They are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, including more than a million described species and representing more than half of all known living organisms. 1. The red disa orchid, Disa uniflora, relies on a single species of butterfly (the mountain pride butterfly, Aeropetes tulbaghia) for its pollination. The stemmata detect light on either side of the insect and probably help the immature insect navigate as it moves. Insects have many different ways of communicating. Lonely Planet/Alfredo Maiquez/Getty Images. endstream The largest insects can weigh up to 70 grams (2.5 ounces). We've only begun to identify and describe the insects on earth, and the list is already over one million species and climbing. An insect can withstand falls because its minimal weight means it lands with significantly less force. A fierce hunter, it can reach speeds of 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) per hour when chasing prey. 15 Misconceptions Kids (And Adults) Have About Insects, Overview of the Biggest Bugs That Ever Lived, Insects: The Most Diverse Animal Group in the Planet, B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University. endobj All insects have sense organs that allow them to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch their environment. Dung beetles can navigate only when the Milky Way or clusters of bright stars are visible and are the only insect known to orient itself by use of the galaxy. Insects outnumber all other terrestrial animals. The number of insect species is believed to be between six and ten million. Here are other interesting facts about bugs to note: Facts about Bugs 1: where to find insects? They Outnumber All Other Terrestrial Animals Combined. 3) Dragonflies have been on earth for 300 million years! And these insects weren't tiny, either. There are insects that eat other insects, and some even drink blood. With an average life of one to 24 hours, mayflies are the insect with the shortest life span. Insects can even be found in icy habitats. The authors of Borror and Delong's Introduction to the Study of Insects note that "more than a thousand kinds may occur in a fair-sized backyard, and their populations often number many millions per acre." They First Appeared on Earth at Least 400 Million Years Ago. N�(�1�^�7A[��K�uBX����I툚�u����8���U�Y��� �(&@x�}��;����T���²m�śǔc H���åb�H�B1c�K|)�L{��`ƌbmңF�1�~+�#�~���OH#�)�jP)p�|�vDc�,.�1����X�_��~�I��ں��r�&3 �Y�)�Uۊ"nmn��&}%�l�N�={u�ZG��1k�)e��-��z�� The Devonian period, though called the Age of Fishes, also saw the growth of terrestrial forests on dry land, and with these plants came insects. There are 26 animals at the ABC Zoo, including mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects. The larvae enter a pupa, chrysalis or cocoon. But how much do you know about insects? All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, with some queens living up to 50 years. An Australian tiger beetle is probably the world’s fastest running insect. The total weight of all the insects is about 70 times as much as all the people. Each animal begins with a different letter, and has its own content page with relevant pictures, quick information, fun facts, and short poems. They farm fungus and disperse seeds. The main sense organs of most insects are the antennae (feelers) on their heads. And finally, the maxillae may serve several functions, including tasting, chewing, and holding the food. Butterflies and moths drink fluids and have mouthparts formed into a proboscis or straw for doing so efficiently. Compound eyes are made up of dozens of lenses. There are numerous examples of flowering plants that require a specific insect pollinator to set seed. The lifespans of most insects are shorter than a year. Beetles have chewing mouthparts, as do grasshoppers, termites, and stick insects. Check out our fun insect facts for kids. Perhaps the most remarkable example of insect relationships is that of the bess beetles. The type of mouthparts an insect has can help you identify its taxonomic order. Insects carry viruses, bacteria, and protozoa (for better or worse). Nearly all caterpillars are phytophagous, but one unusual moth caterpillar (Ceratophaga vicinella) scavenges on the tough keratin shells of dead gopher tortoises. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. endobj Insects are mostly solitary, but some, such as certain bees, ants and termites, are social and live in large, well-organized colonies. Many insects are camouflaged, so that predators do not see them. Insects from ants to zorapterans share the same basic structures to form their mouthparts. Facts about bugs. Some insects get enough water from their food, be it moist plants or goo-filled prey, but others do need to drink water! All Canada Photos/Jared Hobbs/Getty Images. These 10 fascinating facts about insects may surprise you. Some insects survive the cold by hibernating. The first part is the insect’s head. And some insects will eat whatever scraps of food you leave lying around. They All Have the Same Basic Mouthparts, but Use Them Differently. Many of these have bright colors, such as black-and-yellow stripes, to warn enemies away. Read on and enjoy a variety of interesting information about insects. Hercules beetles can lift 850 times their own weight. Most insects have three simple light detection structures called ocelli on the top of their heads, in both the adult and immature stages of their lives. A moth caterpillar specializes in eating dead gopher tortoise shells. Unfortunately, a good number will likely be extinct before we even find them. Some immature insects – caterpillars and beetle larvae, for example – have stemmata on the sides of their heads. Some immature