Blogs & Videos: Insects

Close-up of an orange and black butterfly perched on a group of small, unopened flowers

How Milkweeds Can Save Monarch Butterflies And Beautify Your Garden

Did you know milkweeds aren’t really weeds at all? In fact, they’re native plants with large pink, orange, or white flowers. In addition to their charm, plants in the genus Asclepias are the host plants for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), meaning they are the only food for the monarch larvae, or caterpillars. Without milkweeds, the monarch butterfly has no chance for survival.

Three different kinds of flowers: small, bright orange flowers; bright pink flowers with a yellow butterfly perched on top; and a light pink flower with a bumblebee on it

Roll Up Your Sleeves: How to Grow Native Plants in Your Garden

If you’re gearing up to add native plants to your yard this spring, then congratulations! You’ll make your space more beautiful, with the added bonus of being hospitable to the butterflies and other pollinators (like bees, beetles, and birds) around you.  Before you start (literally) digging in, take a moment to plan the layout of the garden (or a small strip of land along a fence—the pollinators will appreciate that as well). While doing this, take the following into consideration:

A woman smiling at the camera, standing in a green field with mountains in the background

Women in Science: Corrie Moreau, Evolutionary Biologist and Entomologist

We're highlighting women in science at The Field Museum and their diverse areas of research, paths to working in science, and their advice for future scientists. Hear from MacArthur Associate Curator of Insects Dr. Corrie Moreau: How did you get to where you are?

Eight of the Most Nightmarish Prehistoric Animals

There's been life on earth for about four billion years, and a lot of it has been freaking terrifying. Great job, evolution, we’ll all be having bad dreams tonight. 1. Basilosaurus basilosaurus.png © The Field Museum, GEO86500_166d, Photographer Karen Carr, artist.

Close-up of ants on the forest floor

Ant Genomics Help Reshape Biological History of the Americas

Scientists have long believed that the Isthmus of Panama emerged from the ocean three million years ago, triggering a massive interchange of species between the Americas in its wake. However, recent conflict in both geological and biological literature suggests that this simple story is insufficient to explain the available evidence.

Botflies, Chicago Parakeets, and the Smallest Collection | Ask Emily #13

Got a question? Give us a call! +1 (315) 367-2667 - aka 315-Em-Scoop !!! For more science stories and updates, check out our new series, 'Natural News from The Field Museum'! We're alternating that show with Brain Scoop episodes to keep things EXCITING!

In Defense of Mosquitoes

August 20 is World Mosquito Day, but it’s not exactly a holiday celebrating them. It commemorates the day of the 1897 discovery that female mosquitoes transmit malaria, and it doesn’t paint them in a very positive light. “It’s funny—World Mosquito Day is mostly about getting rid of mosquitoes,” says The Field Museum’s resident mosquito expert, Alexandra Westrich, a research associate here and the contract supervisor at the Chicago Department of Public Health, where she oversees lab and field work surrounding West Nile virus.

Illustrations of a glyptodont (large armadillo-like animal) and a spotted ironclad beetle

Extreme Animals Competition: Glyptodont v. Ironclad Beetle

In the Extreme Animals Competition, we’re looking at some of the fastest, fiercest, and strongest members of the animal kingdom. In the Armored Defenders category, the extinct glyptodont and the extant ironclad beetle are known for their built-in body armor. Glyptodont: Walking suit of armor Vital stats: 

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