RESEARCH: Ant numbers – how many Ants are there in the world?

The number of humans in the world is about 8 billion. But how many ants are there? 

Entomologists (insect scientists) from the University of Wurzburg in Germany and the University of Hong Kong published their findings of global ant populations in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in September 2022.

The entomologists studied 489 research papers about ant populations. 

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Red-Veined Darter

The Red-Veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is an insect in the Libelludlidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Nomad Darter.

The male Red-Veined Darter has a deep-red abdomen with a red-brown thorax. Its eyes are brown above and blue-green below. Its wings have red veins and the base of its hind-wings (back wings) is yellow. The female is similar, but her abdomen is yellow-brown with two black lines along each side. Her wings have yellow veins. Both the male and female have black legs with some yellow markings.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Small Common Blue Butterfly

The Small Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) is an insect in the Lycaenidae family of blue butterflies.

The Small Common Blue male has iridescent blue wings above with a thin, black-brown border and white fringe. The female is brown above with blue flecks, like dust, and orange spots. Both the male and the female have a row of red or orange spots along the edge of the hindwing (back wing). 

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What are the similarities and differences between the bat, bird, and insect?

What are the similarities and differences between the bat, bird, and insect?  

The bat is a mammal, whereas the bird and insect are not mammals. 

The bat and bird have two legs, whereas the insect has six legs.

The bat, and many species of birds and insects can fly. The bat is the only mammal that can fly. 

The bat, bird, and insect fly in different ways.

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Which insect is the most feared insect on Earth?

Which insect is the most feared insect on Earth?

The most feared insect on Earth is the one that transmits an infectious disease to a lot of humans.

There is an insect whose infected parasitic bite can cause fever, tiredness, vomiting, coma, and death in humans. The disease that the insect spreads occurs mostly in tropical and sub-tropical regions. In 2020, there were 241 million cases of the disease worldwide, resulting in an estimated 627,000 deaths.

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17-Spot Ladybird Beetle

The 17-Spot Ladybird Beetle (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle.

The 17-Spot Ladybird Beetle has yellow-orange elytra (two wing cases) with 17 black spots. Its pronotum is yellow with 5 black spots. Its shiny body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little black legs. 

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Western European Ringlet Butterfly

The Western European Ringlet Butterfly (Aphantopus hyperantus hyperantus) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of butterflies.

The Western European Ringet Butterfly has chocolate brown to black wings and a dark-brown hairy body. The upper and lower sides of its wings are solid brown with small, yellow-ringed eyespots. The number of eyespots is variable. The juvenile butterfly has a velvety appearance and is almost black with a white fringe (margin) on each wing. It lightens in colour as it ages.

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Potter Wasp

The Potter Wasp (Eumenes dubius) is an insect in the Vespidae family of petiolated wasps (with a long thin waist called a petiole). It is a vespid. It is also called a Mason Wasp.

The Potter Wasp is black with yellow markings. The first part of its metasomal section (abdomen section) is narrow and elongated with a bulbous appearance. It has a very thin, long, waist. The thorax is about the same size and shape as the abdomen. Its wings are attached to the thorax. Its six legs are also attached to the thorax. It folds its wings longitudinally when it is resting. It has a large head, large eyes, and a pair of segmented antennae that curl at the tip. 

The female Potter Wasp has a stinger but she is not aggressive. The stinger is also the ovipositor which she uses to lay eggs.

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Silverfish

The Silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) is a small insect in the Lepismatidae family. It is silver, but it is not a fish. It moves a bit like a fish.

The Silverfish is a wingless insect with a metallic silvery-grey body covered in scales. Its body is a squashed oval-shape that tapers (narrows) towards its tail. It has six legs and long thin antennae. It has two long appendages at the end of its tail, called cerci (one is called a cercus). It has two small compound eyes. It can regenerate its cerci and its antennae in 2-4 weeks if they are damaged or drop off.

It moves in a wriggling motion, like a fish. It can run quite fast.

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Southern Damselfly

The Southern Damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale) is a medium-sized insect in the Coenagrionidae family of damselflies which are similar to dragonflies. It is also known as the Mercury Bluet.

The Southern Damselfly has a long, cylindrical, slender abdomen with ten segments. The male is bright blue with black markings. The female is less colourful. It has a mark on the second segment of its abdomen that resembles the symbol for the planet Mercury. It has forewings and hindwings which are similar in appearance and are membranous. It has compound eyes (like the eyes of house flies) and three simple eyes (ocelli) on its forehead. It has small antennae. 

The joint between its head and prothorax is flexible, which enables the damselfly to swivel its head. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Caucasus Marbled White Butterfly

The Caucasus Marbled White Butterfly (Melanargia galathea donsa) is a medium-sized insect in the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It is also known as Our Half-Mourner Butterfly and the Marmoris Butterfly.

The Caucasus Marbled White is white with grey-black markings on its upperside. The underside of its hindwings (back wings) has grey eye-spots. The male and female are similar, except that some females have a yellowish underside. Its body is greyish and fluffy. It has long, black, clubbed antennae and large eyes.

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Red Wood Ant

The Red Wood Ant (Formica rufa) is an insect in the Formicidae family of ants. It is also known as the Southern Wood Ant and Horse Ant.

The Red Wood Ant has a head, thorax, and abdomen. It is reddish, except for its brownish-black abdomen and dark patch on the back of its head. Its 6 legs are reddish-black. Its antennae are long. It has large jaws called mandibles. It has smoky-brown wings during the mating season – only the fertile female and adult male have wings.

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