Amazing Insect Facts

  The heaviest insects are the Goliath Beetles from the family Scarabaeidae. The length of one species is 4.33 inches from the frontal horns to the end of the abdomen. They weigh 3.5 ounces! ALMOST A QUARTER POUNDER!
   The largest cockroach is Megaloblatta longipennis of Columbia (that name is not a joke...honest). The largest specimen ever recorded was a female that measured 3.81 inches long by 1.77 inches across!
   The longest insect is a "Stick Bug" from the rain forests of Borneo. The largest specimen ever recorded is in the Natural History Museum in London. Its body length is 12.9 inches. Its total length including its legs is 20 inches!
   Worlds Smallest Insect..... The "feather-winged" beetles and the "battledore-wing fairy flies" are smaller than some species of protozoa (single cell creatures).
   The fastest land moving insects are the tropical cockroaches. They can move 50 body lengths per second. This would be equivalent to a human sprinter running the 100 yard dash in 1 second or approximately 200MPH!
   A species of Australian dragon fly has been clocked at 36 MPH.
   Most Legs..... A centipede in southern Europe has 177 PAIRS of legs!
   Of the 1,830 varieties of fleas, the champion jumper is the cat flea. It has been known to leap to a height of 34 inches. While this may not sound impressive, consider that in jumping such an incredible height relative to body size the flea is subjecting itself to over 200 g's! Imagine a 100 lb person leaping so fast and so high (over 1000 feet!) that the g force he/she was enduring made he/she feel as if they weighed 20,000 lbs! Relatively, fleas take off with greater acceleration than the Space Shuttle.
   The largest known variety of flea (there are 1,830 varieties!) is Hystrivhopsylla schefferi.This species of flea is known from only one specimen taken from the nest of a mountain beaver. It was 1/3 of an inch long!
   The Anopheles mosquito, which carries the malaria parasite Plasmodium is estimated to have been responsible for half of the human deaths in history outside of war and accidents since the Stone Age. This claim is always debated by those who would say, "Well the parasite is causing the deaths, not the mosquitoes!" However, the parasite must be delivered by the mosquito vector to infect its host. It is harmless to humans without the mosquito.
   A female house mouse gives birth to 6 young about 19 days after mating. She is ready to mate again in two days. She can produce 6 to 10 litters a year. Each of her young is ready to mate in two month. Remarkably, all her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren can have offspring in the same year. Two mice, starting to breed on New Year's Day, could theoretically have as many as 31,000 descendants by December 31.
   Rats can jump 3 feet straight up, and four feet outwards, from a standing position. They can burrow three feet straight down into the ground; chew through building materials, glass, and cinder block; swim 1/2 mile in open water and against current in sewer lines; and, climb up inside the pipes with diameters between 1-1/2 and 4 inches. A rat's teeth are so strong, it can bite through aluminum, lead and other metals.
   One morning an elephant was found dead due to hemorrhage of the lungs. When an autopsy was performed the results showed that a mouse ran up the elephant's trunk, got trapped, and died, causing the blockage that caused the elephant's death.
   Though bats are hated and feared, they may also be the single best controller of the insect kingdom. Bats may eat as many as 600 mosquito-size insects in an hour. An average size bat colony may eat 1/2 million insects in one evening.


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