Insects

6:00pm

Wed June 26, 2013
Science

New Bugs In Florida Stymie Researchers, Threaten Crops

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:34 am

The psyllid, discovered eight years ago in Florida citrus groves, has been problematic for researchers and farmers alike.
University of California, Davis AP

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

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8:59am

Sat June 22, 2013
Science

Tawny Crazy Ants Invade Southern States

Tawny crazy ants are invading ecosystems and homes in states including Texas and Florida, wiping out other ant species and overwhelming homeowners. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Texas A&M research scientist Robert Puckett, who says the ants are "ecological steamrollers" that reproduce so fast they are nearly impossible to get rid of.

10:21am

Wed June 19, 2013

3:07am

Sun June 9, 2013
Around the Nation

Lessons From Cicadas: A New Jersey Community's Experience

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 10:58 am

A member of Brood II alights on a New Jersey shrub.
Fred Mogul NPR

Ten-year-old Markus Gokan has mixed feelings about the cicadas scattered around the yards and sidewalks of Summit, N.J.

"There's tons of them just squashed, just these flat, pancake cicadas that don't look very appetizing," Gokan says.

Yet he's not afraid to touch and handle un-squashed cicadas — to serve a higher purpose.

"I did pick up a few, and I threw them at some people I don't like," he explains.

They screamed, he says, so for him his mission was successful.

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1:32pm

Wed May 29, 2013
The Salt

Cooking With Cicadas: No Weirder Than Eating Cheese?

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm

Cicada: It's what's for dinner?
Sean Bush AP

You knew this one was coming.

Earlier this month, we told you about a U.N. report that makes the case for insects to improve global food security: They're cheap, plentiful and environmentally sustainable. Now, the coming of the 17-year cicadas provides East Coast Americans, for whom bug eating is considered novel at best, with an opportunity to try local insect cuisine.

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