Aphids hate goat breath

The aphids don’t want to be lunch–so how do they avoid becoming a mouthful when an herbivorous animal tries to eat the plant they live on? A new study published in Current Biology finds a simple solution–the heat and the humidity of the goat’s breath triggers the insects to drop off the plant.

via ScienceShot: Humid Breath Fells Insects – ScienceNOW.

Largest insect, pocket pet?

Oh! Oh! If I can’t have a pocket dog, I want one of these! Heathcliffe is so cute!

He’s a giant burrowing cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros), a non-pest species endemic to Australia that is in the running as the world’s heaviest insect. They can live up to 10 years and are kept as pets.

Don’t worry, giant cockroaches are NOT close relatives of the cockroaches in your kitchen, which may be cockroaches of the American (Periplaneta americana), German (Blattella germanica), Asian (B. asahinai), or Oriental (Blatta orientalis) varieties. Rather than burgling your unsecured foodstuffs, giant cockroaches eat leaves, give live birth, care for their babies in burrows, and for all intents and purposes, seem more like teddy bears than pests.

My research indicates they’re hard to get ahold of outside of Australia, where they run around $100 a pair.

via Heathcliffe, the giant burrowing cockroach, is among | The Daily Telegraph.

Ancient Trans-Atlantic Swarm Brought Locusts To The New World

ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2005) — Somewhere between three and five million years ago, a massive swarm of locusts took off from the west coast of Africa and made an unlikely voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to colonize the New World, says an international team of researchers.

via Ancient Trans-Atlantic Swarm Brought Locusts To The New World.