Monday, June 3, 2013

I've Been Antsy About Getting The New Issue Out!

Hurray!  It's the start of a new Brainy Girls issue, and for the next two months, we'll be talking about one of my favorite topics...insects!  That's right - we'll be learning all sorts of things about bugs (including true bugs, hemipterans), other insects, and even some other arthropods, and all things wriggly and squirmy!  I'll admit it - when I was younger, insects scared the heck out of me, and I couldn't even tolerate moths or butterflies flittering anywhere near me without running away and freaking out.  However, when I was in college (yes, college), I discovered the underwater world of aquatic insects and was completely mesmerized by a diverse collection of critters that I didn't even know existed.  I then took an entomology class and learned even more about insects in general and today I continue to be amazed by how they've evolved to fill a myriad of ecological niches, or jobs, in the environment.  I will admit that daddy-long-legs still creep me out, although to be fair, they're not insects (but not quite spiders???  I don't know - we'll have to find out...) so if you're not too fond of them either, you're in good company.  It's ok - maybe we can tackle our fears together!

In the previous issue (cycles), I introduced the life cycle of the 17 year cicada, one of my favorite insects. Brood II is emerging all over the East Coast right now, but in case you're not one of the lucky few (relatively) who gets to experience the emergence in person, I've got a treat for you!  Check out this beautiful video that tells the life story of these incredible creatures.  Do you have a favorite insect?  What six-legged animal has crawled its way into your heart?  I want to hear about it!


  1. My favorite bug: ladybug. Wait! Dragonfly. And then there's the wonderful honeybee. Fat bumblebees are cool, too!

    DON'T like spiders. I know, they're important creatures. And they can be pretty, too. And they're terrific web spinners. Arachnophobia knows no logic.

    I love all the butterflies and moths. What's the difference between them?

    1. I completely share your feelings about spiders, although I hope that my recent post may help you see that they can be cute and beautiful (at least some of them)! :D

  2. Per my entomologist brother-in-law:
    Moths are nocturnal with "clubbed" antennae. They continually flap or flutter to fly.
    Butterflies flap then glide, during the day, with no clubbing on their antennae.
    Some moths are beautifully patterned like butterflies, so you really need to see them in action. To tell the difference.
    He says, "the difference between night and day." Get it?

  3. BB says ... Correction: not clubbed antennae. Feathery antennae on moths.

    1. Great research! It's fun tracking down answers to your own questions, isn't it? And you're lucky that you have someone in your family that has some entomological experience...aren't insects fascinating??? :)


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