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. Silverleaf whiteflies
    Plants

    A major crop pest can make tomato plants lie to their neighbors

    Insects called silverleaf whiteflies exploit tomatoes’ ability to detect damage caused to nearby plants.

  2. mosquito
    Animals

    Geneticists close in on how mosquitoes sniff out human sweat

    A long-sought protein proves vital for mosquitoes’ ability to detect lactic acid, a great clue for finding a human.

  3. male bee
    Animals

    The first male bees spotted babysitting are mostly stepdads

    Some male bees guard young that are likely not their own while mom looks for pollen, a study finds.

  4. black bear eating trash
    Animals

    Bears that eat ‘junk food’ may hibernate less and age faster

    Wild black bears snacking on leftovers of sugary, highly processed foods in Colorado show possible signs of faster cellular wear.

  5. greater ani bird
    Animals

    This parasitic cuckoo bird shows cheaters don’t always get ahead

    Birds called greater anis that can slip extra eggs into other nests create a natural test of the benefits of honest parenting.

  6. House fly
    Climate

    Climate change could increase foodborne illness by energizing flies

    Warmer, more lively house flies could spread more Campylobacter bacteria by landing on more food.

  7. joshua tree
    Plants

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.

  8. black soldier fly larva
    Animals

    How black soldier fly larvae can demolish a pizza so fast

    When gorging together, fly larvae create a living fountain that whooshes slowpokes up and away.

  9. swamp sparrow
    Animals

    Male birds’ sexy songs may not advertise their brains after all

    A biologist backs off an idea he studied for years that the mastery of birdsong is a sign of bird smarts.

  10. honeybee with a Varroa destructor mite
    Animals

    This honeybee parasite may be more of a fat stealer than a bloodsucker

    Inventing decoy bee larvae prompts a back-to-basics rethink of a mite ominously named Varroa destructor.

  11. blob of worms
    Animals

    How worm blobs behave like a liquid and a solid

    Blobs of worms flow like a fluid, plop like a solid and fascinate scientists.

  12. dragonfly
    Animals

    Green darner dragonflies migrate a bit like monarch butterflies

    Some dragonflies do a north-south annual migration that takes at least three generations.