There are some very interesting facts and figures when you look into the world of insects. They make up more than 80% of all species, more than 900 thousand are known to man and it’s been estimated that there are still at least a million we haven’t yet encountered.
The giant weta, native of New Zealand, can lay claim to the title of the heaviest and largest adult insect in the world. The biggest one recorded to date was 71 grammes and more than 8 centimetres long. It’s a relative of the grasshopper and common house cricket.
The smallest known family of insects is a fairyfly. They are members of the wasp family and found in Costa Rica. Measuring only 0.14 of a centimetre they are about the same size as a single-celled Paramecium. They feed on the eggs of other insects.
The holder of this title goes to the Harvester Ant not a hornet or killer bee as you might have thought. Although its venom is 25 times stronger than a honey bee it poses no threat to humans because it delivers it in very small doses.
The dragonfly can travel up to 18,000 kms in the course of its migration. Its magnificent journey from India to East and Southern Africa and back again puts the journey of the Monarch butterfly far behind.
There is one particular species of dragonfly that’s been clocked at 35mph. Austrophlebia costalis is thought to be the fastest insect in the world by many scientists.
The migratory locust is the insect most feared by man because of its voracious appetite. Although mosquitoes are known to have caused the most human deaths locust swarms can devastate an area and decimate crops. In 2004 a locust outbreak in West and North Africa resulted in nearly $2.5 billion worth of agricultural devastation.
This entry in the record book might not come as a surprise to some of you. We’ve all heard that the cockroach can survive a nuclear fallout but did you know that one particular type managed to survive the digestive enzymes inside a woman’s stomach. It’s thought she swallowed the German cockroach nymph while eating something it was contained in.
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