Interesting facts about Australian insects

Did you know?  The estimated number of insects per head of world population is over 200 million for every man, women and child.

 At any one time, the world insect population is estimated to be some 10 quintillion (if you want to know what that is in digits, it’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000).

The estimated number of insect species in the world is some 900 thousand but most authorities accept that there is between 2 million and 30 million that have not been named by science. In Australia it is estimated that we have over 220,000 different species – in fact, more than 70% of Australia’s biodiversity is made up of insects.

One of the things Australia is best known for is its variety of strange, interesting and sometimes scary insects. Like spiders for example.

Australia has over 10,000 species of spiders – but there has not been a single death from a spider bite since 1981. The Huntsman spider can have a leg span of up to 15cm, and although they are capable of biting they are not usually aggressive except when the female is guarding her eggs. Weigh for weight, spider silk is twice as strong as steel.

And some other interesting tidbits are;

  • Ants do not sleep
  • A queen termite can live and reproduce for as long as 20 years.
  • A cockroach’s brain is located in the middle of its body.
  • Houseflies feet are 10 million times more sensitive than humans tongues
  • A bee will fly distances of up to 100kms in one day while gathering food
  • The queen of some termite species can lay up to 40,000 eggs in one day
  • Wasps who have been feeding on fermented juices have been known to get drunk and passout
  • Dung beetles were imported into Australia after it was discovered that cattle droppings were ruining the land
  • Why do Mexican Jumping Beans jump? – They have a caterpillar of a bean moth inside them
  • For honey bees to collect sufficient nectar for the production of 1kg of honey, they will have to make around 22 million trips
  • To survive winter months, many insects replace their body fluid with glycerol which is a chemical that acts like an antifreeze
  • Male mosquitos do not bite humans

 

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