Category: Insect Profiles

Insect Portrait: The Dung Beetle

By Olea Morris The family of insects known as “dung beetle,” or escarabajos del estiercol, is a diverse one—even amongst those that make the same misty cloud forests of Mexico their home. Some, like Onthophagus corrosus, are jet black and no bigger than the… Continue Reading “Insect Portrait: The Dung Beetle”

Portrait of an Insect Lover: Alexandra Magro

By Birgit Müller
I met Alexandra Magro this spring, at the first Grand Conference of the French Academy of Sciences entitled “Insects: Friends, Foes, and Models.” I had contributed a presentation of the blog series Silent Spring Continued at the poster session, hoping to attract insect lovers ready to tell me their stories of love and loss.

Insect Portrait: Ladybird Beetles

*Image: ©Alexandra Magro Ladybird beetles (of the family Coccinellidae) are a fascinating group of insects. Thriving in all kinds of habitats, they are extremely diverse; around 6,000 species have been described worldwide. Although they are often recognized as beneficial predatory insectivores, their food preferences… Continue Reading “Insect Portrait: Ladybird Beetles”

Insect Profile: Asian Tiger Mosquito

Aedes albopictus There are several ways to identify Asian Tiger mosquitos: black and white flecked bodies with a stripe down the back, the unusual habit of feeding during daylight hours, and until relatively recently, a tropical and subtropical distribution within Southeast Asia. Over past… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: Asian Tiger Mosquito”

The Schaus Swallowtail

By Irus Braverman
Thomas Emmel, now a retired University of Florida professor, directed the captive breeding project for more than twenty years. Establishing the program cost $50,000 (“these butterflies are damn expensive,” says Kierán Suckling5), obtained largely from federal sources.

Insect Profile: The Schaus Swallowtail

By Irus Braverman. The following text is taken from the book Wild Life: The Institution of Nature by Irus Braverman, © 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Published by Stanford University Press. Used here with the permission of the publisher.… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: The Schaus Swallowtail”

The Bellflower Specialists

By Eunice Blavascunas and Alie J. Zagata
I grew up in Switzerland, in a family of natural historians. I often say that I grew up in a sleeping bag because my family went camping in the wilderness most weekends and throughout the summers.

Insect Profile: Chelostoma rapunculi

By Eunice Blavascunas and Alie J. Zagata On the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea, a fascinating little creature is rapidly disappearing. Chelostoma rapunculi, also known as the scissor bee, is a European solitary bee species. What makes it so interesting is… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: Chelostoma rapunculi”

The Last Kindred Spirit of Moths and Butterflies

By Susanne Schmitt and Birgit Müller
We are standing in a hallway across from a hidden treasure: the world’s largest collection of butterflies and moths, holding about 13 million specimens. Some parts of the collection date back to the 1760s; some historic sections have been carefully gathered and annotated by the likes of explorer and zoologist Princess Therese of Bavaria (1850–1925).

Insect Profile: The Apollo

*Featured image: Specimens of  Parnassius Apollo in a collection case at the Zoologische Staatssammlung München. Photo: Susanne Schmitt. By Susanne Schmitt and Birgit Müller Classified as moderately endangered, Parnassius apollo is a species of butterfly that inhabits mountain meadows and rocky alpine sites. These creatures’… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: The Apollo”