Spiders in General

My Home: Spiders are found on every continent of the world except Antarctica. They can even be found in your home, as a result many humans are afraid of Spiders. They tend to do all they can to get them out of their homes and habitats. With humans continually invading the territory of the Spider they are having a hard time finding places where they won’t run into humans.

What do i eat: They don’t need much food to survive on. These predators often find many bugs and insects. They get tangled into the webs and then they are stuck for the spider to come along and feed on.

What I look like: Spiders can range in size from extremely small to very large. Some of them blend in so well with their surroundings that you won’t even know they are around. They all have four sets of legs so eight in all. They also have four sets of eyes that they use to help them because they don’t have a good sense of balance.

How I am born: The males will deliver sperm onto a location and then the female will insert it into her body. In many instances the males will be consumed by the female after mating has taken place. It isn’t fully understood why that occurs. As a result most mature Spiders you will see are going to be female. As many as 3,000 eggs can be delivered at once for some species.

Fun Facts Spiders are arachnids, not insects. Other members of the arachnid family include scorpions, mites, ticks and harvestmen. Spiders have 8 legs while insects have 6. Spiders don’t have antennae while insects do. Spiders are found on every continent of the world except Antarctica. There are around 40000 different species of spider.


Honey Bees

My Home: I am a social insect and live in large colonies, usually in hives and with up to 80,000 individuals. I do not hibernate during the winter, but group together and use community warmth to stay alive. I am found worldwide.

What do i eat: I drink nectar from flowers or juices from fruit. An average hive yields 50 pounds of honey, which is my food during the winter. To make one pound of honey requires the nectar from millions of flowers.

What I look like: Usually less than ¾ of an inch in length and have four wings. I am usually golden brown in color with black stripes on my abdomen. I have a stinger at the end of my abdomen.

How I am born: I go through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The queen bee lays eggs and the worker bees will take care of my egg until I hatch. I will stay with the hive usually for the rest of my life.

Fun Facts Honeybees are the only insects that produce a food that is consumed by humans. They provide people with honey, bee's wax and pollinate crops. They communicate with each other using a 'dance' language. A honeybee will die if it uses its stinger.

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Cicadas in General

My Home: I am found in North America and throughout other parts of the world. I spend most of my life underground as a nymph. For the month I am an adult, I can be found on trees, plants, fences, houses and almost anywhere.

What do i eat: As a nymph, I suck the sap from the roots of trees. As an adult, I have piercing sucking mouthparts and drink the juices from plant stems.

What I look like:I have transparent wings that can have many patterns or colors, red eyes with a black body and will grow up to be about 3 inches long.

How I am born: I go through three stages of development: egg, nymph and adult. My egg is laid in tree branches and when I hatch I fall to the ground. In my larval stage I am called a nymph and I can live in the ground for many years. Some periodic broods or nests of cicada larvae live in the ground for 17 years! I emerge from the ground and attach myself to trees, plants, or structures until I pop out of my skin and become an adult. As an adult, I only live from 2 weeks to 40 days.

Fun Facts You can hear the cicada's song for up to ½ mile away and they only sing during the daytime. The cicada makes the loudest sound of any insect. There are approximately 2,500 cicada species in the world.

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Dragon Fly

Dragon Flies in General

My Home: I am most often found near water and usually remain within a few miles of the place where my egg was hatched.

What do i eat: As a larva, I eat tadpoles or small fish. As an adult I will eat other small insects, primarily mosquitoes, and I am considered useful for controlling the mosquito population. Dragonflies are carnivorous in both larval and adult stages.

What I look like: I can be any color and range in size by species from one to five inches. My antennae are very short.

How I am born: I go through three stages of development: egg, naiad (larval) and adult. My egg is laid in water and I typically hatch in two to three weeks. In my larval stage I am called a naiad. I live in the water and use internal gills to breathe. I can live in the water as a naiad for two to three years. When I am ready to become an adult I crawl out of the water and shed my skin. As an adult, I can live for over a year if I migrate away from the cold.

