Blogs & Videos: Insects

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: 

Rows of pinned bee specimens

All Hail the Queen Bee

There’s been lots of buzz about a certain queen bee, but we don't think you’re ready for this jelly—royal jelly, that is. It’s time to take a look into the lives of our favorite queen honey bees. Here are four facts about queen bees that you can share with the hive:

Beetles, Mites, Cockroaches Oh My! [Insect Collection Tour]

The insect collection is the largest at The Field Museum, with more than 12 million specimens - only (only?!) 4 million of those are pinned in the dry collection. Crystal is in charge of all of them- no pressure. Want to search the zoological collections on your own? Look no further!:http://bit.ly/fmnhzoology

Crystal and her Water Beetles

Want to travel the world? Become a biologist! Crystal Maier - Collections Manager of Insects at The Field Museum - spent a month in New Zealand, going from stream to stream in search of hobbits. And by hobbits I mean beetles that spend their entire lives underwater. How?! Why?! We get answers. Thanks to Crystal for taking the time to talk with us about her research! 

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