insects have compound eyes, too. Their relationship is so sophisticated they've developed their own vocabulary and communicate with each other by squeaking. They can be seen swimming, flying and walking. <>stream Some Insects Fill Specific Ecological Roles. How these structures are modified reveals a lot about how and what an insect eats. Insects like water striders can literally walk on water, by distributing their low body mass in a way that maximizes the water's surface tension. But whether an insect seems boring or brilliant, its colors and patterns fulfill an important function vital to that insect's survival. Portions of this work have been adapted or used directly from sources in the Creative Commons. Ancestors of modern day true bugs, cockroaches, dragonflies, and mayflies were among those crawling and flying among the ferns. About Insectsapplication/pdfReading Comprehension Grade 2 Comprehension Grade 2 This is the case with some lace bug and stink bug mothers; they guard their eggs until they hatch, and even stay with the young nymphs, fending off predators. Learn about different insect parts, which insects can walk on water, how ants communicate and much more. A male giant water bug cares for his eggs. Each online reader has its printable version in pdf format. Some insects may have just a few ommatidia in each eye, while others have dozens. In some cultures, insects, especially deep-fried cicadas, are considered to be delicacies, whereas in other places they form part of the normal diet. Some scientists estimate the actual number of distinct insect species may be as high as 30 million. Locusts can eat their own weight in food in a day. Some species are armed with stingers or foul-tasting poison. Insects are small animals with a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. They control weeds, kill crop pests, and pollinate crops and other flowering plants. Giant water bug fathers carry their eggs on their backs, keeping them oxygenated and hydrated. Insects may seem like simple beings, incapable of establishing bonds of any kind with other individuals. Life On White/Getty Images. An adult insect emerges from the pupa. Like the head of other creatures, an insect’s head is the location of its eyes and mouth. �!`jU�cU��{e���/R�a����b۵��58���I|SA;������{�=M�H�`c����mW��i�VI����Q�+i���s�K@0��a'm���G.�i�a ��*z���P�6 Not only is this insect very fast, but it also has great control and maneuvers in the air. If we count every kind of land animal known thus far, from rodents to humans and everything in between, that total is still only about a third of the known insect species. It’s fastest recorded speed has been up to 145 kilometers (90 miles) per hour. Keep reading to find out 10 weird and fun facts about insects. The fossil record of insects dates back 400 million years. The ocelli don't provide the insect with sophisticated images of its environment, but simply help it detect changes in light. But in truth, there are numerous examples of insects that parent their young to some degree, and a few cases of insects that do so together in male-female couples. That’s equivalent to a human lifting 10 elephants. Several insect enthusiasts have launched backyard bug surveys in recent years, and have documented hundreds, sometimes thousands, of unique species in their own yards. Their eggs or young survive in sheltered places and emerge in spring. In recent years, scientists determined that some six-legged arthropods that were long considered insects really weren't insects at all. Interesting facts about bottlenose dolphins, Interesting facts about breakfast cereals, Interesting facts about Olympic Mountains, Interesting facts about the Atacama Desert, Interesting facts about molten chocolate cake, Interesting facts about golden lion tamarins, Interesting facts about the Canadian Rockies. Others, such as monarch butterflies [photo below], migrate long distances to avoid the winter chill. The dragonfly eye is perhaps the most sophisticated of all, with more than 10,000 ommatidia in each compound eye. Around half are plant-eaters, feeding on leaves, roots, seeds, nectar, or wood. The oldest definitive insect fossil, Rhyniognatha hirsti, is estimated to be 407 to 396 million years old. 1) A ladybird might eat more than 5,000 insects in its lifetime! The classification of arthropods is fluid, as entomologists and taxonomists gather new information and reassess how organisms relate to each other. They were the first animals to develop flight, about 400 million years ago in the Devonian period. Insects Literacy for Anywhere Leveled Readers for the Developing World and Beyond! They live on glaciers, in tropical jungles, in scorching deserts, and even on the surface of the oceans. %PDF-1.5 <>stream Insects outnumber all other terrestrial animals. The body of an insect has three parts. The only insect indigenous to Antarctica is the wingless midge Belgica antarctica. The hypopharynx is a tongue-like structure that projects forward. While fossil evidence of insects from before the Devonian period is unlikely to exist, we do have fossil plant evidence from that time. Spiders are not insects because they have eight legs. Most insects take little or no care of their young, but social insects are an exception. Springtails are no longer classified as insects. Debbie Hadley is a science educator with 25 years of experience who has written on science topics for over a decade. Beetles, of the insect order Coleoptera, are the most biodiverse group of creatures known, with more than 380,000 species described to date, making up 40 percent of all insect species on the books. And some of those fossilized plants show evidence of being munched on by mites or insects of some kind.