Amazing IInsect Facts   3

   Try to catch a cockroach and it seems very elusive. They are among the fastest runners,reaching 30 cm per second, but this is only 1.88 KIT /h. But, they lack endurance. The centipede("thousand legger") can move at 50 centimeters a second, 24 miles per hour.
   A tiny biting midge, or "no-seeum," Forcipomyia, beats its hairy wings 62,760 times a minute.
   When provoked, a bombardier beetle swivels the tip of its abdomen and shoots a jet of boiling chemicals at its attacker. The chemicals are produced in a "reaction chamber" with an explosion you can hear. The spray of foul-smelling, burning vapor is a result of rapid firing. It shoots out at 500-1,000 pulses per second at a temperature of 100C.
   The stings of ants, bees and wasps are modified (egg laying tools), used to inject poison in defense or to paralyze prey. More than 50 different chemicals have been identified from various species. Some cause itching, pain, swelling and redness; others destroy cells and spread poison. Honey bees cannot pull their barbed stingers from human skins, and will eventually tear themselves away leaving their stingers behind, dying soon afterwards.
   The largest known butterfly is Queen Alexandra's Birdwing from New Guinea which has a wingspan of approximately 11 inches; the smallest butterfly, the Dwarf Blue from Africa has a wingspan of only one-half inch.
   Most Monarch butterflies spend the winter in Mexico. Only one roost is known, and more than 14 million Monarchs cluster on branches and trunks of an area that only measures 140 yards wide. Incidentally, the two-way flight averages 2,500 rniles.
   Under optimum conditions, one female cockroach can produce two million offspring in one year. Average breeding session produces 35,0000 offspring.


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