SCIENCE STORY - Butterflies -  Almost all of the butterflies in New Zealand are native and most are endemic. Compared to big, colourful species from other countries, our native butterflies are small and secretive.  When someone mentions the word butterfly, what image pops into your head? Chances are, it’s the monarch butterfly or the white butterfly, as these are our most visible butterflies.

Almost all of the butterflies in New Zealand are native and most are endemic. Compared to big, colourful species from other countries, our native butterflies are small and secretive.

Insect interviews website

Insect Interviews: Merging humor, science and, technology to teach children about entomology

National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects. Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises t...

National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects. Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises t.

STUDENT ACTIVITY - Identifying bugs -  In this activity, students use the web resource ‘What is this bug?’ from Landcare Research to identify an insect. This easy-to-use web page allows students to learn more about insects.

Fred the thread - VIDEO. Dr Robert Hoare, of Landcare Research NZ Ltd, tells the story of Fred the Thread, the world’s thinnest caterpillar. Join the detective hunt for this elusive species.

SCIENCE STORY - Earthworms - To most of us, one earthworm resembles another. Although earthworms do have common characteristics, species differ widely in their size, skin colour and in the roles they play in the soil ecosystem.

Reproduction is one of 7 characteristics of living things. Earthworms need to mate with another individual. After mating, a cocoon containing the fertilised eggs is deposited in the soil.

VIDEO CLIP [1.32]  - Researcher Rosa Henderson from Landcare Research NZ Ltd introduces the tiny scale insects and talks about their role in the ecosystem.

VIDEO CLIP - Researcher Rosa Henderson from Landcare Research NZ Ltd introduces the tiny scale insects and talks about their role in the ecosystem.

A glow in the dark earthworm!! O. multiporus is also unusual because it is bioluminescent. O. multiporus squirts out coelomic fluid from its mouth, anus and dorsal (underside) pores when it is disturbed. The fluid emits a bright orange-yellow light that glows in the dark. It has recently been discovered that the fluid glows in different colours depending on the age of the earthworm....

Octochaetus multiporus is a deep-burrowing earthworm native to New Zealand. It grows up to 30 cm in length and emits bioluminescent fluid when disturbed.

INFO SHEET - Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the most important pollinators of many cultivated food crops and other flowering plants. These plants would be in trouble without bees, and so would we.

INFO SHEET - Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the most important pollinators of many cultivated food crops and other flowering plants. These plants would be in trouble without bees, and so would we.

Meet Fred the Thread... possibly the world’s thinnest caterpillar?? Find out how and why Fred's scientific name came from the infamous Houdini.

Meet Fred the Thread. possibly the world’s thinnest caterpillar? Find out how and why Fred's scientific name came from the infamous Houdini.

A head louse clasping a human hair. The image was taken using an SEM at 110x magnification. At low magnifications like this, SEM generates three-dimensional images that are in focus throughout the depth of the sample.

Electron microscopes were first developed in the They enable us to look at objects in far more detail than is possible with a light microscope. This article looks at the diverse types of electron microscope that are in use today.

ANIMATION - This animation shows a caterpillar of the native Aoraia dinodes or Dumbletonius characterifer species of moths ingesting the reproductive spores of Cordyceps robertsii – the vegetable caterpillar fungus. The caterpillar accidentally eats the spores when feeding on leaf litter on the forest floor. The fungus then feeds on the insides of the caterpillar, mummifying it and producing a sporangium through the dead caterpillar’s neck and releasing spores.

This fungus mummifies caterpillars, then grows its spores within the corpse.

STUDENT ACTIVITY: Pollination role-plays -  In this activity, students make small finger puppets and take on the roles of insects, birds and the wind to simulate different methods of pollination.

STUDENT ACTIVITY: Pollination role-plays - In this activity, students make small finger puppets and take on the roles of insects, birds and the wind to simulate different methods of pollination.

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