelo - Missoula Insectarium

Glenn Marangelo of the Missoula Insectarium will join Annie for a 'Pea Green Boat' all about moths of Montana, Wednesday, August 30 at 4 p.m.

They'll talk about the western sheepmoth (Hemileuca eglanterina), which Glenn calls" one of the most beautiful moths we can find in Montana," and the confusing petrophila moth (Petrophila confusalis),  "which is probably the most amazing little moth in terms of its lifecycle. A great example (as we'll see) of never saying 'never' in regard to the insect world," Marangelo says.

Glover's moth caterpillar.
Glenn Marangelo

Glenn Marangelo from the Missoula Insectarium will be back on "Pea Green Boat" Wednesday to teach us more fascinating things about the insect world. He sent along these pictures of the bugs he'll be telling us about.

(L) Monarch butterly, (R) viceroy butterfly. Can you see the differences?
Piccolo Namek, Derek Ramsey (GFDL 1.2)

Can you tell the difference between a monarch and a viceroy butterfly? Do you know what a western two-tailed swallowtail is? Tune in to "Pea Green Boat" on Wednesday, March 30 at 4:00 p.m. to learn more about these butterflies of western Montana with Glenn Marangelo from the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium.

Glenn Marangelo from the Missoula Insectarium will glide in to teach us about winter butterflies; that is, butterflies that spend the winter in Montana as adults.
Sam Manno

Glenn Marangelo from the Missoula Insectarium will glide in to teach us about winter butterflies; that is, butterflies that spend the winter in Montana as adults. How do they survive? What do they do to pass the time? Tune in to "Pea Green Boat" at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24 to find out.

Glenn Marangelo from the Missoula Insectarium.
Josh Burnham

Wednesday on "Pea Green Boat": Glenn Marangelo from the Missoula Insectarium will be in to talk about how insects survive — and even thrive — during the winter.

Tune in on your radio or online Wednesday January 27, at 4:00 p.m.

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