Many superstitions have arisen over butterflies. Sicilians believe that good luck will follow if a butterfly comes into the house and will prevent it flying out again. British and U.S. superstition recommends anyone who needs a new set of clothes to bite the head off a butterfly.
Mass infestation by scales threatened to destroy the burgeoning California citrus groves in the late 19th century. Orchard owners gained complete control of the scale insects within two years after vedalia ladybugs were imported. The operation cost less than $5,000 and saved millions of dollars annually. In the 1940s, DDT spray programs eliminated the ladybugs, and scales reappeared in force. Reintroduction of the beetle and tempering of chemical applications again saved the citrus industry. Vedalia ladybugs now help control scales in more than 60 countries.
The male praying mantis often loses his head – literally – after courting the female. The latter is known to decapitate the earnest suitor, and she often completely devours him.
The Mexican fishing spider will attach itself to a small leaf and float across a pond as if on a raft. From this vantage point, it hunts its prey of large tadpoles and small fish.
The monarch butterfly can discern tastes 12,000 times more subtle than those perceivable by human taste buds.
The natural diet of lady beetles consists of soft-bodied insects, such as aphids, spider mites, and young caterpillars. Adults can consume up to 100 aphids a day.
The nephila spider of India spins its webs with strands that are more than 20 feet long.
The praying mantis eats nothing but live food, predominantly insects. Its prey is taken only from flowers, leaves, bark, or the ground — never while the potential victim is in flight. Surprisingly, if quick and lucky, it will also consume and eat a hummingbird.
The reproductive cycle of some worms is in phase with the moon. The sex organs of adult pallolo worms mature once a year at about the same time of day, on a day when the moon is in its last quarter.
The swallowtail butterfly is the official state insect of Oregon.
The tiny houseflies so often encountered are not, contrary to popular belief, "baby Flies." Baby flies are maggots. The small houseflies are adults of a different species of the ordinary housefly.
The venom of a female black widow spider is more potent than that of a rattlesnake.
Massed opposing armies fight each other along a front. The fighting continues for days, and hundreds die. This is not trench warfare among men. The armies are the weaver ants of African forests. The ants are so fierce that when the battle is resolved and the boundaries of the opposing colonies have been fixed, a "no-ant's-land" exists between them where ants from each side do not dare to enter.
Mayflies, after hatching and then spending one to three years developing as naiads, live less than one day as adults. The lifetime of mayflies usually begins in late afternoon. During this single day, they molt twice, mate, and lay eggs in water. Because these adults do not have developed mouth parts, they do not feed. They die before dawn.
Millipedes never have a thousand legs. They can have from a few dozen to several hundred, but not a thousand.
More than 45 percent of the homes in the United States have dust mites residing in them in significant numbers. The microscopic creatures burrow themselves by the thousands into plush furniture and carpeting to consume flakes from human skin and animal dander. Though mites are harmless, many people are allergic to their waste. When a person walks across the carpet, or settles onto the couch or into bed, their waste particles are stirred up. They are sent airborne, triggering sneezing and worse in some people.
Mosquito repellents don't repel. They hide you. The spray or lotion blocks the mosquito's sensors; however, they will seek out unprotected areas of skin.
Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other color.
Mosquitoes do not bite. They stab. A mosquito has no jaws; when attacking a victim, it pierces it with its long proboscis and sucks the blood up through a nasal tube.
Most insect repellents used by humans work on the principle of either masking odors that might attract insects or by creating smells that are repulsive to them
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