Are the three smaller eyes on the top of a wasp's head any different from its "main" eyes?
Those are the “ocelli,” which many arthropods have! Unlike the compound eyes, each has only a single lens. Their acuity varies, from simple light sensors to fully functioning eyes. In spiders, all of the eyes are technically ocelli, but large “primary” ocelli contain movable retinas.
In flying insects, they’re thought to help stabilize during flight.
Are you experiencing any of that mass cicada orgy that they say is happening in the Eastern United States this summer?
Nope, I’m down in Florida and the cicadas have mainly hit farther North :(
Today a fellow student of mine was "terrorized" by the sight of a "weird bug", to the point that class had to be paused while our docent was running around trying to capture it. Finally he resorted to just stomping it, despite my feeble objections. Anyway later on I asked him what kind of "bug" it had been (I didn't get a good look at it), and he said he had no idea, aparently it looked like a "large, hopping pill bug". I have no idea what that could be. Any ideas?
Maybe a camel cricket? They have a body like a hunched pill bug. Otherwise I’m not sure what kind of insect it may have been.
I know what kind of person that was, though; pathetic.
Can things like your diet affect how much you attract mosquitoes? I remember reading that they don't like to drink from people who eat a lot of garlic, but considering the obvious vampire parallel I'm not sure that isn't just an urban legend.
Scientific testing has found, so far, that only alcohol affects how attractive you are to mosquitoes, and only by attracting more!
Could workers from strictly eusocial insect species such as ants survive for the length of their natural life span when separated from their colony? Would they continue to feed or just give up and die when they can't find their nest anymore? (I always feel sorry for the ants that get stuck in my clothes, as they end up so far away from their home)
They probably can, since that’s what you get sent when you buy an ant farm and mail in the vouchers, though they probably spend a lot of their time searching for the scent trail of their nestmates and may expend a lot of energy doing so. It probably shortens their lifespan some when they’re alone. :(
I have a question! I live in New England (Massachusetts! Pretty close to the coast, too) and I keep seeing teeny tiny golden roaches outside of my house! They're precious and I love them, but what are they called exactly?
I’m not sure, really, there are so very many cockroach species, and they can look extremely different as they age and grow! If they’re tiny, they may be nymphs, unless they seem to have wings, as only adult roaches can ever be winged…though some species stay wingless, making them even trickier to tell apart.
So I got some ants in my man cave, which is kind of annoying. But, the weird thing is, every one I have found has been a winged male. Any idea what the dealio might be?
They could be males, or they could be females, since young queens also start out winged. A colony produces large numbers of them at a time, who all leave together to find flying ants from other colonies and mate with them. You probably have a colony under the floor or something that usually doesn’t wander in very far. Soon they’ll be done producing breeders and possibly lay low again.
On the other hand, termites do the same exact thing, and their breeders look a lot like those of ants as well.
There's a "Did You Know" going around saying that lobsters are technically immortal. It sounds like another "internet users will buy anything" deal, but I figured you'd know better than anyone.
It’s true that they show no signs of aging, and it’s not known if lobsters ever die by growing old. This may actually also be true of many other animals, including some reptiles.
Yellow jackets seem to like hovering around me and it makes me anxious (mild allergy that seems to be getting progressively worse every time I'm stung) is there a good way to make them stop without harming them?
Hard to say, really. They’re such smell-oriented creatures, they can pick up on things we don’t even realize; you can smell different to them depending on your genetics, your diet, even your mood. When they hover around you, they’re trying to assess whether or not you’re important - whether you’re a dangerous enemy or of no consequence.
Generally they’ll settle on the latter unless you make sudden movements, but an increase in your heart rate, breathing rate or other signs of nervousness can be read by them as potential aggression, so unfortunately, people who feel nervous around bees and wasps make them the most suspicious! They’re possibly thinking if your mood shifts around them, maybe you’re eyeing how tasty their young might be.
Your best bet is to try not to think about them, and avoid things that may make you smell more intense. Any everyday item that’s strongly scented - certain fabric softeners, lotions, soaps, sunscreens - stands out a lot to them.
Hey so I saw this cool bug in the forest today, but I can't figure out what it was, so I'm seeking your help? It had a long sort of slender abdomen, with a sort of stinger on the end, that it bored into the wood it was walking around on, maybe laying eggs? Six sort of long legs with this reddish / orange colouring along the middle of them I think, and some smallish wings for it's size and length. It was like... an average thumbs length I believe. This was in Denmark does this bug ring any bells?
Sounds like some form of Ichneumon wasp; they can’t sting, but they use their extremely long ovipositor to lay eggs in wood-boring beetle grubs! They can feel the vibrations of their tunneling, and drill all the way down to them.
There are many different species that can come in a variety of colors and shapes, but most are typically a little like this one: