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SPLAAT!

    Another bug bites the dust -- or, rather, the windshield.

    All across America, millions of insects meet their doom in a split second by flying into on-coming cars, trucks, buses and SUVs.

    And Dr. Mark Hostetler, splatologist (well, actually he's a wildlife biologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville), has made it his job to identify the milky-white and lumpy remains, and determine exactly what kind of bug it used to be.

    According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (July 17, 2002), Dr. Hostetler (who sometimes answers to the nickname, "Buggy") says that the windshiled of a Greyhound bus is one of the best places to view the creamy carcasses.

    Mosquitoes. Mole crickets. Flying ants. Moths. Once bugs hits the glass, they may all look the same to you and me, but Dr. Hostetler can tell them apart.

    "That's a butterfly. There's yellow in it. That's pollen. Moths tend to be creamier. They have scales. Comes off their wings like powder. Gets stuck in the gunk," he told the Wall Street Journal, as he examined the windshield of a bus.

    Dr. Hostetler has been interested in bugs since he was a kid in Indiana, where he fed flies to toads. Serving in the Peace Corps in Senegal, he endured a plague of locust. His thesis in college was about cockroaches.

    Grasshoppers. Wasps. Mosquitors Ants. Lacewings. "Buggy" Hostetler can tell them apart with a glance.

    Feeling left out? Want to know what bugs are on the windshield of your car? Dr. Hostetler wrote a book to help you identify the runny remains. It's called, "That Gunk on Your Car," and is meant to be both educational and fun.



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