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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. a photo of baobab trees
    Climate

    The first step in using trees to slow climate change: Protect the trees we have

    In all the fuss over planting trillions of trees, we need to protect the forests that already exist.

  7. Asian giant hornet, AKA 'murder hornet', next to a beer can
    Animals

    Focusing on Asian giant hornets distorts the view of invasive species

    2021’s first “murder hornet” is yet another arrival. This is the not-so-new normal.

  8. Aerial photo of Florida Keys
    Animals

    The U.S.’s first open-air genetically modified mosquitoes have taken flight

    After a decade of argument, Oxitec pits genetically modified mosquitoes against Florida’s spreaders of dengue and Zika.

  9. scores of small silver fish swimming
    Animals

    Tiny crystals give a plain fish twinkling, colorful dots under light

    Fishes’ flashing photonic crystals may provide inspiration for ultra-miniaturized sensors that work in a living body.

  10. piles of grasshoppers on a sidewalk
    Animals

    Weather radar shows 30 metric tons of grasshoppers swarmed Las Vegas one night

    Everything’s glitzier in Las Vegas. The most intensely lit U.S. city shows the impact of artificial light on insects on a megascale.

  11. two bald eagles in a tree
    Animals

    A toxin behind mysterious eagle die-offs may have finally been found

    A 20-year study of water weeds and cyanobacteria in the southern United States pinpoints a bird-killing toxin, and it's not your usual suspect.

  12. green sea turtle swimming
    Animals

    Why do sea turtles, penguins and sharks sometimes just swim in circles or spirals?

    Tracking devices recorded the loops and spirals of 10 marine species. In some cases, scientists have good guesses for why; other times it’s baffling.