Biodiversity

Monday, May 08, 2006

THE FORM OF SOCIAL LIFE THAT OCCUR IN INSECTS

Insects are small animals around us; they are invertebrate animals of the class insecta, the largest and most widely distributed group of animals within the phylum Arthropoda. An insect consists of six legs and the three body parts, namely a head, a thorax and an abdomen (8).


The insects were probably the first animals to fly. Most of the insects have one or two or even three pairs of wings which they developed millions of years before bats and birds. They are known to be excellent fliers, they fly in big groups and they like doing trick flying. There are over 800,000 different kinds of insects that are known and being discovered daily. They live almost everywhere in the world and they are very adaptable. Many insects such as butterflies and moths go through the four stages of growing. They are firstly an egg to being like a worm (larva) then goes to pupa where they take a nap. Finally the new insect will break out of their pupa and therefore, an adult insect (8, 3).


The insects are categorized into three different groups, namely:Holometabolous (the complete metamorphosis), the pupae is formed in this stage, and the examples of these insects are beetles, flies, bees, lacewings, butterflies, ants and caddis flies. Hemimetabolous (the incomplete metamorphosis) there is no pupae in this stage and the examples of these insects are crickets, true bugs, termites, grasshoppers and cockroaches. Ametabolous is without the metamorphosis, example is silverfish (2).


There are about two subclass of the class insecta namely: Apterygota and Pterygota, and they are further divided into the orders. "The Aptergota into microcoryphia known as dragonflies, damselflies and Zygentoma known as silverfish and firebrats while the subclass Pterygota is divided into twenty one orders namely Ephemeroptera known as mayflies, shadflies. Odonata known as dragonflies and damselflies. Dictyoptera are known as cockroaches and mantids. Isopteran are known as termites and white ants. Athoptera are known as grasshoppers, locusts, katydids and crickets. Phasmida are known as stick and leaf insects. Dermaptera is known as earwings. Grylloblattodea are known as rock crawlers, ice insects. Plecoptera is known as thrips. Psocoptera is known as scorpion flies. Trichopterais is known as caddisflies. Coleopteran is known as beetles. Neuropteran are known as lacewings, mantispids and ant lions, and the Hymenoptera known as bees, wasps and ants” (6).


However, insects are known to be excellent fliers but there are still some of the insects without wings. These types of insects are jumping insects, for example: silverfish, fibre brats, fleas, etc. The true flies are the most known excellent flier. The mantids are known to be the excellent pest control, because they eat other insects in the garden and their large species can also eat frogs, lizards and even hummingbird. The fleas depend on the blood of their hosts like dogs, cats, birds and humans to survive (6).


The insects fly for couples of reasons, "some fly to survive, others fly in order to find insects that they can mate with, while others fly to get better foods, all in all they fly to escape they predators. There are some of the insects that fly during the day, like butterflies while some like moths’ flies at night. There are also seasonal insects, butterflies comes out in summer and spring. During winter the insects migrate to escape the killing temperature, while others are hibernating as larvae, others as nymphs, others as eggs, others as pupae and others hibernate as adults. Insects can survive the cold condition easily only when the temperature is stable. Many insects can get shelter and nourishment through the winter in the variety of micro – habits” (1, 8).


References:

1. [http://library.thinkquest.org/5767/:butterF.htm, accessed on 06/05/2006, 09:00]

2. Using live Insect (1997) The University of Arizona [http://insected.arizona.edu/insectinfo.htm, accessed on 06/05/2006, 09:30].

3. [http://library.thinkquest.org/5767, accessed on 06/05/2006, 10:00].

4. [http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/science/Animals/Insects.htm, accessed on 06/05/2006, 10:20].

5. The k8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook site, [http://wings.avkids.com/Book/Animals/Intermediate/insects.01.html, accessed on 06/05/2006, 11:40].

6. The family tree, [http://www.insecta.com/insecta/tree.htm, accessed on 06/05/2006, 12:00].

7. [http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmnh/buginfo/winter.htm, accessed on 06/05/2006, 12:30].

8. Wikipedia contributor, insect [internet]. Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, 06/05/2006, 12:40 PTA cited, available http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insects].



Ms Evelyn Maleka
CILLA CSIR
P.O. Box 395
Pretoria,
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Tel: (012) 841 2133
Fax: 012 842 7024.
Email: emaleka@csir.co.za
http://malekaevelyn.blogspot.com/

2 Comments:

  • Okay...

    First off, watch your grammar, and your formatting. You veer way off topic, and barely discuss sociality at all. If there's one thing you must know, it's this: always stick to the topic. You have plenty of references, but many of the links aren't functional. Also, you seem to have trouble with the concept of quoting and citation. Feel free to ask me if you want some help with that. DO NOT, under any circumstances (likely to be encountered in this course), quote entire paragraphs out of references!

    Nick

    By Blogger NcK, at May 17, 2006 11:28 AM  

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