Dung beetles: In the gutter, gazing at the stars

As they craft their humble lives from piles of manure, the insects look to the skies for direction

Charles Q. Choi • knowable
Dec. 22, 2020 ~13 min

entomology living-world

The ungentle joy of spider sex

Some spiders pair puny males with gigantic females, making mating both tricky and dangerous. Why and how such mismatches evolved remains curiously enigmatic.

Emily Underwood • knowable
Oct. 22, 2020 ~16 min

entomology living-world

How predictable is evolution? An ant-loving beetle holds answers.

Dozens of times over the eons, rove beetles have made complex, independent adaptations to live inside the nests of ants — the phenomenon of convergent evolution. Biologists want to know if this shows patterns at work in natural selection.

Viviane Callier • knowable
May 5, 2020 ~9 min

entomology living-world

How a poisonous plant became breakfast, lunch and dinner for monarchs

By engineering mutations into fruit flies, scientists reconstructed how the butterflies may have evolved resistance to the toxins found in milkweed, allowing their caterpillars to feast on the plant

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
Oct. 2, 2019 ~9 min

entomology living-world

Awesome ears: The weird world of insect hearing

Evolution made insect ears many times over, resulting in a dazzling variety of forms found in spots all over the body. Biologists are digging deep into some of those ears to figure out how and why they came to be.

Stephanie Pain • knowable
Nov. 27, 2018 ~19 min

entomology living-world