Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ants vs. Legos

The New York Times Science section recently posted a video of Longhorn Crazy Ants (Paratrechina Longicornis) tackling obstacle courses. Today in class we talked about why ants cooperate, so here is an experiment on how they cooperate to solve specific problems.

Who knew ants would like tuna?

-Sarah Rose


Monday, November 7, 2016


Any of you looking for a quick buck!?This entomologist is researching the venom in insects to help treat chronic pain. I certainly think this is worth looking into, since chronic pain is a side affect to many illnesses.


This article goes over the largest insects that have ever lived after studying fossils from 30-40 million years old. It also goes over the largest insect that lives presently. The largest insect is the white witch mother, and the heaviest insect happens to be a kind of cricket that is found in New Zealand. However the article goes over some other insects as well. It's pretty short, not too much information. Just enough to feed your curiosity!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016


This Is the Worst Insect Sting in the World


It is a very interesting article about making a pain scale table by being stung by bees. The scientist noted that a bullet ant would probably top the chart for intensity if they stung your nostril. They also bring out the idea that where you are being stung is as important as the different in species in deciding the pain levels. ---- Kian Wong

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Super gross and big insects. The assassin bug is my favorite, but there's a few specimens they show that aren't insect, for example they show a giant spider from Australia. Also there's some african killer bees, I wonder if you can find them in Chicago? I hope not!- Daphne


Ball of Fire Ants! You might have to log into Facebook to watch this. These ants pretty much work together, as you can see after watching this video. They're kind of like one huge mass. It's called "viscoelastic behavior." I wonder how they do this out in their natural habitat. I'm assuming they don't all move together like this? -Daphne

Bees are endangered according to Washington Post! However, I read another article that says bees "aren't endangered." There's been debate in the past and a noticeable decline in honeybees (I know that because my dad is a beekeeper) so this isn't too surprising. Maybe we shouldn't catch bees for our insect collecting? -Daphne

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Class Field Trip?

"This pop-up dinner menu is full of bugs. Yes, those kinds of bugs."



Monday, October 3, 2016

Eating a Giant Water Bug, Rhino Beetle, Sago Worm, and Crickets... :~0!

WOULD YOU DO IT??? WATCH THIS VIDEO BY emmymadeinjapan... 


Speaking of Kinky Bugs (Arachnid)... :~0!

"Daddy Longlegs Are Having Rough, Kinky Sex All Around You"

Hello classmates~  Read this Broadly article about daddy longlegs and watch the crazy video!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Recognizing Insects in Science and as Pests - Japan style

As you know, in this class we collect insects and sacrifice them in the name of first-hand discovery, study, and deeper understanding.  Countless animals have (and will) die for the purpose of scientific biological study, and in my view the very least you can do is honor and acknowledge that taking of a life. We had a small shrine in the insect lab where I did my PhD study, a place where innumerable moths, butterflies, ants, and others where reared and researched A small gesture, but I think necessary to remind us of the essential contradictions wrapped up in close study of life and all of its wondrous complexity.

Recall I mentioned the variability in cultural attitudes towards insects, including the Japanese tendency to to acknowledge, and sometimes revere, the form, function, and role of insects.

Kaneiji Temple in Tokyo is a Zen Buddhist temple part of which is devoted to the souls of insects that died for scientific research (that second pictogram on the rock refers to "insects")

A whole other step further is perhaps the monument to souls of termites at the Koya-san Buddhist cemetery sponsored and paid for by who.....?  A pest control company!  A very different attitude towards insects life indeed. The epitaph reads "Termites - Rest peacefully!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

David Gracer, insect eater

The David Gracer insect-eater interview from the Colbert Report that we missed in class this week - here it is!  I love his energy, he is unflappable in the face of Colbert's sarcastic doubt par excellence.

Meanwhile, I stumbled on this webpage with a ridiculous wealth of entomophagy resources -

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ant Egg Fried Chicken!

The Chicago Reader runs series called "Key Ingredient" where they challenge local chefs at Honey Butter Fried Chicken with ingredients out of their usual comfort zone.

In this episode from last month they have some fried chicken chefs include ant eggs into their menu roster. In this case by "eggs" I think they likely in fact mean "larva" as the eggs would be too small to see very well, much less use in a dish!  Seems like it was a success?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bee-Boy Waggle Dance.....

Moths! Take! Flight!

Jump around, jump around.... small insights into small creatures...the biomechanics of insect flight :

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In 2007, a paper was published that identified the Panamanian golden tortoise beetle with having the ability to change colors, like a squid. When threatened, the beetle fills certain channels in its exoskeleton with liquid, which causes the exoskeleton to reflect its surroundings, and thus, change color. This phenomenon immediately made me think of the Blue Morpho butterfly, whose scale aren't actually blue, they are iridescent and simply reflect certain waves of color. A second article (Switchable Reflector) even pointed out that this beetles special ability could be used to improve modern technology! 
       - Olivia C.-

Praying Mantis -vs- Hummingbird

As if the praying mantis wasn't cool ENOUGH, here is a video of what happens when it goes up against a baby hummingbird in the wild. Before seeing this video, I had never heard of a mantis seeking out such large prey. It prompted a lot of questions so I decided to search the internet for other views/speculation on this behavior. Eventually, I found this article: Praying Mantis-vs-Hummingbird, which states that a mantis will only pursue a hummingbird if other food sources are scarce. It also highlights some cool facts about mantises, like how it can rotate its head 180 degrees! Check it out!
     - Olivia C. -

Monday, December 15, 2014

This is a link to a worksheet where you can make a mask and explore the various insect mouthparts.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Final video project: Sex in Insects


My final video project.

Livia Margon