Collage of insects found across the world
- Clockwise from top left: dancefly,
long-nosed weevil, mole cricket,
German wasp, emperor gum moth
and assassin bug.
Insect – meaning ‘in sections’ funnily enough – the body being in three parts: head, thorax and abdomen. The thorax has three pairs of jointed legs.
Some insect relatives are confused with them, but are not true insects: the spiders, centipedes and woodlice ... they have similar jointed legs, but usually more than three pairs.
Insects have been around since time immemorial and make up more than 3/4 of the known living species of animals; in Britain we have more than 20,000 species.
Our largest British insect is the privet hawk-moth has a wingspan of more than four inches. The 2.5 inch long stag beetle is our longest ground-living insect. (The largest Goliath Beetle lives in West Africa, and is nearly six inches long).
Their skins cannot stretch much and so growth occurs when an insect sheds or moults its old skin, to reveal the new skin underneath stretching while still soft.
|Green Lace Wing (true)|
Most insects have a complete four-stage life cycle:
- - Egg;
- - Larva in which no wing buds are visible;
- - A resting or pupa (chrysalis) stage;
- - Lastly the winged adult.
Chrysalis, from the Greek word for gold, were so named from the gold spots on their pupae – butterflies and moths and some other insect pupae are now known as Chrysalides.
|Male Red-Veined Darter|
Many other insects have three stages:
- Nymph which moults several times and has traces of wing buds;
- And again lastly the adult.
But there are many variations .. too many for this short post ...
Insects, true or not true ones, have been able to gradually metamorphose adapting to each change on earth as necessary ... and are still doing so today: aquatic nymphs; land-living young; pincers for attack and defence; bugs with mouth parts for sucking – blood or sap; thrips with feathery wings; or fleas and lice, which are parasites on birds and mammals.
So with our many insects – here are a few more of our true ones:
DragonFly; Louse; Earwig; Stonefly; Bugs various – white fly, aphids, scale insect, water boatmen, water stick-insect etc; the ladybird is a beetle
Animals which resemble insects, but are not true ones:
|Daddy LongLegs (not true)|
Spider; millipede, tick, false scorpion, Daddy Longlegs (harvestman) ...
Evolution has produced this astonishing variety in insects ... enjoy and credit them with their adaptive skills ... they are probably the true owners of this earth .....
These are Insects - this is what I stands for ..
Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside
And another award .. this one is for Norwegian gibberish .. and comes from Siv Marie, who instigated a gremlin inspired sentence story line contributed by A – Zers who wished to join in the fun .. me did! The wherefores are here .... the resulting gremlinstory is here "Bugs A - Z Adventure" ... enjoy!!
You can see why I had to put the Bug Award in this post .. couldn't wait!
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