It’s almost Halloween and that means it’s the perfect time to celebrate the things that can sometimes make our skin crawl… insects! The tiniest bugs can send big shivers down our spines but with a closer look, you’ll see that they can be quite cute. As of today, there are around one million known insect species on earth and 1.4 billion insects per person.
Here are some cool facts, along with amazing close-up photos, known as macro photography, of insects in the Credit River Watershed from local watershed resident Evan Van Zeumeren:
Look at all those eyes!
This is a bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax). Jumping spiders are small and fuzzy, with big forward-facing eyes. Spiders can have up to eight eyes so it’s surprising that most spiders are near-sighted. Many people find jumping spiders endearing to watch as they bounce around and look for prey.
Pretty in pink!
This primrose moth (Schinia florida) looks like it’s wearing its Halloween costume! This moth is one of over 5,000 species of moth in Canada. Primrose moths fly about searching for evening primrose, a common garden and roadside plant.
This primrose (Oenothera biennis) is most common in the Credit River Watershed. This flower opens at night and closes during the day. Dusk is a good time to observe primrose moths as they search for nectar.
Praying or preying…
Mantises have enormous appetites. When they’re young, they will eat various aphids, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects. Later they will eat larger insects, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and more. Mantises are great insects to have in your garden because they feed on common garden pests. There are three species of mantis in Canada – all of which were introduced to Canada from Europe and Asia.
It’s almost impossible not to say “awe” when you see this photo a wolf spider and its baby. There are about 110 species of wolf spider in Canada. They get their name because they don’t use a web to catch their prey, they hunt them like wolves. Female wolf spiders carry their egg sacs around with their mouth while the eggs are developing and will search carefully for it if they drop it. Females also carry their newly hatched spiderlings around on their backs for a while.
Treehoppers are talented
The wide-footed treehopper is a bit like Where’s Waldo – one second you see and then the next it’s gone! Treehoppers can walk, jump and fly and can reach speeds of five meters per second. Treehoppers are also capable of producing sounds, which implies a form of communication from one to the other.
The next time you see an insect or spider, pause, and imagine being this small – it would be pretty difficult! Taking the time to appreciate how important insects are for our planet is critical in their conservation. Do you have cool insect photos of your own? Share them with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!
By Kimberley Laird, Associate, Marketing and Communications