Amazing Insect Facts   2

  The largest spider in the world is the giant bird eating spider (Theraphosa leblondi) of Guyana, Surinam, and French Guiana. In 1965, a male specimen was collected that had a leg span of 11.02 inches!
   The family Theraphosadae also holds the record for the heaviest spider. A female specimen collected in Surinam weighed a whopping 4.3 ounces. She also had 1 inch fangs.
   Those amazing Theraphosadins also hold the record for the longest lived spiders. One specimen lived for an estimated 26-28 years.
   The worlds smallest spider is the Patu marplesi of Samoa. They are only 0.0017 inches overall. They are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
   The Brazilian wandering spiders are the most venomous spiders in the world and they are particularly aggressive. They frequently take up residence in peoples cloths or shoes and bite ferociously several times when they are disturbed. Luckily there is an antivenin to their potent neurotoxin.
   Worlds Largest Butterfly..... Females of the Queen Alexandra's birdwing butterfly of New Guinea may have a wing span greater than 11 inches!
   Longest Butterfly Migration..... A tagged Monarch butterfly was released near Ontario, Canada and was recovered 4 months later in Angangueo , Mexico. The straight line distance between these two sites is 2,133 miles. However, the actual distance traveled could be double this figure.
   Dragonfly larvae use their jet butts to help them catch and eat up to 300 mosquito larvae a day?
   Cockroaches will nibble at book-bindings, photographic film, starched linen, leather goods, almost anything...fouling them with strong smelling scents.
   Cockroaches' favorite food is the glue on envelopes and on the back of postage stamps
   A German cockroach can survive a month or more without food...but less than two weeks without water.
   In some species of praying mantis, the female begins to eat the male while they are mating. She starts at his head and by the time she reaches his abdomen, mating is completed. By becoming a nourishing meal, the father provides a supply of food for the eggs that are his children.
   Never squash a Yellowjacket wasp near the nest. A dying Yellowjacket releases an alarm pheromone that alerts its comrades. In less than 15 seconds, Yellowjackets within a 15-foot radius will rally to the victim's aid.
   Butterfly wings are covered with tiny over-lapping scales. The beautiful, iridescent colors are created by reflected light, and depend on structure, not pigment.
   Caterpillars make juicy meals for birds, so they protect themselves by devising various disguises. Some look like bird droppings, others disguise themselves as twigs, and some match the colors of leaves.
   The song of the field cricket is temperature dependent; the tone and tempo drop with the drop in temperature. Count the chirps in 13 seconds, add 40, and you will have the approximate temperature in degrees.
   Queens of some species of termites are reported to live for 50 years, although the average age is nearer to 15. Some woodboring beetles have a long larval life, emerging from timber after 30 to 40 years.
   The queen of an African termite species can grow as large as 5 inches and lay as many as 30,000 eggs a day.
   The periodical cicadas of the eastern United States spend 17 years below ground as nymphs feeding on tree roots. Then they emerge together above ground. They change into adults, lay eggs, and after a few weeks die. We don't see the next generation until 17 years later.
   The male cicada may be the loudest insect known. By vibrating the ribbed plates in a pair of amplifying cavities at the base of the abdomen, the mating sound of the cicada can be heard as far as 440 yards.
   Mosquitoes pass on the parasite causing malaria, which kills about 2 million people a year. They are likely responsible for half the human death since the Stone Age.
   Bumblebees can maintain a body temperature of 86 to 98.6 degrees even when the air is near freezing by a heat producing chemical process in the fly muscles.


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