Insects use a variety of defense mechanisms to avoid predation, including chemical defenses, running, flying, mimicry and camouflage. However, these are only a few of the tactics and strategies employed by the group as a whole.
North Carolina State University explains that when a predator grabs a leg of some insect species, such as crane flies, the insect can break off the appendage. Called autotomy, this technique is also employed by walking sticks, grasshoppers and other long-legged species. Some insects regenerate their lost limbs, but even among those that don't, the missing appendage usually isn't a serious burden.
Other species, particularly a number of caterpillars, use bristles, spines or hairs to defend themselves. Some of these hairs dissuade predators through mechanical means. Contrastingly, other hair types, such as the spines of saddleback caterpillars, induce pain or itching upon contact. Such structures are called urticating hairs.
Other insects, such as the familiar wasps, bees and ants, produce venom that is delivered through a hollow stinger. Located at the back of the abdomen, these stingers are actually modified ovipositors. The venom used by these insects often causes pain, but, in some cases, it can also cause an allergic reaction in the predator.Learn More
Crickets are insects that reproduce by mating and laying eggs. The female cricket carries and deposits the eggs, but she must mate with a male cricket to have her eggs fertilized before she deposits them.Full Answer >
Kids can color worksheets, do crafts and even make recipes that resemble insects. These activities can be a chance to help children gain knowledge of bugs, or they can simply be for fun.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Stick insects, despite their imposing appearance, are herbivorous. There are over 3,000 different kinds of stick insects, collectively called phasmids, and all of them eat plants. Some are very specialized, feeding only upon a favored plant species. Others are generalists.Full Answer >