Insects

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How do mosquitoes target a meal?

Mmmm, blood is tasty. Poison jackets are not. Photo: Aesum (flickr)

As summer winds down and people try to make the most out of the beautiful Michigan environment, many may be fighting off nature’s age-old enemy: the mosquito. But what makes mosquitoes more attracted to some people than others? Many myths have circulated about the cause of this rather annoying phenomenon, but scientific research is also out there about what factors make mosquitoes swarm to certain people (Hint: It has to do with a lot more than blood). Ned Walker, is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and the Department of Entomology at MSU. He joins us to discuss the dining preferences of mosquitoes. Continue Reading →

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Fireflies in southern Michigan

Image: Ken Scott

Photographer Ken Scott captured these fireflies streaking through the night sky near Willis, Mich., with a series of photos taken over 40 minutes. The technique of merging multiple short exposures into one eliminates the possibility of overexposing the ambient light such as that coming from a nearby city, said Scott, a Suttons Bay professional photographer. It also captured one of the beetles trundling across the ground and flashing its light.  Scott said it wasn’t until he posted the image that he noted the insect’s ground trek from the lower right corner of the frame. “Yeah, that bugger was a bonus!” he said. Continue Reading →

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