Wing fossil from Permostridulus brongniarti
Book Excerpt from Sounds Wild and Broken
In a chapter entitled “Predators, Silence, Wings,” author David George Haskell explores the soundscapes of bygone eras of animal communication.
ABOVE: From Figure 1A in Béthoux, Olivier, André Nel, Jean Lapeyrie, and Georges Gand. “The Permostridulidae fam. n. (Panorthoptera), a new enigmatic insect family from the Upper Permian of France.” European Journal of Entomology 100 (2003): 581-86.
Book Excerpt from Sounds Wild and Broken
Book Excerpt from Sounds Wild and Broken

In a chapter entitled “Predators, Silence, Wings,” author David George Haskell explores the soundscapes of bygone eras of animal communication.

In a chapter entitled “Predators, Silence, Wings,” author David George Haskell explores the soundscapes of bygone eras of animal communication.

ABOVE: From Figure 1A in Béthoux, Olivier, André Nel, Jean Lapeyrie, and Georges Gand. “The Permostridulidae fam. n. (Panorthoptera), a new enigmatic insect family from the Upper Permian of France.” European Journal of Entomology 100 (2003): 581-86.

insect behavior

A headshot of Matthew Gage
Evolutionary Ecologist Matthew Gage Dies at 55
Amanda Heidt | Apr 20, 2022
The University of East Anglia researcher was best known for his contributions to the study of sexual selection, particularly post-copulatory sperm competition.
Mosquito with red abdomen and white stripes on human skin
Mosquitoes Add Bacteria to Water to Help Larvae Grow: Preprint
Natalia Mesa | Apr 12, 2022
Pregnant mosquito females deploy the microbe Elizabethkingia to speed larval growth; the larvae, in turn, help the bacteria outcompete other strains.
Yellow and black caterpillar crawling on a leaf in a green background
Virus Alters Caterpillars’ Vision to Trick Them into Climbing
Alejandra Manjarrez | Mar 25, 2022
A study finds that a baculovirus that infects cotton bollworm larvae changes the expression of genes involved in light perception, driving them to seek heights that could favor viral transmission.
A photo of a termite’s head with its brain clearly visible
Termite Brains Anticipate Future Visual Challenges
Chloe Tenn | Feb 1, 2022
Dampwood termites with the potential to leave the colony have larger optic lobes before ever being exposed to different visual environments, an example of predictive brain plasticity.
larva
Leaping Larvae Intrigue Scientists
Chloe Tenn | Jan 20, 2022
The Scientist spoke with entomologist Matt Bertone about the characteristics of Laemophloeus biguttatus larvae jumps—a previously unreported behavior in this group of beetles.
Illustration showing how seagull chicks know when predators are lurking
Infographic: Animal Embryos Coopt Sound to Survive and Thrive
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Across the tree of life, animals use sound and other vibrations to glean valuable sensory information about their environments even before they are born.
Conceptual image of an embryo with sound waves
Embryonic Eavesdropping: How Animals Hear and Respond to Sound
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Recent findings buck the traditional idea that embryos are passive agents and instead suggest that by tuning into vibrations, organisms can better prepare to enter the outside world.
Several tadpoles in clear eggs
Slideshow: How Animal Embryos Eavesdrop on the Outside World
Amanda Heidt | Nov 1, 2021
Watch and listen to reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds respond to sound from inside their eggs.
Fireflies lighting up a tree at night
Firefly Tourism Sparks Calls for Sustainable Practices
Asher Jones | Jun 1, 2021
More and more people are traveling around the world to watch the luminous displays of fireflies, but tourism-related light pollution and habitat degradation threaten to snuff out the insects at some locations.  
Drosophila: To Infinity and Beyond
The Scientist Staff | Mar 9, 2021
Slideshow: Watch Insects in Motion
Amanda Heidt | Mar 1, 2021
Researchers across disciplines are adopting high-tech tools to better understand the kinematics and behaviors behind insect flight.
Free Fallin’: How Scientists Study Unrestrained Insects
Amanda Heidt | Mar 1, 2021
Researchers are pulling from video games, sports broadcasting, meteorology, and even missile guidance technology to better investigate how insects have mastered flight.
Infographic: VR, Radar, and Other Tricks for Studying Insects
Amanda Heidt | Mar 1, 2021
Researchers are getting creative to understand flight behavior in the fast-moving and tiny animals.
Insects Might Be More Sensitive to Radiation than Thought
Alejandra Manjarrez | Feb 1, 2021
A study of bumble bees exposed to levels of radiation equivalent to those existing in Chernobyl hotspots shows that the insects’ reproduction takes a hit.
an Asian giant hornet
Researchers Try to Head Off “Murder Hornets” Coming into US
Shawna Williams | May 4, 2020
Asian giant hornets were found for the first time in Washington State and could reemerge in the spring.
Once Is Enough For Long-Term Memory Formation in Bees
Ruth Williams | May 1, 2020
Honeybees can remember reward-associated odors three days after a single learning experience.
Eating Up the Food Chain
The Scientist Staff | Jan 13, 2020
Watch a predaceous diving beetle dine on a tadpole.
caterpillar acid spraying plant defense latex poinsettia insect predation
Image of the Day: On the Attack
Chia-Yi Hou | Jul 11, 2019
This caterpillar secretes acid to get past the defenses of the plant on which it preys.
Amidst UK Pollinator Declines, Migrant Hoverflies Are Doing Well
Katarina Zimmer | Jun 13, 2019
A decade-long study tallies the numbers of pest-eating, flower-pollinating hoverflies that travel to the UK every year, and illustrates their important ecological roles in southern Britain.