Awesome Insects

Moths and Beetles in Slow-Mo

Moths and Beetles in Slow-Mo

Ant Lab’s Dr. Adrian Smith is an expert at capturing slow-motion, macro footage of insects in motion. In this video, you’ll get up close and personal with a dozen species of moths and beetles as they take flight. It’s amazing to see the details of each insect’s wings and bodies and the subtle variations in their movements.

Hornets vs. Ants in Slow-Motion

Hornets vs. Ants in Slow-Motion

Nature filmmaker Lothar Lenz is an expert at capturing macro footage of insects. In this video, we get to watch some hornets competing with a colony of ants for a drink of water. The incredible audio recording puts you right there in the action. The ants get a little feisty in this other video.

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Giant Metal Scorpion

Giant Metal Scorpion
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The scorpions we encounter here in the U.S. are relatively small, but this oversize metal creature measures 8.25″ long. This awesomely creepy creation is made by Thailand artists Kreatworks using recycled automotive and machine parts. Also, it turns out that there are real scorpions that are almost the same size in South Africa.

Minmini

Minmini

Sriram Murali of Saving the Dark takes us to the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, India for a look at one of the most amazing sights on Earth. As night falls, millions of fireflies illuminate the forest, blinking their bioluminescent bodies in synchrony. Murali’s instagram features some incredible long-exposures of the insects.

Nsenene

Nsenene

Catching grasshoppers might sound like a playful childhood pastime, but for the people of Uganda, grasshoppers are part of the local diet and economy. Filmmaker Michelle Coomber’s documentary short immerses us in the culture of the East African nation, and the practice of luring in insects at night using lights and smoke.

A Giant Fire Red Millipede

A Giant Fire Red Millipede

We now present the most satisfying 46 seconds of video you’ll see today. Wildlife photographer David Weiller captured this close-up footage of a giant fire red millipede marching its 160-or-so feet across a branch in Madagascar’s Marojejy National Park. Crank up the volume for immersive forest sounds.

Ants, Bees, and Wasps Are Overpowered

Ants, Bees, and Wasps Are Overpowered

In the universe of living things, you might think that insects were pretty low in the pecking order. But as TierZoo points out, the individual abilities, collective mindset, and genetic makeup of bees, ants, and wasps make them some of the most impressive creatures on the planet.

Ants Pave a Road

Ants Pave a Road

Ants are well known for their ability to work together to build things and accomplish tasks for their colony. In this fascinating video from Horace Zeng, we see how hundreds of fire ants work in concert to pick up, move, and place pieces of glass gravel on a piece of sticky tape, resulting in a colorfully-paved road of sorts.

Butterfly Side Down

Butterfly Side Down

VFX artist and filmmaker Buttered Side Down caught a monarch butterfly and placed it in a jar to admire its beauty. But nothing is simple in BSD’s wacky universe, and a swarm of the colorful insects would prefer that he releases their friend from captivity.

Shimmering Bee Hive

Shimmering Bee Hive

Nature can be pretty amazing. Take, for example, how this hive of honeybees discourages predators like wasps from attacking. Multiple layers of bees form a protective shield on the outside of their honeycomb and move in synchronized patterns that make the whole hive look like it’s one big creature.

Up-Close with Butterflies

Up-Close with Butterflies

Thanks to the photographic prowess and entomological expertise of Ant Lab, we’ve seen some amazing close-up footage of insects. This time, watch tropical butterflies as they emerge from their chrysalises and take flight. Then take a look at the tropical rainforest exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Weird Gifts of the Animal Kingdom

Weird Gifts of the Animal Kingdom

Humans like to give flowers and chocolates as part of our dating ritual. Other species offer gifts as part of their courtship too, but their selections aren’t nearly as appealing. SciShow explains some of the strange and downright gross-out gifts that animals and insects present to each other as an offering to potential mates.

-N- UPRISING ‘The Green Reapers’

-N- UPRISING ‘The Green Reapers’

Filmmaker Thomas Blanchard captured this series of macro time-lapse images of insects being born juxtaposed with the carnivorous plants laying in wait for unsuspecting creatures to wander into their sticky and deadly traps. According to Blanchard, all insects captured were released after filming.

