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What is an Instar?

We often use the term “instar” when discussing larvae and caterpillars. Today, we are going to discuss instars in depth, so that we all know exactly what we are talking about. According to the Amateur Entomologists’ Society, an instar is “the name given to the developmental stage of an arthropod between moults.” So, to understand instars, we must first know what “moult” (spelled “molt” in the US) means. Arthropods (animals such as butterflies, insects, spiders, and centipedes) go through several life stages as they grow from infants to adults, much like humans. However, humans and arthropods have different skeletal systems. Our bones are a living part of our bodies. They grow along with our muscles and skin. Butterflies and other arthropods have exoskeletons. They Continue reading [...]

To Get Rid of Centipedes, Take Away Their Food!

Today, we will discuss a question from a reader who would like to know how to eradicate centipedes in her home. The good news is that centipedes do not tend to swarm or invade in large groups. This means it is not usually difficult to control local centipede populations. Continue reading [...]

Creatures on Dubai Beach Offer Little Identifying Information

Today, we’re addressing a question from a reader in Dubai. She writes because she has found some creatures on the beach, and she’s wondering if they are worms. She adds that it is the first time she has seem such critters there, and she has included a picture. Continue reading [...]

Tiny Black “Worms” are Actually Millipedes

We have received a question from a reader who would like help identifying the worms, or worm-like beings, that are crawling on the outside of his house after rain. He has included a photograph of the creature next to a quarter for a sense of scale. If we do to identify the critter, our reader would like some advice as to how to get them to go away. Continue reading [...]

Clear Specimen Discovered in Toilet

We recently received a picture taken by a reader via our Facebook page. She wrote that the item in the photo appeared after she flushed her toilet. She thinks it might be some sort of plant or a worm. The sudden appearance of this freaked her out, and she wonders what it might be. Continue reading [...]

Microscopic Creature Could be a Woodboring Beetle

We just got a photo from a reader with the following description, “it seems to be microscopic, eats wood like a termite, and the needle nose a the from is some type of saw. It presents itself in the shower/laundry/kitchen areas, and at first I thought it was mold. It is very irritating to the skin and hair. Please identify this.” Continue reading [...]
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