Interesting Insect Information
grasshoppers | dragonflies | tiger beetles | aphids | milkweed bugs | ladybird beetles
blister beetles | butterflies | bees
|Why does the pallid-winged grasshopper seen in Phoenix have bright yellow wings?
Pallid-winged grasshoppers are strong flyers that are attracted to city lights. They are grey and well camouflaged while sitting, but expose bright yellow wings when flying. It is believed that the bright yellow initially attracts predators when the grasshoppers take flight, but when the grasshopper lands and folds its wings, it virtually disappears from the view of the would-be predator.
|How do dragonflies regulate their body temperature?
You’ll commonly see them sitting on a twig soaking up warmth from the sun. They can also generate heat by rapidly beating their wings. If they get too hot, dragonflies can divert blood from the thorax into the abdomen to cool, perch in the shade, or assume a position called the obelisk, where the abdomen is pointed directly into the sun and the wings rotated downward to shade the thorax.
|Is there a downside for the tiger beetle being one of the fastest moving insects?
Yes. When they pursue their prey at high speeds, they temporarily go blind. Entomologists long wondered why tiger beetles attack their prey in fits and starts. It turns out that if they move too quickly, their eyes don’t gather enough photons (illumination) to form an image of their prey. That is why they have to stop, look around, and go again.
That depends. Many aphids are monophagous, which means that they can feed from only one specific plant species. However, other aphids eat from a veritable smorgasbord (polyphagous), feeding on more than 100 different plant species.
Milkweed bugs sequester toxic glycosides from the milkweed plant or seeds (Asclepias spp.) that they eat, which accumulate in their bodies. It is very distasteful to potential predators.
Why are milkweed bugs so colorful?
These bright colors serve as a warning, alerting would-be predators that they are distasteful, so that nothing even tries to eat them. This adaptation is known as aposematism.
|Are all relatives in the ladybird beetle family beneficial?
Most members of the ladybird family are beneficial, but some exceptions are the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle.
|Do both male and female blister beetles produce the caustic substance that blisters human skin?
No. Only males manufacture this substance, known as cantharidin; however, they transfer this defensive material to the females as they mate.
How do female blister beetles chose a mate?
To impress a female blister beetle, males must weigh as much as or more than their prospective mate. Biologists believe that when a male climbs onto a female’s back to mate, she can tell how much he weighs. Lightweights need not apply.
What do the larvae of blister beetles eat?
Larvae of the beetle emerge from eggs laid in the soil and burrow to feast on grasshopper eggs.
|How many species of butterfly occur in Arizona?
According to the Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association, 361 different butterfly species have been recorded from Arizona.
Which country produces the most honey?