Life sciences writer Susan Milius has been writing about botany, zoology and ecology for Science News since the last millennium. She worked at diverse publications before breaking into science writing and editing. After stints on the staffs of The Scientist, Science, International Wildlife and United Press International, she joined Science News. Three of Susan's articles have been selected to appear in editions of The Best American Science Writing.

All Stories by Susan Milius

  1. A male fruit fly with a long skinny red body and long dark eyestalks with red tips, stands on a leaf
    Life

    Certain young fruit flies’ eyes literally pop out of their head

    The first published photo sequence of developing Pelmatops flies shows how their eyes rise on gangly stalks in the first hour of adulthood.

  2. two springtails standing on a flat surface against a black backdrop
    Life

    Video reveals that springtails are tiny acrobats

    Poppy seed–sized cousins of insects, famed for wild escape leaping, right themselves in mid-falls faster than cats.

  3. a mosquito larva lunging to eat a different mosquito, with tweezers shown to show the tiny size of the insects
    Animals

    Video captures young mosquitoes launching their heads to eat other mosquitoes

    New high-speed filming gives a first glimpse of mosquito hunting too fast for humans to see.

  4. Two endangered Pahrump poolfish swim in an aquarium. The long-isolated desert fish have lost their fear of some dangers, experiments show.
    Animals

    After eons of isolation, these desert fish flub social cues

    Pahrump poolfish flunked a fear test, but maybe they’re scared of other things.

  5. portrait of a northern giant hornet specimen
    Animals

    ‘Murder hornets’ have a new common name: Northern giant hornet

    Anti-Asian hate crimes helped push U.S. entomologists to give a colorful insect initially dubbed the Asian giant hornet a less inflammatory name.

  6. Dozens of tiny Delena huntsman spiderlings in or near their white egg sac, surrounded by their much larger, red-legged mother.
    Animals

    These huntsman spiders do something weird: live together as a big, happy family

    Five unusual species of spider moms let youngsters live at home way past the cute waddling baby phase.

  7. a wood frog on wet forest ground
    Animals

    An ‘acoustic camera’ shows joining the right boy band boosts a frog’s sex appeal

    Serenading with like voices may help male wood frogs woo females into their pools, analysis of individual voices in a frog choir shows.

  8. images of A. angustatum, left, and A. peninsulae, right
    Plants

    These flowers lure pollinators to their deaths. There’s a new twist on how

    Some jack-in-the-pulpit plants may use sex to lure pollinators. That's confusing for male fungus gnats — and deadly.

  9. photo of a black and yellow female jorō spider
    Animals

    Invasive jorō spiders get huge and flashy — if they’re female

    Taking the pulse (literally) of female jorō spiders hints that the arachnid might push farther north than a relative that has stayed put in the South.

  10. image of a person pouring water to a blue mosquito egg-rearing box with the oxitec logo on it
    Animals

    Genetically modified mosquitoes could be tested in California soon

    The EPA also OK’d more trials in Key West, Fla. Both states now get their say in whether to release free-flying Aedes aegypti to sabotage their own kind.

  11. golden tortoise beetle on a leaf
    Animals

    Mirror beetles’ shiny bodies may not act as camouflage after all

    Hundreds of handmade clay nubbins test the notion that a beetle’s metallic high gloss could confound predators. Birds pecked the lovely idea to death.

  12. Brood X cicadas on a leaf
    Animals

    Cicada science heats up when Brood X emerges. 2021 was no exception

    Mating mobs of big, hapless, 17-year-old cicadas made for a memorable spring in the Eastern United States