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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
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Insect Sciences (Entomology)

ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
Hi all, how many of you are familiar with insects. Specially those who has study or work experience with insects.
There are many interesting facts about insects. If you know something please share with others.
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Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Wordsmith Here and therePosts: 24,098 mod
    My friend has written a guide to butterflies in Bhutan. I don't think it's a bestseller, but I have learned quite a bit more about these insects since going out butterfly watching a few times with friends.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge good butterflies are very beautiful and with amazing life cycle. I am studying on Ants. Studying insects is an interesting aspect of nature.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    Ants are also farmer, they grow gardens and rear pets. :smile:
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    They have gardens! Where? Inside their anthills? What do they grow?
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes @Zom they have gardens inside their nests and grow Mushrooms. They breed aphids for getting honeydew. Leaf cutter ants usually bring pieces of leaves and grow mushroom on it which they use as food. this is true about some species of ants but not for all.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cool stuff.

    So like people herd cattles and milk cows, they herd aphids and milk honeydew. Do the aphids agree with that or they have no choices, they are kept like slaves?
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    Aphids are also happy with this, because those without wings can't move quickly to prevent from natural enemies. so ants give them protection.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    What do you do @Zom ?
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I mainly spend my time asking questions to work out riddles.

    Back to ants and aphids. It sounds like a win-win situation, but how come aphids have no wings? I thought they were winged. :/
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    Aphids have two morphs; Alate and Apterous. Apterour don't have wings. This is a type of mutualism between both ants and aphids.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    Largest colony of Ants covers 6000 km (3700 miles) from Italy to Spain. such a colony is called supercolony.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are they trying to take over the world?
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    No, but they are already present in all over the world except for Antarctica.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    At least they seem to get along very well if a colony can spread across different countries without fighting each other or other colonies. No borders, no passports, no visas and no wars. Wow!
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    Actually ants of one colony fight with those form other colonies, even within same species. If environment is suitable then most powerful colony invade other areas.
    Ants also have passports not for our political boundaries but for their own colonies.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How does a colony grow to become a supercolony?
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    @Zom actually i don't know what is mechanism behind this. But I think there are many factors i.e. availability of resources (Food, Shelter), environment, absence of predators or competitors etc.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Methinks that they also have to make friends with the other colonies they meet along the way otherwise they can't grow to this super level, but that's just a supposition or a guess.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    @Zom I don't think so, because ants of one colony don't allow ants from other colony to invade. There are some ploygynous colonies (multiple queen), which can reproduce more and spread nearby areas.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Do you know: Ants are termites are also beneficial for crops.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know that termites are a nightmare in many countries for destroying houses. How do crops benefit from them?
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 29,831 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I know about many but I don't know how to get rid of cockroaches especially in kitchen.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    @Zom There is a publication in nature "Ants and termites increase crop yield in dry climate". Here authors stated that ants and termites act like earthworm, and make tunnels in soil, so increasing water infiltration. But if climate is humid then these insects will act as pests.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    @bubbli you might have listen this proverb " Prevention is better than cure". So cockroaches should be prevented by adapting hygienic conditions. Cockroaches love water and darkness, so all the place specially corners should be kept dry. No food should be left open. Usually baits are effective against cockroaches. Any food bait with small amount if boric acid will be effective. Now a days many insect killer are available like "Kingtox". Be careful that there should be no food at the time of application. Otherwise it can be contaminated. Also seal all cracks and crevices that can be housings for these pests.
  • BubblyBubbly Nightingale Posts: 29,831 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    @ManLearner It's not only about unhygiene issue but humidity. We try to keep the kitchen clean but still issues are there. We have tried many products and even baits but when we stop using them, cockroaches come again.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not that humid in some parts of Queensland in Australia, @ManLearner, but termites make ravages there. The typical wooden QLD houses on stilts are becoming an undangered item.
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    @Zom Termites are serious pests of household wooden material. However benefits of termites are for field crops and in certain conditions, but mostly termites behave like pests.
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Not necessarily once we turn ants and termites into food for us. Then they'll be perceived as new delicacies full of proteins and vitamins, won't they?
  • ManLearnerManLearner Posts: 1,115 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't know @Zom either they are delicious or not, but they are a good source of protein. For ants how will you digest their cuticle?
  • ZomZom Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    People eat leafcutter ants as popcorn in Colombia, I haven't heard of any digestion problems so far. But I'll tell you when I go and come back from South America.
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