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More Flying Insects in Slow Motion

More Flying Insects in Slow Motion

Dr. Adrian Smith of Ant Lab is back with another amazing slow motion macro video of insects taking flight. This time, you’ll witness a variety of mantises, weevils, flies, and other bugs lifting off. The 6,000 FPS footage reveals the normally unseen but dramatic differences in how each insect takes flight.

Life in a Different Light

Life in a Different Light

Martin Kristiansen of My Microscopic World used a polarized light source, a lab microscope, and an iPhone to capture these incredibly detailed, colorful, and otherworldly images of insect larvae, isopods, and tiny crustaceans. Check out more amazing close-up images on his Instagram feed.

Nite Ize Buglit Micro Flashlight

Nite Ize Buglit Micro Flashlight
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Hang this cute critter on your keyring or backpack, and you’ll always be ready to bug out. The BugLit micro flashlight is a handy task light with a carabiner and bendy legs to point the light where you need it. The rechargeable light has four modes and is bright enough to illuminate up to 50 feet.

Moths in Ultra Slow-Motion

Moths in Ultra Slow-Motion

In real-time and without a good macro lens, it’s hard to appreciate just how awesome insects can be. In this video from Ant Lab, we get a wonderful close-up look at seven species of moths for a look at their beautiful wing patterns and colors, captured at 6000 frames per second. Isn’t nature amazing?

Small Worlds Macro Photography

Small Worlds Macro Photography

Photographer Jens Heidler of Another Perspective offers a series of crisp close-up stills and video footage of animals and insects, revealing incredible details not visible to the naked eye. Check out his video on flash diffusers for some tips on capturing great macro images.

True Facts About Ticks

True Facts About Ticks

We can think of few nastier pests than ticks. They spread disease, make you and your pets itch like mad, are difficult to remove, and are completely gross looking under a magnifying lens. Naturally, Zefrank thought they’d be a good subject for their tongue-in-cheek nature show. We’re itchy just from watching this.

The Bizarre Physics of Fire Ants

The Bizarre Physics of Fire Ants

You never want to get too close to a mound of fire ants. But from the comfortable distance of your browser, they’re neat little buggers. Vox explores some of the fascinating ways in which colonies stick together to form structures, and how they can act as both a solid or fluid.

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True Facts: Trap Jaw Ants

True Facts: Trap Jaw Ants

With the help of footage from researchers, ZeFrank provides his lighthearted insights on the Odontomachus, a genus of ants with jaws that can open 180-degrees, then shut like a bear trap. In addition to grabbing prey, they can use their mandibles to eject unwanted intruders or extract themselves quickly from a threat.

Ranger Ready Insect Spray

Ranger Ready Insect Spray
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Don’t let mosquitoes and ticks ruin your outdoor adventures. Ranger Ready’s Picaridin-based insect repellents keep bugs at bay for up to 12 hours, and without neurotoxins like DEET, so they’re safe on skin. They come in three pleasant scents as well as unscented. They also make a long-wearing Permethrin clothing spray.

How Spiders Fly

How Spiders Fly

Despite their lack of wings, spiders can actually take flight. This video from the University of Bristol video explains a process called ballooning, in which spiders take advantage of static electrical charges and wind currents to carry silk – and their bodies – through the air.

Making a Hornet from Hardware

Making a Hornet from Hardware

Watch as a pile of ordinary brass nuts and bolts is transformed into a shiny sculpture of an insect by artist Ross the Random. We weren’t quite sure where he was going at first with the wing piece, but the finished work turned out to be quite amazing.

Lifelike Balloon Animals

Lifelike Balloon Animals

Masayoshi Matsumoto is no birthday party balloon artist. Nope, his specialty is creating complex balloon animals that belong in an art gallery. His inflatable sculptures require many more bends and twists than typical balloon art, resulting in greater detail and realism. Check out his YouTube channel for tutorials.

True Facts: Deception in the Rainforest

True Facts: Deception in the Rainforest

Among the awesome creatures in the rainforests are animals and insects that can camouflage into their surroundings, along with ones designed to scare off predators. Zefrank talks about these amazing evolutionary traits, accompanied by incredible imagery by photographers David Weiller and Thomas Marent.

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