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. heirloom rose called Old Blush

    New genetic details may help roses come up smelling like, well, roses

    A detailed genetic look at China roses and an old European species shows that there’s a built-in trade-off between color and scent.

  2. fruit fly

    Male fruit flies enjoy ejaculation

    Red light exposure made some genetically engineered fruit flies ejaculate, spurring a surge of a brain reward compound — and less desire for booze.

  3. Costa's hummingbird

    These hummingbirds aim their singing tail feathers to wow mates

    Acoustic cameras reveal how male Costa’s hummingbirds can aim the sound produced by fluttering tail feathers during courtship dives.

  4. honeybees

    How honeybees’ royal jelly might be baby glue, too

    A last-minute pH shift thickens royal jelly enough to stick queen larvae to the ceiling of hive cells.

  5. bootlace worm

    Toxins from the world’s longest animal can kill cockroaches

    Bootlace worms can stretch up to 55 meters long and ooze toxins that can kill cockroaches and green crabs.

  6. speckled glass frog

    Some frogs may be bouncing back after killer chytrid fungus

    Frogs in Panama may be developing defenses against a fatal skin disease, a new study suggests.

  7. goatfish

    In a pack hunt, it’s every goatfish for itself

    Pack hunting among goatfish is really about self-interest.

  8. Mastotermes darwiniensis termite

    It’s official: Termites are just cockroaches with a fancy social life

    On their latest master list of arthropods, U.S. entomologists have finally declared termites to be a kind of cockroach.

  9. tardigrade egg

    A new species of tardigrade lays eggs covered with doodads and streamers

    These elegant eggs hint that a tardigrade found in a Japanese parking lot is a new species.

  10. teakettle caterpillar

    This scratchy hiss is the closest thing yet to caterpillar vocalization

    A new way that caterpillars make noise may involve (tiny) teakettle‒style turbulence.

  11. cacao flowers

    The flowers that give us chocolate are ridiculously hard to pollinate

    Cacao trees are really fussy about pollination.

  12. Matabele ant

    Ants practice combat triage and nurse their injured

    Termite-hunting ants have their own version of combat medicine for injured nest mates.