Insects By Sam Fox
Lepidoptera: usually called moths and butterflies, larvaes are called caterpillars
- "Adults (imagos) have four membranous wings (rarely wingless); hindwings are usually seen than forewings, both largely or entirely covered with scales" buggides.net
- "The name Lepidoptera is derived from the Greek, meaning “scaly winged,” and refers to the characteristic covering of microscopic dustlike scales on the wings." Brittanica.com
The Hemiptera or true bugs are an order of insects comprising some 50,000 to 80,000 species of groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs.
Heteropteran bugs having fore wings clearly divided into two regions, a tough and leathery basal area and a membranous tip, and membranous hind wings; all four wings folded flat over their backs when not needed for flying.
Most species of Hemiptera are plant feeders, sucking sap with many causing considerable damage to crops, ornamental garden plants such as roses, shrubs and trees. Some species are bloodsuckers of mammals and birds while others are predators that feed on other invertebrates, including some pest species and are therefore beneficial to man.
Coleoptera (beetles and weevils) is the largest order in the class Insecta.
The oldest beetle fossils are from the Lower Permian (about 265 million years old; Ponomarenko, 1995); since then the group has diversified into many different forms. They range in size from minute featherwing beetles (Ptiliidae), adults of which are as small as 0.3 mm long, to the giant Goliath and Hercules beetles (Scarabaeidae), which can be well over 15 cm.
The name of the taxonomic order, Coleoptera, comes from the Greek koleopteros (κολεόπτεροσ), given to the group by Aristotle for their elytra, hardened shield-like forewings, from koleos, sheath, and pteron, wing.
Hymenoptera is the third-largest order of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants. Over 150,000 species are recognized, with many more remaining to be described
Typically two pairs of wings, with forewings usually larger than hindwings, but some groups (such as ants) wingless in most life stages.
Hymenopterans have left behind some spectacular fossils. The best-preserved are those found in amber, which is actually fossilized sap from ancient trees. In these fossils, detail of legs, antennae, wings, and even small body hairs are preserved.
Odonata is an order of carnivorous insects, encompassing the dragonflies (Anisoptera) and the damselflies (Zygoptera). The Odonata form a clade, which has existed since the Triassic.
Dragonfly eggs are round and about 0.5 mm long, whereas damselfly eggs are cylindrical and longer, about 1 mm long. Similarly, the nymphs (larvae) of the two groups differ. A larval damselfly abdomen is longer and narrower with three fin-like gills projecting from the end. Dragonfly nymphs are shorter and bulkier, and the gills are located inside the abdomen.
Damselflies and dragonflies are very similar but can be separated by looking at their wings. In dragonflies the hind wings are slightly broader than the forewings and in damselflies both wings are more or less similar size. Wings are held horizontally to the body in dragonflies and vertically in damselflies when at rest.
The Orthoptera order of insects includes the grasshoppers, crickets, cave crickets, Jerusalem crickets, katydids, weta, lubber, Acrida, and locusts.
Metamorphosis gradual (paurometabolous); nymphs resemble adults, typically develop external wing buds, and live in the same habitat as adults, typically taking the same food.
2 pairs of wings. The forewings are narrower than the hind wings and hardened or leathery at the base. They are held roof-like overlapping the abdomen at rest. The hind wing is membranous and held folded fan-like under the forewings when at rest
Diptera is a large order containing an estimated 1,000,000 species including horse-flies,[a] crane flies, hoverflies and others, although only about 125,000 species have been described.
Greek 'two-winged' (the name dates back to Aristotle, who noted the difference from typical four-winged insects). The English fly originally signified any flying insect
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.