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Bugs, also known as insects, can often be seen as an annoyance to humans, but they play a huge part in our world and 90% of all living things are insects, so they’re very important.
Below are some interesting facts about the many bugs and insects found on Earth. Alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
General Bug Facts
- Bugs were here on Earth long before humans.
- There are more bugs than humans on Earth.
- All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs.
- There are 900,000 known species and probably many more that haven’t been discovered yet.
- We tend to use the word bug loosely for any very small creature with legs.
- Both insects and bugs fall into class Insecta, but bugs, specifically, fall into order Hemiptera and sub-groups.
- A Hemiptera is both a plant and a blood feeder, whereas a Homoptera is only a plant feeder that uses its antennae to suck the plant juice to fulfill its nutrition requirement.
- Entomologists reserve the term bug for Hemiptera (which does not include ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, or moths).
- Bugs found in order Hemiptera are actually called “true bugs.”
- These characteristically have tough forewings, lack teeth and all have a piercing mouthpart.
- True Bugs’ mouths are shaped like a straw and called a stylet.
- The mouthpart of a “true bug” is rigid and cannot be rolled up.
- This section is called a proboscis and is used to suck up food.
- “True bugs” include aphids, stink bugs, water bugs, and bed bugs.
- Heteroptera includes ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, and moths.
- Bugs are everywhere and while some people find them super interesting, others find them scary and can’t stand the thought of them.
- Some bug species, including many aphids, are agricultural pests, damaging crops by the direct action of sucking sap.
- Other species are used for the biological control of insect pests.
- Hemipterans have been cultivated for the extraction of the dyestuff cochineal.
- Most hemipterans are too small to be a useful component of the human diet but at least nine species of Hemiptera are eaten worldwide.
- Cicadas have been used as food for centuries.
- Many hemipterans can produce sound for communication.
- The “song” of male cicadas, is produced by organs on the underside of the abdomen and is used to attract mates. They are the loudest insects in the world.
- Hemipterans do not undergo metamorphosis.
- They bear live young rather than lay eggs.
- The young are called nymphs and resemble the adults to a greater or lesser degree.
- Nymphs molt several times as they grow.
- Hemipterans make use of a variety of modes of locomotion including swimming, skating on a water surface, and jumping, as well as walking and flying like other insects.
- Bugs do not have lungs.
- Hercules beetle, also known as a rhinoceros beetle. The Hercules beetle is the longest beetle and is the strongest creature on Earth for its size. It can carry 850 times its weight, that is like a person carrying seven elephants!
- The Titan beetle is one of the largest beetle species. They have super strong mandibles (jaws) that can easily slice through a pencil.
- Goliath beetles are one of the largest insects on earth. Some people who have these giant beetles as pets will feed them dog and cat food. They are found mostly on the continent of Africa in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
- Giant long-legged katydid, also known as bush cricket. These green leafy-looking things look like giant grasshoppers. They are most active at night and because they look like leaves it is easy for them to hide in plants and trees. Some katydids can be as big as your hand!
- Giant burrowing cockroach, also known as the rhinoceros cockroach. This is the heaviest cockroach species. They can weigh up to 35 grams, almost as heavy as a golf ball. These giant cockroaches like to burrow about one meter into the ground.
- Thorn bug. Thorn bugs look just like thorns, but not just any thorns. They each have a cool-looking brightly colored thorn sticking out of their heads! They are part of the treehopper family.
- Devil’s flower mantis. These mantises are very good at mimicking the flowers they sit on. They will wait completely still until prey arrives, which they will then snatch up. They like to eat flies, moths, butterflies, and beetles. Thousands of these insects are sold as pets every year.
- Australian walking stick. When these woody-looking Australian insects sense danger, they give off a scent that smells like peanut butter to humans. It is easy for these mantes to hide in trees because they look like the bark and branches they sit on.
- Lady Bird Beetle, otherwise known as Ladybugs. Ladybugs are tiny beetles with oval shells. They have delicate wings beneath the shell. Depending on the species, they are between 1 to 10 millimeters (mm) in length. They are typically bright red with black spots, although they can also be various shades of orange or yellow.
- These beetles emit a smelly, yellow secretion when they feel they are in danger. Ladybird beetles also can bite (it feels like a pinch), but they are not poisonous and are rarely harmful.
- Bed bugs. An adult bed bug can be anywhere from ⅛ – ¼-inch in size, about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs can range in color from mahogany-red to light brown, depending on when they last fed. Bed bugs are persistent parasites of humans. They feed on the blood of humans and animals and on shed skin cells. Their bite can cause itching, red welts, or swelling the day after being bitten.
- Cockroaches. There are many different types of cockroaches, but the most common are the American, German, Oriental, and brown-banded cockroaches, Cockroaches can measure over two inches in length. They hide in dark places like kitchen cupboards and bathroom cabinets. Cockroaches are scavengers and will consume any organic food source available to them. They prefer sweets, meats, and starches, but are also known to consume other items such as hair, books, and decaying matter.
- Cluster fly. These flies look similar to your standard house fly, but are often larger, about ⅓ inch long. They are dull-gray and black and have golden-yellow hairs on their bodies, which give them a golden sheen and bristly texture.
- Fruit flies. These flies look like very small, light brown flies. Fruit flies like to hang out around fruit, especially when it’s ripe, rotting, or decayed, and they are also attracted to fermented items like beer, liquor, and wine.
Whether we like them or detest them, the balance of nature depends on the activities of the many species of bugs.
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Tropic Of Cancer Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Bugs, also known as insects, which can often be seen as an annoyance to humans, but they play a huge part in our world and 90% of all living things are insects, so they’re very important.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Bug Facts
- Bug True or False
- An Insect’s Life
- Perfect Match
- Bug Image Map
- Bug Sudoku
- What’s Inside My Bug-pack
- Bug Name Search
- Correct Colors
- Bug Search
- Bug Sketch
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest bug?
The Australian tiger beetle is the World’s fastest running bug recorded to date, with an average speed of 5.5 mph (9 km/h).
What bug is the strongest?
Scientists say the horned dung beetle is the world’s strongest insect.
What is the smallest bug in the world?
Fairyflies are the smallest bug, mostly ranging from 0.5 to 1.0 mm (0.020 to 0.039 in) long.
Does a stink bug stink?
The stink bug gives off a pungent, offensive odor as a defense mechanism.
Have bugs been to space?
Fruit flies were the first living creatures to be sent into space.
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.