Related topics: species · genes · plants · animals · brain

Greenhouse uses predatory insects for pest control

The William & Mary greenhouse has started a new program to limit the use of chemicals by relying on predatory insects for pest control. It's the biological equivalent of fighting fire with fire ⁠— and so far it's working.

Decades-old puzzle of the ecology of soil animals solved

An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has deciphered the defence mechanism of filamentous fungi. Moulds are a preferred food source for small animals. As fungi cannot escape predation by running ...

New information on tropical parasitoid insects revealed

The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland. Parasitoid wasps are one of the animal groups that are ...

Know garden pests before deciding on a path to control

You look around the garden and see aphids suck the life out of your rose buds, flea beetles chomp on the cauliflower and cabbage butterflies lay eggs that will turn into voracious caterpillars. What to do?

Tobacco plant 'stickiness' aids helpful insects, plant health

Researchers at North Carolina State University have shown that "sticky" hairlike structures on tobacco leaves can help attract beneficial insects that scavenge on other insects trapped on the leaves, increasing leaf yield ...

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Insect

Insects (Class Insecta) are arthropods, having a hard exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae. They are the most diverse group of animals on the planet and include approximately 30 gladiator and icebug, 35 Zoraptera, 150 snakefly, 200 silverfish, 300 alderfly, 300 webspinner, 350 jumping bristletail, 550 scorpionfly, 600 Strepsiptera, 1,200 caddisfly, 1,700 stonefly, 1,800 earwig, 2,000 flea, 2,200 mantis, 2,500 mayfly, 3,000 louse, 3,000 walking stick, 4,000 cockroach, 4,000 lacewing, 4,000 termite, 5,000 dragonfly, 5,000 thrips, 5,500 booklouse, 20,000 cricket, grasshopper, and locust, 82,000 true bug, 110,000 ant, bee, sawfly, and wasp, 120,000 true fly, 170,000 butterfly and moth, and 360,000 beetle species described to date. The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million, with over a million species already described. Insects represent more than half of all known living organisms and potentially represent over 90% of the differing life forms on Earth. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species occur in the oceans, a habitat dominated by another arthropod group, the crustaceans.

Adult modern insects range in size from a 0.139 mm (0.00547 in) fairyfly (Dicopomorpha echmepterygis) to a 56.7-centimetre (22.3 in) long stick insect (Phobaeticus chani). The heaviest documented present-day insect was 70 g (2½ oz) Giant Weta, though the Goliath beetles Goliathus goliatus, Goliathus regius and Cerambycid beetles such as Titanus giganteus hold the title for some of the largest species in general.

The largest known extinct insect is a kind of dragonfly, Meganeura.

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