Amazing Collection

Until now over one million of insect species have been identified, with an estimated 5 to 9 million still to catalog. This makes the species of insects by far the largest group of animals on our planet. (Source). It’s no miracle then that we sometimes encounter some of the more exotic types on our land (or in our house). For example this mantis:

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Because of their posture, with both of their front legs up, they’re also known as ‘praying mantis’. Margoth expected it to bite me, but they’re rather calm creatures. Mantises are predator insects and as such help with pest control. This type of mantis we see here has wings and they can fly. More info about them here. Below a close up picture.

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A rare sight, a longhorn beetle in the picture below. Most of them are wood boring insects, although often it’s the larvae of the beetle and not the beetles themselves that bore holes in wood. This particular one has a body of about 5 cm, and antennae of about 25 cm long. More on longhorn beetles here, this specific one is not mentioned there though.

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A nymph is the immature form of insects called ‘true bugs’ from the order of Hemiptera. Where most insects go through a metamorphoses from larvae to their adult form, true bugs only moult several times as they grow, where each time they become more like their final adult form. Their wings only appear at the last stage.

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A more colorful collection of nymphs on the picture below. True bugs are sucking insects, they insert their mouthparts either into plants, or their prey, and suck the liquids to feed. The predator types of this insect can be useful for pest control.

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Below an adult one of a different species. Very bright colors. More on ‘true bugs’ here

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The last picture of today’s post is some type of caterpillar. This one has made a cocoon which it drags along with it as some protective house. It’s quite a big caterpillar, about 10 cm long and a cm in diameter. I’ve searched several times which species it is, but could not find anything. If anyone knows, please leave a message in the comments.

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