Amazing facts about 10 rare insects
Insects could make up as many as three-quarters of animal species on Earth. And we've got a lot to thank these successful mini-beasts for. Insects play a vital role in keeping our ecosystems healthy. Amongst other things, they break down organic matter and enrich our soil, and provide food for larger animals in the food chain.
Bees and other pollinating insects are also essential in pollinating all sorts of plants, including many of our food crops. But there's a world of fascinating insects to discover, 10 of them are listed below :
1. Hercules beetles.
They can lift 850 times their own weight. That's equivalent to a human lifting 10 elephants.
2. The raft spider.
It is the largest spider in Britain. It spends half of it's life in water and can stay under the surface for as long as an hour. It does this by using air bubbles trapped under the hairs on it's body.
They are probably the most useful of all insects to humans, because they make it possible for plants to grow by pollinating them. Some species also make honey. It's thought that that they make about 10 million nectar, collecting trips to produce enough honey to fill a 450g jar.
4. The golden orb web spider.
It spins the largest of all orb weaver spider webs, and is believed to make the strongest silk. It's web can be 1-2 metres across, and is built to catch insects such as flies, wasps and butterflies.
Have you ever wondered if insects have ears? They do, but not like mammal ears. Crickets have ears on their legs, some hawk moths have ears on their mouthparts and mantid ears are between their back legs.
6. Australian tiger beetle.
It is probably the world's best fastest running insect. A fierce hunter, it can reach speeds of 9 kilometres an hour when chasing prey. That's pretty incredible for a little insect.
Some of which are actually tiny bloodsucking flies. They beat their wings faster than any other creature and achieves an astonishing 1000 beats a second.
8. Army ants.
They are individually small but travel in huge numbers, often hundreds of thousands -- attacking animals in their path. Small workers sting prey to death, while larger soldier ants with big jaws defend the troop against any threat.
They can eat as much as 5000 aphids in it's lifetime, which makes them a gardener's best friend.
10. Deathstalker scorpion.
It is one of the most dangerous scorpions, which is mostly found in Africa and the Middle East. It uses it's highly toxic venom to kill insects and other small animals.