Bug smuggling is big business

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Demand for exotic pets and collectors’ items drives a flourishing illegal trade in beetles, spiders, and more.

SPECIAL AGENT RYAN Bessey was in his office at the New Jersey branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Galloway, on September 23, 2015, when he took a call from a colleague in the intelligence unit. The analyst told him that French customs officers had seized 115 emperor scorpions in two shipments from Cameroon. They were addressed to a man in Metuchen, New Jersey, named Wlodzimie Lapkiewicz.

If French authorities considered the bust important enough to tell the U.S. about it, Lapkiewicz was worth looking into, Bessey thought. He began to do some digging.

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Florida to test drones in the battle against mosquitoes

Drone packing a shortwave infrared camera to find the pools where larvae are

Mosquitoes are a big problem that plagues the world.  We have recently seen a sticker that will render the wearer invisible to mosquitoes.  Now, Florida, the paradise of marshy wetlands i.e. mosquito breeding grounds, is gearing up for an experiment involving aerial drones to fight mosquitoes.

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Farm 432: A kitchen appliance that lets you breed insects for food

Farm 432 Insect Breeding device.

The Farm 432 Insect Breeding device is a self-contained black soldier fly habitat that allows the flies to breed and produce up to about a pound of larvae a week, which you will then eat. Mmmmm, black soldier fly larvae. (Photos)

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Insect-eating is the future of food

Insects may be the food of the future.

In Western societies, eating insects is considered disgusting or even primitive. But 2 billion people elsewhere consume insects on a regular basis.  According to a report released last month by the UN, the benefits of using insects as food is so great that it is high time we convert the other 5 billion people into insect-eaters.

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World’s smallest flying robot takes off

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A robot the size of a fly that is able to perform the agile maneuvers of the ubiquitous insects has been created bu scientists in the United States. This “robo-fly”, built from carbon fiber, weighs a fraction of a gram and has super-fast electronic “muscles” to power its wings.

 

 

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Assassin bug carries victims on its back to fend off enemies

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Assassin bug

The assassin bug is less than a centimeter in length and that is something for which, quite possibly, we can be truly grateful! The bug is found in Malaysia and has a trick up its sleeve once it has finished its dinner. It attaches the empty carcases of its victims on its back – a ploy thought to be an attempt to avoid becoming a victim itself. (Photos)

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Cyborg insect power breakthrough

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Researchers are a step closer to finding a reliable power source for the bug-borne sensors.

Scientists have been pushing hard to outfit robobugs, or some may call then insect cyborgs, with tiny electronic sensors–saying these insect-machine mash-ups could prove invaluable in applications ranging from search-and-rescue to espionage. (Video)

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U.S. military developing miniature drones that resemble birds and insects

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Researcher Dr Gregory Parker holds a small, winged drone that resembles an insect.

The U.S. military is developing these. innocent-looking devices that are actually some of the most sophisticated drones on the planet.   They resemble children’s toys that are left disgarded in closets around the world.  (Pics and video)

 

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