February 21, 2002

Fun Insect Facts

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Fun Facts about Insects

300 million years ago there were Dragonflies with two foot wingspans.

The smallest insect (a mere 0.21mm long!), called the 'fairy fly' is actually a tiny wasp! Fortunately, it doesn't sting humans.

Goliath Beetles from Central Africa can weigh up to 68 pounds! (Holy Exoskeletons, Batman!)

A species of Australian Dragonfly can fly up to 36 mph! (Australia has got the coolest wildlife!)

Female Aphids give birth to live young. Inside those young are tiny, developing Aphids, and inside those well, you get the picture! In a single summer, one female Aphid can produce millions of descendants! (Kinda like the Baldwins...)

Butterflies can smell with their feet! That's how they know which type of leaf or flower they've landed on and whether it's safe to lay their eggs there (their larvae will eat the leaf once they've hatched.)

In Zimbabwe, scientists have found that stinky Ox breath attracts Tsetse flies. They created chemicals with the scent of Ox breath to lure those nasty bugs into poisoned cloths!

If you've got bed bugs (which are actually tiny mites), have no fear! Just send in an army of Pharaoh Ants. They love to eat nice, crunchy bed bugs! (Of course, now you've got Pharaoh ants in your bed...)

Fun Facts about Woodlice

A Woodlouse is actually not a louse at all!

Baby Woodlice live with their parents and are cared for by them for up to a year! (Awwwwww) This is very unusual, most Insect parents abandon their eggs!

Other names for Woodlice:

Bibble Bugs
Coffin Cutters
Cud Worms

Woodlice are Crustaceans! Yep, that's right. Same family as Lobsters, Shrimp, Prawns and Crabs.

Salted, fried Woodlice are an African specialty! They eat 'em like potato chips.

The dreaded enemy of Woodlice is the fearsome Woodlouse Spider! Once it's got an unfortunate victim in it's mandibles, the spider injects a poison that kills the poor Woodlouse in...7 seconds!

Romantic Millipede Facts:

Millipedes have a problem, they don't see very well. So male Millipedes have developed some strange ways of attracting a mate:

Banging their heads on the ground.
Letting out a loud screech.
Producing a stinky smell that they hope the ladies will find irresistable.
Rubbing their legs together to make sounds.

Fun Centipede Facts:

One Centipede in the Soloman Islands has a particularly painful bite. People have been known to plunge into boiling water or even cut off a bitten limb to escape the pain! (Yikes!)

The name Centipede means 'hundred feet' but most actually have fewer than 30 little shoeless feet!

All Centipedes are aggressive, so a female is just as likely to make a meal of her suitor as she is to get romantic! To avoid becoming the main course, the male Centipede walks all around his potential mate and taps her with his feelers to show that he's friendly.

Have a great day!

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