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Have fun learning

We want everyone to have fun learning about wildlife.

So here is something to get started with . . . all about insects and a few brain teasers.

It was National Insect Week in June so we added this worksheet to help you sort out the moths from the butterflies and the dragonflies from the damselflies.

Here are three pages about insects. You can download them and even take them with you to the reserve and see how many species you can find.

Maybe you can answer some of the questions below?

 Dinosaurs were around long before insects came along? TRUE or FALSE 

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FALSE insects existed long before dinosaurs roamed the earth dating back to the early Triassic time around 250 million years ago.

 What is an insect – ie how many legs does it have, does it have a skeleton? 

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Insects are invertebrates which means they do not have a back bone. Their skeleton is on the outside of their body and is called an exoskeleton.  Insects have: 


  • a three part body with a head, thorax and abdomen.

  • 3 pairs of legs

  • compound eyes

  • a pair of antennae


insect body

 Are all invertebrates insects? 

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No a lot of other species as well as insects don’t have a backbone such as: crabs, earthworms, spiders, octopuses, sea anemones,

 How many species of insects are there? 

  •  Less than 1000? 
  •  About 10,000? 
  •  More than a million? 
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More than one million different species of insects have been identified but it is believed there are many more still be discovered. It is thought that 90% of all creatures on the planet are insects. That is a lot of insects!

There are about 27,000 insect species in the UK alone. See how many different insects you can count on your next visit to the nature reserve.


 Do insects have wings? 

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Yes, most do but not all. Examples of wingless insects are silverfish, fleas and ants (but not flying ants of course).

 Do grasshoppers have wings? 

Did you know grasshoppers can jump vertically to a distance of 10 times their length and horizontally to 20 times their length. So a 5 cm grasshopper can jump one metre. . . see more interesting facts at http://justfunfacts.com/interesting-facts-about-grasshoppers/

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Grasshoppers use their strong back legs to catapult themselves into the air. But most also have wings and are strong flyers reaching about 8 miles per hour. Locusts are grasshoppers and they are well know for swarming in huge flocks.

 How many wings does a bee have? 

Do you know how many times an insect flaps its wings?

Well they are all so different. The slowest is probably the butterfly with 5 – 10 wing beats per second while the midge is said to flap its wings over 1000 times per second!

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A bee has 4 wings (2 pairs) of transparent wings. In fact all winged insects except for flies (Diptera) ie house flies, horse flies and mosquitoes have 4 wings.

 There are many more butterflies than moths. True or false? 

This is a well camouflaged Hawkmoth . . . see fascinating moth facts at:

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FALSE there are nine times more moths than butterflies. Scientists have already identified 135,000 species of moths and there are still more out there to discover.

The Woodland Trust has a great page on insects