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Insects

More insects on the planet than anything else!

Insects are really important that’s why there’s a National Insect Week just for them! Some  make honey, some make silk, some pollinate plants and some are food for other creatures. So the world cannot survive without them.

But there are millions of them. So to help you sort out the moths from the butterflies here is a worksheet and an insect quiz. 

Insect Worksheet

A good time to look for insects is in the spring and summer months. Take this worksheet with you to the reserve to see how many you can find.

Insect Quiz

Maybe you can answer some of the questions below?

 Which came first dinosaurs or insects? 
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INSECTS existed long before dinosaurs roamed the earth. They have been around for about 250 million years (early Triassic period).

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


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

  • 3 pairs of legs

  • compound eyes

  • a pair of antennae


They do not have a backbone (spine) so are classed as invertebrates. Their skeleton is on the outside of their body and is called an exoskeleton. 

 

insect body

 Are all invertebrates (creatures without a backbone) 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 (types) of insects have already been identified!  It is believed there are many more to be discovered.

It is thought that 90% of all creatures on the planet are insects. That is a lot of insects! Just in the UK there are about 27,000 insect species. See how many different insects you can find on the nature reserve.


 Do insects have wings? 
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Yes, most have wings 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. So they are famous for hopping but most have wings too. They 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 species of moths than butterflies. Scientists have already identified 135,000 species of moths and there are still more out there to discover.

 

Other pages so you can find out more:

To see other worksheets have a look at our Young Friends section.