Honey Not Now, It’s About to Rain

New study proves that insects’ mating behavior can predict changes in weather

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Rose aphid (Macrosiphum rosae) using its rostrum to suck sap.

It has long been thought that weather can be predicted through the behavior of insects — the industriousness of ants, the chirping of crickets, the way spiders build their webs. However, it is only now that this assumption has been scientifically corroborated.

In a study published in PLoS ONE on Wednesday, researchers showed that three different species — a beetle, a moth and a potato aphid — all became less sexually active when atmospheric pressure dropped. Entomologist José Bento suspects that the insects use tiny hair-like receptors to sense the changes in pressure.