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Bug Bytes

Education Podcasts

As described by Edward O. Wilson — perhaps the best known American biologist, researcher, naturalist and author — invertebrates are "The Little Things That Run the World." And indeed they do, in so many ways. In terms of numbers — while most invertebrates are pretty small, the sheer number of them is astounding. Together, they have more biomass than any other animal on earth. Learn more about the fascinating creatures that run the world, with Bug Bytes from the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium.

As described by Edward O. Wilson — perhaps the best known American biologist, researcher, naturalist and author — invertebrates are "The Little Things That Run the World." And indeed they do, in so many ways. In terms of numbers — while most invertebrates are pretty small, the sheer number of them is astounding. Together, they have more biomass than any other animal on earth. Learn more about the fascinating creatures that run the world, with Bug Bytes from the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium.

Location:

United States

Description:

As described by Edward O. Wilson — perhaps the best known American biologist, researcher, naturalist and author — invertebrates are "The Little Things That Run the World." And indeed they do, in so many ways. In terms of numbers — while most invertebrates are pretty small, the sheer number of them is astounding. Together, they have more biomass than any other animal on earth. Learn more about the fascinating creatures that run the world, with Bug Bytes from the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium.

Language:

English

Contact:

4062434203


Episodes

Bug Bytes: Burying Beetles And Mites

6/16/2020
Burying beetles are often called sexton beetles since they perform duties similar to a sexton or gravedigger. These beetles have an amazing ability to locate fresh carrion from long distances, allowing them to find this valuable food source before competing scavengers do. But rather than consume the departed mouse, vole, shrew or other small vertebrate for themselves, they have other plans.

Duration:00:02:22

Bug Bytes: Giant Ichneumon Wasps

6/16/2020
Learning to identify different wasp species can be challenging, but it’s not brain surgery. Well…actually, in this case it just might be. We’re talking about giant ichneumon wasps – a genus of only four species in North America. Females range from 3-4 inches in length, including what appears to be a long, massive stinger. While intimidating looking, they’re harmless. This stinger is actually an ovipositor, used for laying eggs.

Duration:00:02:30

Bug Bytes: How Fireflies Glow

6/16/2020
If you’re lucky, it might be an annual occurrence in your backyard. For others, it may be a memory from a summer vacation. And for all the romantics out there, it’s the icing on the cake to a picture-perfect summer evening. We’re talking about fireflies. Fireflies, or lightning bugs, are famous for their glowing, flashing rear ends. But the questions are how and why do they have a glimmering derriere?

Duration:00:02:27

Bug Bytes: Voodoo Wasp

6/16/2020
The more you learn about the insect world, you realize that the act of parasitism – where one species lives off of and feeds upon another species – is surprisingly common. This is especially true among wasps. And while the act of parasitism may seem a bit gory, the details can be incredibly fascinating. In the case of a wasp commonly called the Voodoo wasp, it takes parasitism to an entirely new level by also controlling its victim’s behavior.

Duration:00:02:27

Bug Bytes: Tarantula hawk - Pepsis wasp

6/15/2020
The deserts of the southwestern United States are home to some remarkable animals. One kind of creepy crawly often associated with this region is the tarantula. With several species growing to the size of an adult human’s hand, they are certainly impressive. But what’s even more impressive is an aerial predator called the tarantula hawk. While images of a feathered predator with talons might pop to mind, tarantula hawks are actually wasps.

Duration:00:02:22

Bug Bytes: The Story Of Pepe

6/15/2020
It was a cold, snowy New Year’s Day in western Montana. What better way to kick off a new year of meals than making a pot of chili? After purchasing the onions and variety of peppers going into our meal, we began the preparation process. But cutting into what appeared to be an unblemished green pepper, we surprisingly found a little friend staring back at us.

Duration:00:02:12

Bug Bytes: Sloth Moths

6/15/2020
It’s no secret that sloths move slowly. In fact, they move so slow, unique assemblages of insects can actually take advantage of their pace and align their lifecycle with these slow-moving hosts. An interesting example is the relationship between the brown three-toed sloth and a moth aptly called the sloth moth.

Duration:00:02:18

Bug Bytes: Old World Vs. New World Tarantulas

6/15/2020
With over 900 different species, there’s a lot of diversity in the tarantula world. They range from the size of your thumbnail to the size of a Frisbee. But at the most basic level, tarantulas can be divided into two different groups – old world and new world.

