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Termite 'Apartment Complex' Has Been Busy for 34K Years

'We knew they were old, but not that old,' South African researcher says

(Newser) - Scientists in South Africa have been stunned to discover that termite mounds that are still inhabited in an arid region of the country are more than 30,000 years old, meaning they're the oldest known active termite hills. Some of the mounds near the Buffels River in Namaqualand were...

Disease-Ridden Mosquitoes Are Swarming Vegas
Disease-Ridden Mosquitoes
Are Swarming Vegas

Disease-Ridden Mosquitoes Are Swarming Vegas

Record number of skeeters carrying West Nile virus are showing up in southern Nevada

(Newser) - Dozens of ZIP codes in south Nevada, including Las Vegas, are being overrun by mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, in what NBC News says are record-busting numbers. Health officials say that, in recent weeks, 24,000 pools of mosquitoes were tested for the contagious disease in 25 ZIP codes in...

Giant Parachuting Spiders Will Be Summering in NY, NJ
Giant Parachuting
Spiders Are Back

Giant Parachuting Spiders Are Back

Invasive but usually harmless Joro spiders are headed up the East Coast, sights set on NY, NJ

(Newser) - If you're an arachnophobe living on the East Coast, you may want to hunker down in your bunker for a while: The Joro spiders are back. NJ Pest Control had warned earlier this year that the invasive species also known as Trichonephila clavata would likely be returning to the...

These US Cities Are Heaven for Mosquitoes

Los Angeles tops Orkin's top 50 list

(Newser) - Time to break out the repellent: Mosquito season is bearing down upon us. Pest control company Orkin wanted to see which cities in America have the most issues with the flying pests, so it analyzed the numbers on how many customers it provided residential mosquito treatments to in major metro...

Report: Museum Curator Busted With 1.5K Dead Spiders, Scorpions

American Museum of Natural History's Lorenzo Prendini was detained at the airport in Istanbul

(Newser) - A curator at the American Museum of Natural History was detained in Istanbul while allegedly attempting to smuggle spider and scorpion samples, Turkish media reported. The curator said he had permits from the government to conduct his research. Lorenzo Prendini, an expert on arachnids at the New York-based museum, was...

Sheriff's Office: 'Unfortunately, It Is the Sounds of Nature'

Newberry County, SC, residents are complaining about sirens—but the sound is from cicadas

(Newser) - Emerging cicadas are so loud in one South Carolina county that residents are calling the sheriff's office asking why they can hear sirens or a loud roar. The Newberry County Sheriff's Office posted a message on Facebook Tuesday letting people know that the whining sound is just the...

This Snack at NOLA Venue May Make You Squeamish

New Orleans' Audubon Insectarium is serving up cicadas at its 'Bug Appetit' cafe

(Newser) - As the nation prepares for trillions of red-eyed bugs known as periodical cicadas to emerge, it's worth noting that they're not just annoying, noisy pests—if prepared properly, they can also be tasty to eat. Blocks away from such French Quarter fine-dining stalwarts as Antoine's and Brennan'...

'Zombie' Cicadas Are Coming, Thanks to an STD

Periodical cicadas are also nature's strongest urinators, and they're headed to 2 parts of the US

(Newser) - The periodical cicadas that are about to infest two parts of the US ( the Southeast and the Midwest ) aren't just plentiful—they're downright weird. These insects are the strongest urinators in the animal kingdom, with flows that put humans and elephants to shame. They're also...

Scientists Find 'Super Cool' Way to Spy on Insects
'Super Cool' Mapping
Tracks Down Tiny Invaders

'Super Cool' Mapping Tracks Down Tiny Invaders

Airborne laser mapping could speed tracking of invasive insects, study finds

(Newser) - Scientists in search of insects can spend 1,000 hours checking roughly 10,000 trees across 40 acres. Or, with a more convenient approach, they can do the same in about an hour. More and more, researchers are turning to remote sensing technology to ease the burden of searching landscapes...

Smuggling of Rare Butterflies Doesn't End Well for NY Man

Long Island man who labeled rare insects as 'wall decorations' pleads guilty

(Newser) - A Long Island man has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking bird-wing butterflies and other rare insects, according to a plea deal filed in Brooklyn federal court. Charles Limmer, 75, of Commack, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to smuggle wildlife into the country and agreed to pay a $30,...

