Did you miss out on our Haunted Trails event this Halloween? If so, read through to find out what secrets insects are keeping from you!

What Secrets are the Insects Keeping from Us?

Insects are so important in keeping our ecosystem healthy! They provide food for animals higher in the food chain and are busy pollinators!
Insects are so important in keeping our ecosystem healthy! They provide food for animals higher in the food chain and are busy pollinators!

Insects – You may think that you know a lot about them, but do you really? Every Halloween season, families can walk our trails and learn about the critters that call Bucks County Audubon Society their home. This year, everyone from young to old, learned something about the insects and the secrets that they’ve been keeping from us!

Did you know that metamorphosis doesn’t just happen with frogs and butterflies but with many other insects as well? Many of these babies spend their time in the water and therefore need gills to survive! The baby will grow, shed an exoskeleton, grow shed, (repeat that process 10-12 times!) and then emerge finally as an adult! This process can take years to happen, yet once they emerge, many insects don’t really live that long. For instance, the Luna Moth only lives as an adult for roughly one week and doesn’t event have a mouth to eat with! These adults only live long enough to reproduce and pass their genes on tot he next generation.

Did you also know that bees don’t have a democracy, they have a monarchy? There is a Queen bee that is rarely seen/ She was born a Royal, as while she was just a larvae, she was only fed the best food, called Royal Jelly. The other bees get fed that as well, but they also get pollen and honey as food while the future queen won’t. This special diet causes the other females to become infertile, so that only the Queen can have offspring. If she is not kept healthy, then the whole colony could collapse! She has the potential to lay over 1,000 eggs in just one day! These bees then become workers or drones (depending on gender) and all have a place in their society. If the Queen is week and can’t produce more offspring, their whole society would become weak.

Another lesser known insect fact is that many have some pretty serious predator deterrents! The Stink Bug is super smelly (who’d-a-thunk???) because it produces a cyanide based compound. The Glow Worm (a baby form of a Flirefly) produces a light that warns predators not to eat them. This glowing bioluminescence tells predators “I’m not very tasty!” so bigger critters stay away.

Not all insects are just simple prey though! For instance, the Damselfly Adult is an expert hunter! They have the ability to use each of their wings independently, allowing them to fly backwards or take off straight up in the air! Their agility helps them to zip around looking for smaller insects to eat. Once they catch a meal, they trap it in a cage made out of the Damselfly’s legs. If the prey struggles, the Damselfly simply bites off its head until it can take it’s time to eat the meal later.

These fascinating creatures are such an important part of our ecosystem, providing food and energy to animals higher up in the food chain, and by pollinating the plants that then provide even more energy for humans! They may seem like creepy-crawlers, but really, they’re just being busy helping out the environment in their own special way.

Want some more buggy information or a look at our calendar of events so that you don’t miss another one of our great programs? Check these links out!

BCAS Calendar of Events

Insect ID Charts

Why are Insects Important?

Importance of Pollinators

 

 

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