Characteristics of Insects
Terms in this set (25)
Characteristics of Insects
3 Body Regions: Head, Thorax, and Abdomen
3 Pairs of Segmented Legs
1 Pair of Antennae
Most Have Two Pairs of Wings (fleas, tics, and ants don't)
Some such as flies have only 1 pair of wings.
All ADULT insects have the following characteristics:
3 segmented body: head, thorax, and abdomen
6 legs, jointed
Breathe through spiracles (small holes along the side of the abdomen)
Usually 2 pairs of wings
Are segmented and often worm-like (maggots, larvae, caterpillars, etc.)
Life Cycle of an Insect
Egg to Larval stage
Formation of a pupa or cocoon
Lastly as an adult
Transition from immature to adult inside the pupa or cocoon.
Four Kinds of Metamorphosis
1. Complete (butterflies)
2. Gradual (grasshoppers)
3. Incomplete (dragonflies)
4. None (lice)
Most familiar with complete metamorphosis, made well known through monarch butterfly studies.
Have more species than all other taxa combined.
Their variety of structure and function in the ecosystem make them fascinating targets for study.
Made paper long before humans could write;
Domesticated plants and animals;
Have highly developed social systems;
Have tremendous strength for their size;
Have adapted to the harshest environments on earth;
Do great damage to our food supplies and other resources;
Highly beneficial to humans.
Insect Metamorphosis - 2 Stage Development Cycle
These insects look like small adults upon hatching.
Not many insects go through a 2 stage development cycle.
Insect Metamorphosis - 3 Stage Development Cycle
These 3 stage hatchlings look less like adults than their 2 stage counterparts. This is called Incomplete Metamorphosis.
On land these young insects are called Nymphs.
If they live in water they are called Naiads.
Shedding of the skin. Changes their appearance after the nymph/naiad stage. Young insects may have wing buds but they aren't noticeable until adulthood.
Insect Metamorphosis - 4 Stage Development Cycle
Involves a complete change in appearance between its larvae stage and adulthood.
Called Complete Metamorphosis.
During pupa stage is when the insect's appearance changes the most.
1. Agriculture depends greatly on the honeybee for pollination.
2. Honeybees account for 80% of all insect pollination.
3. Without pollination we would see a significant decrease in the yield of fruits and vegetables.
The male germ cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation.
Bees collect 66 lbs of pollen per year, per hive.
Pollen as a Food
The Honeybee uses pollen as a food.
Pollen is one of the richest and purest natural foods, consisting of up to 35% protein, 10% sugars, carbohydrates, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins A (carotenes), B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (panothenic acid), C (ascorbic acid), H (biotin), and R (rutine).
Honey is used by the bees for food all year round.
There are many types, colors and flavors of honey, depending upon its nectar source.
The bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowering trees and plants.
Honey is an easily digestible, pure food. Honey is hydroscopic and has antibacterial qualities. Eating local honey can fend off allergies.
Secreted from glands, beeswax is used by the honeybee to build honey comb. It is used by humans in drugs, cosmetics, artists' materials, furniture polish and candles.
Collected by honeybees from trees, the sticky resin is mixed with wax to make a sticky glue.
The bees use this to seal cracks and repair their hive.
It is used by humans as a health aid, and as the basis for fine wood varnishes.
The powerful, milky substance that turns an ordinary bee into a Queen Bee.
It is made of pollen which is chewed up and mixed with a chemical secreted from a gland in the nursing bee's heads. This "milk" or "pollen mush" is fed to all the larvae for the first two days of their lives.
The larvae chosen to become a queen continue to eat only royal jelly.
The Queen Bee lives forty times longer than the bees on a regular diet.
There is no difference between a queen bee and a worker bee in the larval stage. The only factor that is different between them is that a developing queen bee continues to eat only royal jelly.
It is expensive and is used by some as a dietary supplement and fertility stimulant. It is loaded with all of the B vitamins.
The "ouch" part of the honeybee.
Sharp pain and some swelling and itching are natural reactions to a honeybee sting.
A small percentage of individuals are highly allergic to bee venom.
"Bee venom therapy" is widely practiced overseas and by some in the USA to address health problems such as arthritis, neuralgia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even MS.
Three Castes of Honeybees
2. Worker Bee
3. Drone Bee
There is only one queen per hive.
The queen is the only bee with fully developed ovaries.
A queen bee can live for 3-5 years.
The queen mates only once with several male (drone) bees, and will remain fertile for life.
She lays up to 2000 eggs per day.
Fertilized eggs become female (worker bees) and unfertilized eggs become male (drone bees).
When she dies or becomes unproductive, the other bees will "make" a new queen by selecting a young larva and feeding it a diet of "royal jelly".
For queen bees, it takes 16 days from egg to emergence.
All worker bees are female, but they are not able to reproduce.
Worker bees live for 4-9 months during the winter season, but only 6 weeks during the busy summer months (they literally work themselves to death).
Nearly all of the bees in a hive are worker bees.
A hive consists of 20,000 - 30,000 bees in the winter, and over 60,000 - 80,000 bees in the summer.
The worker bees sequentially take on a series of specific chores during their lifetime: housekeeper; nursemaid; construction worker; grocer; undertaker; guard; and finally, after 21 days they become a forager collecting pollen and nectar.
For worker bees, it takes 21 days from egg to emergence. The worker bee has a barbed stinger that results in her death following stinging, therefore, she can only sting once.
These male bees are kept on standby during the summer for mating with a virgin queen.
Because the drone has a barbed sex organ, mating is followed by death of the drone.
There are only 300-3000 drones in a hive.
The drone does not have a stinger.
Because they are of no use in the winter, drones are expelled from the hive in the autumn.
Taxonomy of the honey bee
• Kingdom: Animal
• Phylum: Arthropoda
• Class: Insecta
• Order: Hymenoptera
• Family: Apidae
• Genus: Apis
• Species: Apis mellifera
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