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Play Leaf Miner Fly Babies Scribble All Over Your Salad

This fly’s larvae tunnel inside bitter-tasting greens like arugula and kale, leaving squiggly marks behind. The plants fight back with toxic chemicals. So before laying her eggs, the fly mom digs into a leaf and slurps its sap – a taste test to find the least toxic spot for her offspring.

Play Firebrats and Silverfish Are Rocking Some Old-School Looks

What *is* that bizarre fish-shaped thing squirming in your sink at night? Firebrats and silverfish are pretty darn similar to some of the earliest insects on Earth. With three long filaments poking out their back, no wings and mini-me babies, they have something to teach us about survival.

Play These Acrobatic Beach Hoppers Shred All Night Long

As the sun sets, hordes of tiny crustaceans called beach hoppers – also known as sand hoppers – emerge from underground burrows to frolic and feast. They eat so much decaying seaweed and other beach wrack that by morning all that’s left are ghostly outlines in the sand.

Play These Mites Rain Down To Save Your Strawberries

Two tiny mites duke it out on strawberry plants throughout California. One is a spider mite that sucks the juices out of the delicious crop and destroys it. The other, persimilis, is a crafty predator that growers drop by the thousands from high-tech drones to protect their fields.

Play These Silk-Swinging Caterpillars Will Ruin Your Picnic

California oak moth caterpillars eat all the leaves on an oak, leaving a brown skeleton. Then they rappel down on a strand of silk, twirling and swinging. If you were enjoying the shade, good luck getting out of their way. For the oak, the caterpillars are a bigger deal –– will the tree survive?

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