Scientists Have New Climate-Change Warning: Locusts

Researchers say climate change will prompt more outbreaks of crop-destroying insects

(Newser) - Extreme wind and rain may lead to bigger and worse desert locust outbreaks, with climate change likely to intensify the weather patterns and cause higher outbreak risks, a new study has found. The desert locust—a short-horned species found in some dry areas of northern and eastern Africa, the Middle...

Insects Gather at Lights Because They're Confused
Insects Gather at Lights
Because They're Confused

Insects Gather at Lights Because They're Confused

Artificial light at night can scramble insects' navigation systems, researcher says

(Newser) - Moths and other flying insects end up fluttering around artificial lights at night not because they find the light itself appealing, but because the light messes with their navigation systems, researchers say. Sam Fabian, co-author of a study published in the journal Nature Communications , says moths and other insects appear...

Killer Swore He Wasn't at Lake. Bug Scientist Proved the Lie

'Smithsonian Magazine' profiles pioneering forensics expert Paola Magni

(Newser) - Investigators in Italy initially ruled the death of teenager Federica Mangiapelo to be from natural causes. Her body was found near an Italian lake, though it wasn't clear whether she had actually been in the water. The case seemed closed until a police officer who had recently attended a...

Unsurprisingly, 'Hitler' Bug Is Causing a 'Ferocious Debate'
This Bug's Scientific Name
Is Causing a Big Uproar

This Bug's Scientific Name Is Causing a Big Uproar

'Anophthalmus hitleri,' aka the 'eyeless Hitler' beetle, is now the subject of 'ferocious debate'

(Newser) - Slovenia: home to former first lady Melania Trump, "breathtaking" landscapes , and one of the most controversial insects on the planet. Not that the Anophthalmus hitleri ground beetle is inherently a troublemaker—but, as you may have surmised from its longer scientific moniker, its designation as the "eyeless Hitler"...

Ahead of Paris Olympics, a Pesky Issue: 'No One Is Safe'

Bedbugs are overrunning France, with the Games less than 10 months away

(Newser) - The Summer Olympics kick off in Paris in a little under 10 months, but France is now contending with a pesky issue it hopes it can contain before then. NPR reports on a nationwide "resurgence of bloodsucking bedbugs," six-legged insects about the size of an apple seed that...

A Section of Nevada Is Basically Just Gross Right Now

Thanks to the invasion of foul-smelling Mormon crickets

(Newser) - Elko, Nevada, is home to about 20,000 people—and, currently, millions of Mormon crickets. It's a migratory population so overwhelming that Department of Transportation crews have been using plows to clear the roads of the insects' squashed bodies. A DOT tweet last week had photos of the guts-slicked...

They'll Soon Be Back, and It's Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them
They'll Soon Be Back, and It's
Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them

They'll Soon Be Back, and It's Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them

Spotted lanternflies are due to start hatching soon; experts say we need to 'smash' invasive species

(Newser) - Since 2014, when they apparently made their way from China to the US in a shipping crate, spotted lanternflies have been the bane of farmers, agricultural officials, and plant lovers throughout the Northeast. Now, it's almost time for the eggs of the invasive species to hatch, and experts are...

Even Insects Have Culture
Even Insects Have Culture

Even Insects Have Culture

Social learning among bumblebees suggests animal culture might be 'widespread'

(Newser) - A new study is helping transform the idea that culture is reserved for humans, primates, and birds, offering evidence of "culture-like phenomena" including social learning in bumblebees. Researchers at London's Queen Mary University trained bumblebees to open a puzzle box holding a sugar solution, either by pushing a...

'Super-Rare' Bug Found at Walmart Stuns Experts
'Super-Rare' Bug Found
at Walmart Stuns Experts

'Super-Rare' Bug Found at Walmart Stuns Experts

It's the first giant lacewing recorded in eastern North America in half a century

(Newser) - Michael Skvarla, director of Penn State's Insect Identification Laboratory, was examining an insect in front of students over Zoom in the fall of 2020 when he froze. He'd just been explaining that this insect from his personal collection—plucked from the side of an Arkansas Walmart during a...

Border Officials Spot This Bug for the First Time

Insect 'corimelaena palmeri' was in a shipment of flowers from Mexico

(Newser) - US border officials intercepted an unwanted visitor at the border—a bug never before seen in this country. Customs inspectors spotted the insect corimelaena palmeri in a shipment of cut flowers from Mexico, reports CNN . A news release from US Customs and Border Protection says inspectors at the Otay Mesa...

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