Q:

What are the characteristics of insects?

A:

Insects are cold blooded and have six legs, three main body parts and an exoskeleton. Insects also lay eggs and many have four wings.

Insects have a hard protective covering called an exoskeleton. Because they lack backbones, they are invertebrates. An insect's body has three major body parts, including a head, thorax and abdomen. Insects can live on land, in the water or both and are cold-blooded creatures that require the sun to warm them. Most insects have antennae that allow them to touch, taste, hear and smell. These antennae help them locate food and sense danger from predators.

Some insects go through a complete metamorphosis, meaning they grow into completely different creatures than they were in their larval stage. Insects that go through this change include butterflies, true flies and beetles. Insects that go through an incomplete metamorphosis look very similar to adults of the same species, only smaller. Cockroaches and grasshoppers go through an incomplete metamorphosis.

There are more than one million insect species in the world today and they are the most diverse group of creatures in the world. Each insect is important and each has a different function, ranging from predator to prey to host. There are currently more insects in the world than all the land animals combined.

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    Where do stick bugs live?

    A:

    Stick insects primarily live in forests and grasslands of tropical or subtropical regions. Some species live in more temperate climates. Stick insects feed on leaves and are notable for their camouflage that resembles sticks and other types of vegetation.

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    What does a baby praying mantis eat?

    A:

    Baby praying mantises eat prey that is similar to those eaten by adult praying mantises, including insects and other invertebrates. However, because the hatchlings are much smaller than the adults are, they must concentrate on much smaller prey species. Common prey for the youngsters include flies, mosquitoes, spiders, small larvae and grasshoppers.

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    Is it illegal to kill a praying mantis?

    A:

    There are no federal laws that make it illegal to kill a praying mantis, but there are some states or counties that impose fines for killing these insects. While it may not be completely illegal, it is not a good idea because praying mantis help reduce the amount of harmful insects.

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