Bugs of the creepy crawly kind

Our sweet tooth is making mosquitoes sick which is not good news

insulin crushing a mosquitoWe already know, notwithstanding, it is somewhat begrudgingly, we act like the ATM for the average mosquito. When the time is right, the female mosquito zooms around in search of a warm fleshy human, to make a substantial blood withdrawal from.

She does have to dodge the security guards, quick hands which can squish her, but for the most part, getting the goodies to create her next batch of eggs, is just a matter of finding a suitable ATM. And there are lots of them.

The ATMs are paying out more than they used to.

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The boogey man has eight legs

grasshopeer who is afraid of a spiderComing face to face with a spider, is frequently a bit freaky, even when your’re 1000 times bigger than it. It still looks BIG.  Imagine if you’re a grasshopper, hopping about doing your thing and you come face to face with a spider – OUCH !

The boogey man has eight legs  !

When a team of scientists exposed grasshoppers to spiders, they confirmed, what should be obvious to anyone who stops to think about it – a grasshopper will be scared out of his wits, should it accidently “bump” into a spider, while out and about.

But the team discovered something that was not so obvious – grasshopper close encounters with eight legged bug eyed monsters, leaves a lot more than just the grasshopper shaking. The meetings provoked a stress response, which rippled down the food chain, so that everyone in the grasshopper’s world suffered, a little.

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The recipe for a chick magnet is insulin dependent

insulin riding a rhino beetleWant to catch someone’s eye ?   Don something BIG and OUTRAGEOUS……

The bigger the better – this is how male thinking goes in the animal kingdom. Of course there is a fine line, between having a set of antlers the size of a tree and survival. Running from a lion with an enormous adornment wobbling on your head…… is risky business.

But as every lady will tell you………. size matters.

So, if you’re a red blooded male, I am sure you want to know how you can grow your own personal chick magnet…

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A little sun shine chases away what’s bugging you

beetles fumigating under the sunSunbathing is an effective way to chase away those nasty bugs.  Even if you’re a bug yourself.  Researchers from Simon Fraser University, have discovered Western Boxelder bugs, chase away their bugs, by spending a little time under the sun.

It turns out, the sun is able to fire off a little chemistry in these bugs – which sees them pushing out, rather strong smelling chemical compounds, known as monoterpenes.

Most of the time, in nature, odd smells are all about SEX.

Not the actual deed, but the hooking up part of the deal. After all, no one wants to cuddle something, that doesn’t smell “good”, but in the case of the Western Boxelder, stinking in the sun is a way to spring clean.

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What did the escaping cockroach cry ?

cockroach playing houdiniYou spy it – two beady little brown eyes, peering at you from behind a set of long brown “feelers”, which are flicking at you, in anticipation………….

You let out a scream  C-O-C-K-R-O-A-C-H.

Reviled with disgust, you gather yourself for the KILL. You launch, it begins to run, it’s six little legs are in hyperdrive. You lash out and miss, it keeps running, it gets to the edge, you’re sure you’ve got it cornered now and …………….

Like Houdini – it’s gone.   But if you stop and listen very carefully, you can hear the cry……..  B-U-N-G-E-E

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Up the ante when deciding by using a little ant wisdom

ants making a touch decisionDo you feel like information keeps coming at you from every direction – the onslaught is often overwhelming, creating both panic and despair. As “information overload” increasingly overwhelms the modern human, maybe it’s time to revisit Solomon’s ancient advice from Proverbs.

Go to the ant you sluggard, consider its ways and be wise.

Solomon was keen that we adopt the ant work ethic , but it could also benefit us, if we adopt their decision making strategies too.  In this week’s Neurotechnology Tip, we learn a little about how ants do it – deal with information overload.

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