Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Expert says sex-crazed insects whip up 'bugnadoes' in Midwest

Image: Still image of a "bugnado" captured on film.

Tornadoes aren't the only funnels that touch down in the Midwest. "Bugnadoes" — vortexes of swarming bugs — occasionally twist through, too.

On the night of July 4, professional storm chaser and photographer Mike Hollingshead caught sight of an enormous bugnado in southwestern Iowa. The air above the cornfields was so thick with bugs "it looked like it was smoking," Hollingshead told Life's Little Mysteries. He captured the strange sight on camera, and his video has gone viral in recent days.

But what are the bugnadoes? "It’s a mating flight. The males are trying to impress the females, and the females select a mate." No one knows what the females are looking for when they choose a sex partner from among the masses, said Jo Kieper, an entomologist who is executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

No comments: