Do Bugs Sleep? Why They're Surprisingly Similar to People
Some insects, like honeybees and fruit flies, slumber just like us—and can get sloppy without their Zzzs, research shows.
Sleep seems obvious, especially when you hear your roommate snoring away like a didgeridoo.
But for some animals, it's a little harder to tell who's in dreamland.
For this Saturday's Weird Animal Question of the Week, we answered Natalie Klefer's Facebook question: "Do bugs sleep?"
"Yes—with an asterisk," says Barrett Klein, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, who studies the sleeping lives of honeybees. (See "7 Bug and Spider Myths Squashed.")
Paper wasps, cockroaches, praying mantises, and fruit flies are among insects that doze. Fruit fly sleep is even similar to mammal sleep, since the flies respond to sleep-inducing chemicals and caffeine, just like people, Klein says.
Still, measuring sleep in insects is tricky—it's