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The troubled waters surrounding the Spratly Islands

New research reveals the unseen environmental damage being done to coral reefs in the hotly contested South China Sea, as China and other nations jostle for control of the disputed sea lanes.

Trees and doodlebugs emit methane – the question is, how?

Trees and insects may play a significant role in the emission of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—and improving our understanding of exactly how this happens could help in targeting more effective ways to fight global ...

Artificial intelligence as behavioral analyst

What is the common ground between making a cup of tea and putting on your shoes? Both actions consist of several movements in a row. "Just like language, which is composed of syllables arranged into sentences, many behaviors ...

Suction cups that don't fall off

The aquatic larvae of the net-winged midge have the unique ability to move around at ease on rocks in torrential rivers using super-strong suction organs. Powerful modern imaging techniques have now revealed the structure ...

Messages in amber envelopes

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that the incidence of midge and fly larvae in amber is far higher than previously thought. The new finds shed light on insect evolution and the ecology ...

Plastic nanoparticles make larval zebrafish hyperactive

Nanoplastics influence the behaviour of larval zebrafish, says new research by the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) and the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML). The researchers observed that a certain type of nanoparticles ...

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Larvae

In Roman mythology, the larvae or lemures (singular lemur) were the spectres or spirits of the dead; they were the malignant version of the lares. Some Roman writers describe lemures as the common name for all the spirits of the dead, and divide them into two classes: the lares, or the benevolent souls of the family, which haunted and guarded the domus or household, and the larvae, or the restless and fearful souls of wicked men. But the more common idea was that the Lemures and Larvae were the same. They were said to wander about at night and to torment and frighten the living.

On May 9, 11, and 13, the Lemuralia or Lemuria, the feast of the Lemures, occurred, when black beans were offered to the Larvae in the hopes of propitiating them; loud noises were also used to frighten them away.

Lemurs were so named by Linnaeus for their large eyes, nocturnal habits and unearthly noises they make at night. Some species of lemur were identified by their calls before scientists had seen individuals. Linnaeus also coined the modern use of the word 'larva' to denote the caterpillar stage in the life cycle of insects.

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