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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RESEARCH: Ant numbers – how many Ants are there in the world?

The number of humans in the world is about 8 billion. But how many ants are there? 

Entomologists (insect scientists) from the University of Wurzburg in Germany and the University of Hong Kong published their findings of global ant populations in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in September 2022.

The entomologists studied 489 research papers about ant populations. 

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Red-Veined Darter

The Red-Veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is an insect in the Libelludlidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Nomad Darter.

The male Red-Veined Darter has a deep-red abdomen with a red-brown thorax. Its eyes are brown above and blue-green below. Its wings have red veins and the base of its hind-wings (back wings) is yellow. The female is similar, but her abdomen is yellow-brown with two black lines along each side. Her wings have yellow veins. Both the male and female have black legs with some yellow markings.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Small Common Blue Butterfly

The Small Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) is an insect in the Lycaenidae family of blue butterflies.

The Small Common Blue male has iridescent blue wings above with a thin, black-brown border and white fringe. The female is brown above with blue flecks, like dust, and orange spots. Both the male and the female have a row of red or orange spots along the edge of the hindwing (back wing). 

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What are the similarities and differences between the bat, bird, and insect?

What are the similarities and differences between the bat, bird, and insect?  

The bat is a mammal, whereas the bird and insect are not mammals. 

The bat and bird have two legs, whereas the insect has six legs.

The bat, and many species of birds and insects can fly. The bat is the only mammal that can fly. 

The bat, bird, and insect fly in different ways.

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