Honey Bees

APIDAE (Cuckoo, Digger, Carpenter, Bumble, and Honey Bees)

The family Apidae is a large and very diverse group of bees. It contains a diverse array of digger bees, most of which nest in the soil, carpenter bees which nest in soft wood or pithy stems, and bumble and honey bees which nest in large cavities or hives, are social, and have distinctive pollen baskets (corbicula).

It also contains many wasp-like bees that make their living at the expense of other bees by invading and parasitizing their brood nests (see Cuckoo Bees). Many of the bees in this family are large, rather chunky and stout in shape, but there are always exceptions, like Ceratina, which are very small and slender.

Hissing Cockroach

This insect looks—and sounds—like anything but a run-of-the-mill roach. Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of many fascinating animal species to hail from the island of Madagascar.

These cockroaches are shiny brown and oval-shaped, with no wings and a single pair of antennae. Males sport large horns, which give them an unusual and impressive appearance.

Males use their horns in aggressive encounters reminiscent of battles between horned or antlered mammals. Rivals ram one another with their horns (or abdomens) and during the fight often unleash the amazing hisses that give the animal its name. Winning roaches hiss more than losers, so the sounds may be used to help determine a roach hierarchy.