Secrets - Their Answers
BUG Secrets have fascinating answers.
- Honey bees communicate the location of nectar bearing flowers by dancing for their hive mates. The turns and wiggles of the dance describe the location of flowers, relative to the position of the sun.
- It’s with an “A”. The Praying Mantis holds its forearms in a seemingly prayerful position, when in fact it waits in ambush, lunging its jagged arms forward, as fast as twice in half a second, to capture its prey.
- Each year more than 150 million Monarch Butterflies migrate south to mountaintops in rural MEXICO. The mated females begin the return migration in spring, following the sprouting host plant, milkweed. It takes two or three generations for the Monarchs to return to the northern most parts of their range.
- To us, they are all bugs – because they bug us! But in fact there are “True Bugs”, (order Hemiptera) which means insects that mostly feed upon other insects or on plant juices, by using their straw-like mouthparts to suck out juices. Unfortunately, the bug that bugs us most is the bed bug and it too is a True Bug!
- Spiders are indeed great mothers. The females of many species of spiders carry their egg cases with them, protecting sometimes hundreds of young until they are ready to leave the web.
- Dragonfly young, or nymphs, are the truly the monsters of the deep! Born from dragonfly eggs dropped into the water, they spend as many as two years underwater, prowling for and devouring other aquatic insects, tadpoles and even small fish. When it is time for them to change into adult dragonflies they crawl up onto stems along the shoreline. Their exoskeleton splits along the back and a new, adult dragonfly predator emerges to hunt in the air.
- Yes, they really do talk to each other. They talk with their antennae communicating through complex chemical signals about the location of food, the needs of the colony and their queen, and about work to be done.
- Yes! There are more species of beetles (Order Coleoptera) than any other type of insect - about 300,000 known worldwide and 30,000 in North America. Why so many? They inhabit every livable habitat, land and water, and air; they fly. Beetle species evolved to eat everything: plants, insects, pollen, dung, wool and other fabrics. Some are predators; some herbivores and some are parasites, while others are important pollinators.
- Plants and insects are a team that can’t be beat. When you see a bug, don’t pull out that spray can of insecticide. Insects are responsible for 80% of all plant pollination. In fact, pollination of crops by European honey bees alone is worth $15 billion in U.S. agricultural crops each year. Our gardens and forests rely upon many other insects as pollinators as well.
- The scarab is a type of dung beetle common throughout Egypt. The Egyptians noticed the scarab’s habit of laying eggs in animal dung as well as the bodies of dead scarabs. The subsequent hatching of the eggs from this seemingly unpromising material lead to the Egyptians associating the scarab with renewal, rebirth, and resurrection. The scarab's habit of rolling up dung into spheres and pushing it across the ground was also noted. Khepri, the sacred scarab, was often associated with the Sun and was conceived as a gigantic scarab rolling the Sun before him across the sky. Khepri renewed the Sun each day before rolling it above the horizon and carried it safely through the other world after sunset to renew it the next day.
- Insects play a vital role in the web of life. Like most endangered species, they are most threatened by loss of habitat due to land use by humans, pollution, or use of agricultural chemicals. Some examples of endangered native insects are the American burying beetle, the northeastern beach tiger, and the Puritan tiger beetle.