Migratory Locust – a Short-Horned Grasshopper

The Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria) is an insect in the Acrididae family of Short-Horned Grasshoppers.

The Migratory Locust varies in colour from black to brownish to yellowish and green, depending on the colour of the vegetation. Generally, it has a blackish-brown back and light-brown belly and face. It has short antennae. It has long wings and long legs.

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Common Mud Dauber Wasp

The Common Mud Dauber Wasp (Chalybion japonicum) is an insect in the Sphecidae family of blue mud dauber wasps. It is also known as the Japanese Mud Dauber Wasp, Japanese Mud Wasp, and Japanese Dirt Dauber.

The Common Mud Dauber Wasp has a long, blue-black body with a very thin, long, waist, and a large head and abdomen. It is known as a thread-waisted body. Its wings are translucent. Its six legs dangle downward when it flies. Its eyes are large. Its antennae have 12-13 segments. It has a stinger, but stings to humans are rare.

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Slender Green-Winged Grasshopper

The Slender Green-Winged Grasshopper (Aiolopus thalassinus thalassinus) is an invertebrate insect in the Acrididae family of grasshoppers.

The Slender Green-Winged Grasshopper can be brown to dark-brown with lime to grass green on its head and thighs. It is paler on its underbelly. It has large eyes, medium-sized antennae, and an elongated body. Its legs have three segments, ending with small claw-like appendages. Its back legs are enlarged, which enable it to jump long distances. The male has a pair of wings and can fly, wheres the female has basic wings and cannot fly well. The wings are green.

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Small Red-Eyed Damselfly

The Small Red-Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridium) is an insect in the Coenagrionidae family of damselflies, which are similar to dragonflies.

The Small Red-Eyed Damselfly has a long, cylindrical, slender abdomen with ten segments. It has membranous forewings and hindwings. It has compound eyes (like the eyes of house flies) and three simple eyes (ocelli) on its forehead, with small antennae. The joint between its head and prothorax is flexible, which enables the damselfly to swivel its head. 

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Red Aphid

The Red Aphid (Aphididae) is a small insect in the Aphididae family.

The Red Aphid is a reddish- brown, soft-bodied insect with a pear-shape. It has six legs and a pair of little tubes, called cornicles, from its lower abdomen. It has forewings (front wings) and hind wings (back wings). It has very small eyes, sucking mouthparts, and long antennae. 

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Cynipid Gall Wasp

The Cynipid Gall Wasp (Neuroterus quercusbaccarum) is an insect in the Cynipidae family of gall wasps.

The Cynipid Gall Wasp is found throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa in the Northern Hemisphere.

In June, the female wasp lays eggs on leaves, usually the underside. She produces a hormone – or the egg secretes a hormone – that stimulates the growth of Common Spangle Galls – red lumps – around the eggs. 

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How do Desert Ants find their way home?

Ants in the Saharan Desert are famous for finding their way home in a seemingly sparse and featureless desert. It’s called wayfinding. How do Desert Ants find their way home?

Desert Ants (Cataglyphis fortis) build landmarks to help them find their way home. What kind of landmarks?

Scientist Markus Knaden from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany, and his colleagues, studied the Desert Ant in the salt flats of Tunisia in Saharan Africa.

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Why are insects thriving in England’s rivers?

Why are insects thriving in England’s rivers?

Researchers have studied insects in English rivers for thirty years. The Environment Agency monitoring data shows that insects and other invertebrates are increasing and it may be linked to lower levels of metals in the rivers, such as zinc and copper.

The New Scientist magazine (19 May 2023) reported that insects are more abundant now than at any time over the past thirty years. 

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Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly

The Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly (Erynnis icelus) is a small insect in the Hesperiidae family of Skipper butterflies. It is also known as the Aspen Dusky Wing.

The Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly is dark-brown and light-brown with silvery-grey. The male and female look similar, but the male tends to be darker. The thick, brushed abdomen is dark-brown to black with grey rings. It has long antennae and long palps. 

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New and rare species of spider found in Australia: Giant Trapdoor Spider

A new and rare species of spider has been found in Australia. It is called the Giant Trapdoor Spider (Euoplos dignitas), an arachnid in the Idiopidae family of armoured trapdoor spiders. 

The Giant Trapdoor Spider has a small head, a shiny, smooth, armoured (plated carapace) thorax with 8 long hairy legs, and a large furry abdomen. The male is honey-red and the female is dark-brown. The male and female have two white bands on each leg, and a white band at the top of its carapace, near its head. 

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Beehome is the first robotic hive to protect the planet’s bees

An American-based company called Beewise created the world’s first robotic hive – called a Beehome – in 2017 to help save and protect the planet’s bees. 

The Beehome is a solar-powered, artificially-intelligent, robotic hive, placed in a field, that accommodates 24 colonies of bees – about 2 million bees. It is 1 metre (3 feet) high and 3 metres (10 feet) wide. It can replace the traditional 150-year-old Langstroth wooden bee boxes used by beekeepers.

The beekeeper can care for the bees remotely.The Beehome replicates what human beekeepers do, but on a minute-by-minute real-time basis.

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Do Bumblebees play?

Do Bumblebees play?

A recent study published in Life magazine in November 2022 shows Bumblebees playing with wooden balls.

The study on Buff-Tailed Bumblebees found that they seem to play with wooden balls rather than go around them to get to a food snack.

The Buff-Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax) is an insect in the Apidae family of bees. It is also known as the Large Earth Bumblebee. It feeds on pollen from flowers.

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How far can a Grasshopper hop?

How far can a Grasshopper hop? 

A Grasshopper is a plant-eating insect in the Orthoptera order and is common across the globe. It is terrestrial (a ground-dweller) with powerful back legs and wings.

It jumps without using its wings. It extends its large, powerful hind (back) legs and pushes against the ground to lift off. The force of the push propels it into the air. 

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Juvenile Dock Leaf Bug

The Dock Leaf Bug (Coreus marginatus) is a medium-sized insect in the Coreide family of squash bugs and leaf-footed bugs. It is also known as the Brown Squash Bug. 

The adult Dock Leaf Bug is light mottled brown with a broad oval abdomen. Its lower abdomen has a lighter amber-brown, oval-shaped marking. At the front of its head, it has two thorns, called antenniferous tubercles, between its dark-tipped, four-segmented antennae. Other squash bugs don’t have these thorns. 

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Hairy Shieldbug

The Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family of shieldbugs. It is also known as the Sloe Bug.

The Hairy Shieldbug can vary in colour, although the pronotum (plate part that covers the thorax) and the elytra (wing casings) are reddish-purple. The scutellum (shield) is ochre-brown. During winter, the basic colour is dull brown. The edges of the connexivum have black and whitish markings. The whole body underneath the shield is quite hairy – it looks like it is covered in dust and carpet hair. Its antennae have 4-5 black and white sections. It has big, round, black eyes on a small head. The male and female look similar.

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