Fun Facts The largest living dragonfly lived over 250 million years ago (before the dinosaurs) and had a wingspan of over three feet! A dragonfly needs warmth to fly and you will notice they will often land when the sun goes behind a cloud. There are 3,600 species of dragonflies in the world.

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Lady Beetle

My Home: I am found all over the world and live in a variety of places including gardens, forests, fields and grasslands.

What do i eat: As a larva, I can eat over 25 aphids a day. Once I am grown to an adult, I can eat over 50 aphids a day.

What I look like: I am around ¼ of an inch long and am usually yellow, orange or red with black spots on my wing covers. I also have black legs, head and antennae. The number of black spots I might have will vary by individual ladybug. My black spots will fade as I get older.

How I am born: I go through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa and adult. My tiny yellow egg is laid on a leaf and will hatch in about a week. When I hatch, I am in a worm like larva stage for almost a month. I finally get strong enough to pupate and become an adult. I can hibernate during the winter and live around one year.

Fun Facts A ladybug's wings beat over 80 times a second in flight. Ladybugs will play dead when threatened. In July 1999, four ladybugs were sent into space on NASA's Columbia space shuttle.

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Common House Fly

My Home: I am the most common of all flies and always found in the company of humans, human activities or homes. I am inactive at night.

What do i eat: As a larva, I eat organic material like plants, food or juices in trash cans. As an adult, I can only drink liquids, usually the juices of decaying or sweet substances.

What I look like: I have two eyes, but there are over 4,000 smaller 'eyes' in each main eye. I am usually black with transparent wings and up to ¼ inch long.

How I am born: I go through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa and adult. I fully develop in only about 10 days. Females can lay 2,500 eggs in just a month. As an adult fly, I live from around 30 to 60 days.

Fun Facts Flies use their antennae to smell. A fly can go 45 mph and beat its wings up to 200 times per second. Houseflies existed 65 million years ago!

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Common Black Ant

My Home: I live in a colony, which can be in an anthill in the ground, a rotted log, an infested structure such as the foundation of a home or tree.

What do i eat: My jaws open sideways like scissors. I cannot eat 'whole' food, but instead use my jaws to squeeze out the juice and throw away the hull. I eat almost anything, from other insects to vegetation.

What I look like: I have six legs and two eyes: which are made up of many smaller eyes (or lenses). I have two stomachs: the first for my food, the second I use to feed other ants. I have two antennae that I use for smell and touch. The queen ant has wings and so do the male ants, both for a short time.

How I am born: I have four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The queen in my ant colony lays thousands of eggs. Worker ants take care of my egg until it hatches. I will live 45 to 60 days.

Fun Facts An ant can lift 10 to 20 times its own body weight. If a man weighed 180 pounds, he would have to lift 1,800 to 3,600 pounds to be as strong as an ant. Ants have the largest brain of any insect. The combined brain cells of a colony of ants have about the same number of brain cells as a human.

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Monarch Butterfly

My Home: I am found on all continents except the polar region. I migrate great distances in the winter, from Canada all the way to Mexico.

What do i eat: As a caterpillar, I will only eat the leaves and stems of the milkweed plant. As an adult, I drink the nectar from flowers or the juices from fruit.

What I look like: My wings are approximately three inches from tip to tip and my body is about one inch long. I have a black body and my wings are orange and yellow with black lines running through them. My wings also have a black border with white spots around the edges.

How I am born: I will go through four stages of development: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult (butterfly). The female Monarch can lay up to 400 eggs on the leaves or stems of the milkweed plant. I am hatched from an egg and become a caterpillar. After a few weeks of eating and getting bigger, I make my chrysalis). It takes me a few more weeks before I emerge as a butterfly.

Fun Facts Each year monarch butterflies fly up to 2,000 miles from northeastern North America to Mexico. Recent experiments show that Monarchs navigate using the earth's magnetic field. How cool is that?!

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© Pauline Georgina Ly 2018

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