Sunday, June 24, 2012

Insects, insects everywhere, and not a place to hide

Photographed and Edited by Dr Abe V Rotor

These are some insect collections of the Museum of Natural History. They represent but a trickle in the bucket, so to speak, considering that insects are the most diversified and most populous creatures on earth, among invertebrates and vertebrates combined. 

Insects are the most diversified and populous members of sub-kingdom Animalia.  There is an estimated number of 20, 940 species in the Philippines with more discoveries ahead. The biggest Order is Coleoptera - the beetles, followed by Lepiodoptera (butterflies and moth), Hymenoptera (bees and wasp), Diptera (flies, mosquitoes and midges), Hemiptera (bugs), and Homoptera (aphis and mealybugs)
 Superlatives of insects: loudest, fastest, most tolerant, strongest, above all, most populous. 
 Grasshoppers and locusts. Passive as in Aesop fable (he Ant and the Grasshopper), and Apocalyptic as in biblical records of insects causing civilization to fall. (plagues of Egypt in Moses' time). 

 Dragonflies and damselflies are among the most primitive creatures, preceding the dinosaurs millions of years.Once giants in the air they have shrunk into harmless fliers, but still retain their remarkable predatory prowess to hunt other insect in mid air. Left, Walking stick, leaf insect are queer looking creatures, masters of the art of camouflage  
 Butterflies, moths and skippers  
 Beetles: miniature Volkswagens and Tanks

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