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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 ...

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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