insects
Tarantulas on the Loose in Derbyshire

Some weird person abandoned a batch of massive imported spiders in a car park in Derbyshire, with onlookers saying the babies remained in the pots to be captured -- but warning that the adult pair "scuttled away." Read More >>

animals
I Do Not Like This New Wasp Species Whose Giant Stinger Lays Eggs Inside Spiders

Hi, do you see that long red thing? It belongs to that wasp. Its function is to both sting and lay eggs inside of another creature, which is eventually killed from the inside by the wasp’s horrifying offspring. I do not like this wasp and hope that I never meet this wasp. Read More >>

environment
Electronic Tags Used to Save Britain’s Bees From Hornet Attack

Scientists looking at ways to stop the gradual encroachment of the vicious Asian hornet into our fields and picnic areas have been using electronic tags, with the insects able to carry units equal to their body weight and lead exterminators right to their nests. Read More >>

wtf
Man Says Dying Roach Left Eggs in His Ear: ‘I Heard It Die in My Head’

A man in the US state of Florida was reportedly struggling with a roach infestation at his flat earlier this month when he realised the problem had migrated to his ear canal. And this is your last chance to stop reading before you have to live with this knowledge for the rest of your life. Read More >>

spiders
Male Brown Widow Spiders Prefer Cannibalistic Older Females for No Apparent Reason

Scientists in Israel have observed a strange behaviour among brown widow spiders: When given the choice, the males of this species prefer to have sex with older females even though they’re less likely to bear offspring. More problematically, these older females are also more inclined to devour their partners after mating, making the males’ preference all the more baffling. Read More >>

nature
London Residents Warned That Invasive, Toxic Caterpillars Are Out in Force This Year

Per the New York Times, UK forestry officials are warning that oak processionary moth caterpillars have been sighted emerging from eggs in and near the city since mid-April. Each of their 62,000 hairs contain the protein thaumetopoein, which can cause allergic reactions up to “skin and eye irritation, difficulty breathing and even anaphylactic shock.” The insects originate in southern Europe, but have had a presence in southern England since 2005, when live oaks from Europe were imported along with insect eggs. In addition to their potential danger to humans, they can strip oak trees of leaves, leaving them to die. Read More >>

biology
New Species of ‘Exploding Ant’ Discovered in Borneo

When confronted by an enemy, Southeast Asian “exploding ants” do exactly what their name implies: they explode. Ignored for decades, researchers have completed a detailed survey of these enigmatic ants, discovering over a dozen species that fit into this group, including one that’s completely new to science. Read More >>

robots
Don’t Bother Trying to Outrun This Creepy Spiderbot That Transforms Into a Rolling Wheel

If the only thing more terrifying to you than a spider is a spider chasing you, you’re not going to want to watch this video of Festo’s latest creation. Using eight reconfigurable legs, the BionicWheelBot can creepily crawl along the ground, but then transform into a wheel and roll at an alarming speed. Someone find me a gigantic rolled up newspaper. Read More >>

science
Newly Sequenced Cockroach Genome Explains Why They Are So Hard to Kill

Cockroaches have been one of humanity’s most unwanted, yet admirably persistent, roommates for thousands of years. But despite our reluctant intimacy, there’s still a lot we don’t understand about these insects. A new study, published today in Nature Communication, unpacks the genes that make roaches tick—and helps explain why they’re so damn hard to get rid of. Read More >>

animals
Termites Are Finally Being Recognised For What They Really Are: Social Cockroaches

Very quietly, and without any formal announcement, the Common Names Committee of the Entomological Society of America has decided to list termites in the same category as cockroaches. It seems weird to lump the two together, but it’s a move that scientists have been considering for nearly a century. Read More >>

health
Bed Bugs Are Pooping Histamine Into Our Homes—And Possibly Making Us Sick

There are few living things on earth that can set our nerves more on edge than the aptly named bed bug (Cimex lectularius). Even if you’ve never had the displeasure of being their unwilling blood bank, you probably know someone who has. Since at least the 1990s, bed bugs have started to resist the pesticides we’ve long used against them and stormed back from near-extinction to once again become a common household pest. Read More >>

science
These Warlike Ants Rescue Wounded Comrades—and Even Provide Medical Care

Sub-Saharan Matabele ants are ruthless killers, raiding termite mounds two to four times each day. But every once in a while, an ant gets hurt and is hauled back home to recuperate—an astonishing insectoid behaviour unto itself. New research suggests there’s even more to it than that—these ants also administer medical care to those wounded in battle. Read More >>

science
Swatting Mosquitoes Teaches Them to Stay Away, Study Suggests

Attempts to kill a mosquito aren’t always met with success—these annoying bloodsuckers seem preternaturally good at evading hand swats. Surprising new research suggests mosquitos learn from these near-death experiences, staying clear of a particular odour they’ve learned to associate with the perpetrator. Read More >>

science
Flowers Express ‘Invisible’ Heat Patterns to Attract Bees

Over the course of evolution, flowers and pollinating insects have developed an intimate, mutually beneficial relationship. To get the attention of pollinators, flowers have developed an assortment of cues, such as colourful petals and aromatic smells. But as a new study points out, many plants also express complex floral heat patterns, which bees are able to detect. Read More >>

science
DIY Bed Bug Treatment Attempt Accidentally Results in Massive Fire

Bed bugs—the blood-sucking, chitinous nightmares which serve as the clearest proof that if there is a divine creator behind the universe, it hates us—were once nearly eradicated from the U.S. But in recent years they’ve come back worse than ever, beefed up from decades of exposure to insecticides and helped along by an increase in global travel and a decrease in public knowledge of how to fight them. Read More >>