Duration:00:02:22

Bug Bytes: How Bees Make Honey

6/15/2020
Liquid gold…honey, that is. Honeybees make honey as a food source to feed the colony, particularly during winter, but exactly how do they make it?

Duration:00:02:18

Bug Bytes: Winter Tick And Moose

6/12/2020
If you spend lots of time in the great outdoors, at one point or another you’ve likely encountered a tick. Certainly not the kind of animal encounter you we’re hoping for. Aside from the unappealing thought of these creepy arachnids burrowing into your skin for a blood meal, in certain parts of the country different tick species can cause significant problems with the transmission of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever or other diseases. But there’s another species of tick that...

Duration:00:02:16

Bug Bytes: Yucca Moth

6/12/2020
In Montana, the small soapweed yucca is a plant native to the central and eastern part of the state, east of the Continental Divide. But thanks to its showy, fragrant stalks of beautiful white flowers, it's a popular addition to gardens west of the divide too. But there’s one big difference between yuccas growing within their native range versus the non-native transplants …the plant will only produce its big seedpods in its native range. Is it because of differences in climate, soils, or...

Duration:00:02:16

Bug Bytes: Spittlebugs

6/12/2020
You’re in your garden or maybe out for a walk in the woods … and you come across what looks like a fresh loogie someone just spit onto a plant. Gross! Relax. A fellow human likely did not leave behind the white, foamy goop. It’s the telltale sign of a spittlebug.

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: Carnivorous Caterpillars

6/12/2020
With nearly 180,000 species of moths and butterflies in the world, it goes without saying that their larval stage of development – caterpillars – are equally abundant. And of all the different types of caterpillars in the world, inchworms are perhaps the best-known group. Inchworms are species of moths in the family geometridae. Most of us have seen cute little inchworms inching along a branch or dangling from the tree canopy on a strand of silk. Their bodies tend to be green, brown or tan...

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: The Human Botfly

6/12/2020
You’ve taken a remarkable trip to Central or South America. You saw incredible species of birds and mammals, and of course were “wowed” by the amazing insects you discovered. You return with life-long memories, beautiful photos and some souvenirs. But unfortunately some travelers return with an unexpected stowaway...the human botfly.

Duration:00:02:18

Bug Bytes: Lord Howe Island Stick Insect

6/12/2020
Rats! Another species of insect that’s gone extinct. Or so we thought. Off the east coast of Australia, the Lord Howe Islands once hosted the aptly named Lord Howe Island stick insect …a species of phasmid (or walking stick) growing to nearly 6 inches long.

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: Beetle Butt

6/12/2020
You look like an ant’s behind! Why, thank you for noticing. Normally, if someone told you that you resembled the backside of an animal, you’d take offense. But in the case of a newly discovered species of beetle, it’s just how they role…or ride, more accurately.

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: Golden Buprestid

6/12/2020
Forged in fire. Whether it’s glass or metal, many artists rely on heat and fire to make their craft. Then it should come as no surprise that a family of incredibly beautiful beetles also has a relationship with fire. Metallic wood-boring beetles are commonly called “jewel beetles” because of their iridescent colors. And the golden buprestid is perhaps one of the shiniest examples. While primarily a bedazzled metallic green color, they also sport blue and purple highlights with a...

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: Dogbane Tiger Moths And Bats

6/12/2020
On summer evenings, when darkness falls and most winged predators have called it quits for the day, bats awaken from their daytime slumber to rule the skies. Despite darkness, thanks to their ability to echolocate – creating ultrasonic clicks and listening to the echoes that return – bats can create detailed images of their surroundings…including whatever tasty insects might be in their flight path. Well, most insects, that is. Certain species of tiger moths have developed an effective way...

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: Dung Beetles To The Rescue

6/12/2020
Insects play critical roles in our lives. Pollination, decomposition and soil aeration are just a few. And they do this behind the scenes, without much recognition or thanks. So this episode is dedicated to a large group of unsung insect heroes…the dung beetles.

Duration:00:02:15

Bug Bytes: Jumping Spiders

6/12/2020
Of all the different kinds of insects and arthropods we encounter, on average, people tend to be most afraid of spiders. But with their big eyes and fuzzy little bodies, jumping spiders are the cute puppy dogs of the spider world.

Duration:00:02:13