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. portrait of a northern giant hornet specimen

    ‘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.

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

    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.

  3. a wood frog on wet forest ground

    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.

  4. images of A. angustatum, left, and A. peninsulae, right

    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.

  5. photo of a black and yellow female jorō spider

    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.

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

    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.

  7. golden tortoise beetle on a leaf

    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.

  8. Brood X cicadas on a leaf

    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

  9. a photo of baobab trees

    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.

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

    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.

  11. Aerial photo of Florida Keys

    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.

  12. scores of small silver fish swimming

    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.