They crawl, fly, bite, buzz, sting, and swarm. They hide in dark, dusty corners and beneath rotting logs. They are the most diverse, populous, and usually tiniest animals on the planet.
By definition, a “true bug” is a member of the taxonomic order Hemiptera characterized by a common set of mouth parts used for sucking. For our purposes, however, we’ll stick with the loose definition of the term, comprising all manner of aforementioned creepy crawlies.
Bugs live everywhere on Earth except the deepest oceans and the most barren polar ice caps. They form the bottom of the food chain, feeding every other type of carnivore — including other bugs. They can be food for humans or a plague on agriculture.
The praying mantis is infamous for its bizarre mating ritual in which the female eats the male, sometimes even before mating is completed. In fact, eating the male during the act may make the whole process move more quickly if she’s getting impatient. Talk about a bad date!
The oddly-shaped and overly-equipped dragonfly doesn’t have four wings just to have an backup set in case of emergency. The bug’s ability to float in the same spot in the air, something that most two-winged bugs can’t even attempt, requires the coordination of all four wings.
Some bugs, tiny though they may be, pose a legitimate threat to humans. The Bugs Fight Back studylist showcases some of the more dangerous species.
Africanized honey bees are much more aggressive than their European counterparts, and go to greater lengths to defend their hives.
When threatened, they attack persistently and without mercy, chasing their abuser in a frantic swarm.
Bullet Ants are pretty darn frightening. Not only will they shriek at you to get you away from their hive, but their sting is said to be as painful as getting shot.
The physical damage to the body and pain caused by the bite lasts for a full 24 hours.
Bombardier beetles have a unique and disgusting defense mechanism.
When put at risk being harmed, the beetle mixes chemicals within its body and sprays a hot, noxious concoction into the face of its enemy.
There are more than 900,000 known kinds of bugs in the world, comprising over 80 percent of the world’s species. And there are definitely more out there — literally millions more varieties waiting to be discovered. Who knows what kinds of incredible things they can do?
So let’s raise a toast to our many-legged friends — may you never be surprised by finding one hiding in your shoe in the morning.
What are your thoughts on bugs? Have you seen any recent articles about bugs that would make a good Vocablet? Let us know in the comments!