Tuesday, May 22, 2007
With Spring in full bloom and summer lurking around the corner, today's Offbeat Tuesday is dedicated to bugs.
The natural diet of Lady Beetles consists of soft bodied insects such as aphids, spider mites, and young caterpillars. Adults can consume up to 100 aphids a day.
Certain species of male butterflies produce scents that serve in attracting females during courtship.
The Giant cricket of Africa enjoys eating human hair.
A nest in which insects or spiders deposit their eggs is called a "nidus".
Honeybees have hair on their eyes.
The only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees is the praying mantis.
Scientists have identified more than 300 viruses capable of bringing fatal diseases to insects. The organisms are believed to be entirely different than those that cause disease in humans, and are thus harmless to man.
The average airspeed of the common housefly is 4 1/2 mph. A housefly beats its wings about 20,000 times per minute.
Small cockroaches are more likely to die on their backs than large cockroaches.
There is an average of 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas.
Fleas can jump more than 200 times their body length.
Crickets don't chirp by rubbing their legs together, they make the noise by rubbing their wings together.
The social life in ants and termites has been accompanied by an extraordinary royal perk: a 100-fold increase among queen ants in average maximum lifespan, with some queens surviving for almost 30 years. This longevity can be attributed in part to the sheltered and pampered life of the royal egg layer.
Between 20,000 and 60,000 bees live in a single hive. The queen bee lays nearly 1,500 eggs a day and lives for up to 2 years. The drone, whose only job is to mate with the queen bee, has a lifespan of around 24 days—he has no sting. Worker bees - all sterile females - usually work themselves to death within 40 days, collecting pollen and nectar. Worker bees will fly p to 9 miles to find pollen and nectar, flying at speeds as fast as 15 mph.
There are 4,300 known species of ladybugs in the world.
You're more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day that in any other weather.
The tarantula spends most of its life within its burrow, which is an 18-inch vertical hole with an inch-wide opening. When male tarantulas are between the ages of 5 to 7 years, they leave the burrow in search of a female, usually in the early fall. This migration actually signals the end of their life cycle. The males mate with as many females as they can, and then they die around mid-November.
Until very recently, no centipede was found that did not have an ODD number of leg pairs. Usually the number varies from 15 to 191 pairs, all odd. No one knows why. However, Chris Kettle, a doctoral student in ecology, recently found a centipede with 48 pairs of legs, an even number. The remarkable discovery was presented to the International Congress of Myriapodology in Poland and featured in the science journal Trends in Genetics. Mr. Kettle suspects a genetic mutation is responsible for the even number of leg pairs.
62 degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum temperature required for a grasshopper to be able to hop.
Mosquitoes prefer children to adults, and blondes to brunettes.
Spiders have transparent blood.
There are more insects in one square mile of rural land than there are humans on the entire earth.
A spiders web is made of two types of silk, one sticky and the other not. The spider begins the web with the non sticky silk and forms the "spokes". After the frame is constructed and secure, the spider goes back with the sticky silk and completes the web design we are so familiar with, connecting spoke to spoke. They will also add rows connecting the spokes to allow them access for web maintenance.
Spend time watching a spider and you will see that they painstakingly avoid the sticky silk and walk on the spokes. Should the spider be startled and walk in the sticky silk it will affix to the spider the same as it would you or any thing else.
Spiders recycle their webbing, so a spider that gets stuck in its own web may eat its way out.
Some crickets burrow megaphone-like tunnels that help transport the sound of their chirps as far as 2,000 feet away.
A bee could travel 4 million miles (6.5 million km) at 7 mph (11km/h) on the energy it would obtain from 1 gallon (3.785 liters) of nectar.
A dragonfly flaps its wings 20 to 40 times a second, bees and houseflies 200 times, some mosquitoes 600 times, and a tiny gnat 1,000 times.
A fly can react to something it sees and change direction in 30 milliseconds.
A housefly can transport germs as far as 15 miles away from the original source of contamination.
A mature, well-established termite colony with as many as 60,000 members will eat only about one-fifth of an ounce of wood a day.
The silkworm's silk comes out of its mouth as a thread of gooey liquid, so that nice silk blouse you spent a fortune on is really just worm spit.