Insect Orders By: colby hawk

Jerusalem Cricket - Orthoptera order

"Grasshoppers, crickets, katydids and locusts all belong to the order Orthoptera which means 'straight wings'."

"Most are easily recognisable by their hind legs, which are usually enlarged for jumping."

"The majority of orthopterans lay their eggs in the ground or on vegetation. The eggs hatch and the young nymphs resemble adults but lack wings and at this stage are often called hoppers."

Damsel fly - Odonata Order

"Odonata consists of three groups: Anisoptera (which includes dragonflies), Zygoptera (which includes damselflies), and Anisozygoptera (a relict group represented by only two living species. This order is very diverse with about 5000 species, and its members are easy to observe."

"Among living Odonata, there are twenty-five families, mostly dragonflies and damselflies. Of all their characteristics, the easiest way to tell a dragonfly or damselfly from other insects is by the size of the eyes and shape of the abdomen. If the eyes are very large in proportion to the head and the abdomen is long and thin, then it is almost sure to be in Odonata."

"Dragonflies can fly forward at about 100 body-lengths per second, and backwards at about 3 body-lengths per second. They are also capable of hovering in the air for about a minute."

Cicada - Hemiptera Order

"All of them have piercing mouthparts with which they can suck the juices from plants or animals - usually plants."

"The Hemiptera are called 'true' bugs because everyone - entomologists included - tend to call all insects 'bugs'. That is a loose term, whereas the true bugs are just those contained within the insect order Hemiptera."

"The true bugs often have long antennae divided into a small number of segments, and the front wings can be somewhat hardened. Some bugs resemble beetles, but beetles have wing covers that do not overlap, unlike the bugs."

Lady Beetles - Coleoptera Order

"It has been estimated that half of all animal species alive today are beetles; using a conservative estimate of the number of animal species, there would be at least three million beetle species on the Earth."

"Coleoptera means "sheathed wing;" beetles have two pairs of wings, but the first pair has been enlarged and thickened into a pair of hard sheaths, or elytra, that cover the delicate hind wings."

"Because the elytra are fairly hard structures, beetles have a better fossil record than many other insect groups do; the oldest fossil beetles are Permian."

Midge - Diptera Order

"This is one of the largest insect orders in the world and includes many familiar insects such as mosquitoes, midges, sand flies, house flies and blowflies. Many species of Diptera are important due to the role they play in disease transmission, which includes such things as mosquitoes that spread malaria in many underdeveloped countries."

"Flies have a complete life cycle and will mate while flying. The eggs are usually laid into suitable substrate or close by an appropriate food source. The larvae complete their development and pupate in the substrate where they were laid, which may be soil, organic matter, water, plant tissue or animal tissue."

"Adult flies are only able to ingest liquid foods due to their sucking and/or piercing mouthparts. In most species digestion is partially external and salivary secretions are introduced to liquefy the food and then the softened product is mopped up. Species such as mosquitoes and March flies pierce the skin of their prey with their proboscis and then suck up the blood."

Butterfly - Lepidoptera Order

"Put simply, butterflies are just day-flying moths. Butterflies have clubbed antennae and the habit of holding their wings vertically when at rest whereas moths sit with their wings flat. Some day-flying moths are brightly coloured and may be mistaken for butterflies.

"Most larvae of moths and butterflies are herbivores either eating foliage or wood, but some are carnivorous cannibalising other caterpillars or feeding on soft bodied insects such as scale or ant larvae. Adults are generally nectar feeders, although a few have reduced mouthparts and do not eat at all."

"Moths and butterflies undergo a complete life cycle that includes four stages: egg, caterpillar (larvae), pupae and adult. The eggs are usually laid on or close to the caterpillar's food plant either singularly or in groups. A female may lay only a few eggs or tens of thousands depending on the species, but several hundred is reasonably typical. After hatching caterpillars usually develop through 4 to 7 instars over a period of a few weeks up to a few months depending on the species, before pupating. When ready to pupate caterpillars generally find a sheltered site to spin their cocoons. Some may pupate attached to vegetation, others in the soil or leaf litter or inside the wood they have been tunneling in. Many moths and butterflies have one or two generations each year while others may breed continuously. Other species such as the large wood-boring Cossidae may take up to five years to develop."

Bee - Hymenoptera Order

"Hymenopterans, the "membrane-winged" insects, include bees, ants, and a large number of other insect taxa collectively referred to as wasps. The Hymenoptera include famous examples of social insects, such as honeybees and true ants."

"Hymenoptera have developed regimented social systems in which members are divided into worker, drone, and queen castes. Such social hymenoptera may live together in nests or hives of many thousands of individuals, all descended form a single queen. Not all hymenoptera are social, however; many live a solitary life, coming together only for a brief mating."

"Flowers pollinated by bees are typically yellow or blue and often have patterns visible only under ultraviolet light, which bees can see. Many bee-pollinated flowers are bilaterally symmetrical and produce abundant nectar, such as the orchids, some species of which depend on a single species of bee for pollination. Other plants may be pollinated by ants, or may rely on ants living within them to keep predators away. Many of these plants produce large quantities of nectar, or produce other fluids for the ants."

Credits:

Created with images by Luigi Mengato - "Insect" • Huskyherz - "grasshopper insect nature" • University of Exeter - "damsel-fly-1401697" • makamuki0 - "cicada i cicádido crayfish" • Brett_Hondow - "ladybug ladybird lady beetle" • prochalen - "fly insect macro" • FreeWine - "Butterfly" • askyog - "Bee"

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