Beetle

“No Sting Too Painful” for “Bug Attack” Scientist

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 31, 2003   View Article

They swim through swamps, crawl over logs, buzz through the air, and burrow under skin. They sting and bite, spread disease, and devour rotting flesh. Without them, life as we know it would cease to exist.

In a statement promoting a documentary film on the Earth’s most impressive and interesting insects, Phil DeVries said, “It is hardly a secret that insects make the world a safer, homier place.” DeVries is director of the Center for Biodiversity Studies at the Milwaukee Public Museum and an entomologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Dung Beetles Navigate by the Moon, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 2, 2003   View Article

Out on the African savanna, a fresh and moist pile of fine-grained antelope dung is a nutritious treasure aggressively fought over by a melee of critters. The spoils go to those with the craftiest strategies to snatch and stash a piece of the pie.

To gain an edge in this battle for the poop, the African dung beetle Scarabaeus zambesianus orients itself by the polarized light pattern cast by the moon to make a straight, nighttime escape with its morsel, according to Marie Dacke, a biologist at the University of Lund in Sweden.

U.S. Military Looks to Beetles for New Sensors

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 14, 2003   View Article

Some like it hot. Some beetles like it smoking hot.

When a forest goes up in flames normally elusive Melanophila acuminata beetles from miles around head for the inferno in droves, joining a mating frenzy so that the females can lay their eggs in the freshly burned trees.

The beetles are attracted to the smoldering wood because the burned trees no longer have active defense mechanisms such as flowing sap.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach