How long do bees live?

Before answering the titular question, we need to understand how bees work. The head of a bee society is the queen. The majority of the bee colony consists of workers, who do all the menial tasks. A special subcaste of workers are the nurser bees, who are only there during …

Do Insects Have Fat?

Insects have a fat body. It’s a versatile organ, a sort of combination of adipose tissue (the blubber that humans have) and liver. Its principal roles are: As with adipose tissue, it is the main nutrient storage site (Telfer & Kunkel, 1991); Storage of neutralised waste metabolites; Detoxification of ammonia …

How do insects breathe? An outline of the tracheal system

Hexapods (including insects) have two pairs of openings on their thorax, called spiracles. These open into chitinous tubes called tracheae which then further subdivide until becoming less than 1 mm in diameter tracheoles, 2-3 ┬Ám away from metabolically-active tissues, forming a network all through the body of the insect, as …

Wolbachia: The Ubiquitous Male-Killing, Feminising Parasite

I mentioned Wolbachia in my parthenogenesis post; here I will talk about it in more detail, because it’s a really cool parasite, as well as in the center of much research nowadays. Index: Introduction Parasitism Transfer Biocontrol Positive Effects of Wolbachia Evolutionary Theory Practical Problems References Introduction Wolbachia are Gram-negative …

Cixiidae (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha)

The Cixiidae Spinola 1839 are a cosmopolitan family of fulgoromorph (planthopper), comprising of over 1500 species in over 170 genera (Holzinger et al., 2002). Drawn above is Oteana (source: Hoch (2006)). It is accepted as being relatively basal in the Fulgoromorpha (Yeh & Yang, 1999), and the only thorough cladistic …

Belidae (Coleoptera: Curculionoidae)

The Belidae Schoenherr 1826 is one of the eight families of weevil, and contains some of the beetles that obligately pollinate zamiacean and stangeriacean cycads (Crowson, 1991), hence their common name, cycad weevils (I’ve also seen them referred to as “primitive weevils”, a rather inaccurate name). There are ~375 species …