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  1. 1. Insectigations In sec t Wo r ld t he re40 p lo ha Ex nd o s-o n activiti es t Cindy Blobaum
  2. 2. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataBlobaum, Cindy, 1966– Insectigations! : 40 hands-on activities to explore the insect world / Cindy Blobaum.— 1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-55652-624-5 1. Insects—Juvenile literature. 2. Insects—Study and teaching (Elementary)—Activity programs. I.Title. QL467.2.B59 2005 595.7—dc22 2004028245Cover design: Sommers DesignInterior illustrations: Gail RattrayInterior design: Rattray DesignAll photographs courtesy of Cindy Blobaum unless otherwise noted.Butterfly Puddles ©2004 by Highlights for Children, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. © 2005 by Cindy Blobaum All rights reserved First editionPublished by Chicago Review Press, Incorporated 814 North Franklin Street Chicago, Illinois 60610 ISBN 1-55652-568-0 Printed in the United States of America 54321
  3. 3. For J ac o b , m y b u g - b o y
  4. 4. Contents Acknowledgments vii 3 6 8 Introduction ix Me t a m o r p h i c M a g i c 33 Fi n d e r s 69 Insect Gardening 101 Spontaneous Generation 35 Sweep Net 71 Butterfly Puddles 105 1 Raising Mealworms 38 Insect Trap 73 Antifreeze 108Getting Started 1 Searching for Insect Leaf Litter Shaker 74 Plan Your Garden 110 Make a Journal 3 Eggs 40 Insect Rain 76 Insect Calendar 111 Draw an Insect 4 Action Cards 43 You’re on a Roll! 77 Action Cards 113 Looking Jar 6 Bug Bait 78 Insectigations! The Game 115 4 White Light 80 2 Sense-sational 45 Walking on Water 81 Appendix 117Body Basics 9 Point of View 47 Water We Looking For? 83 Ten Common Insect Excellent Exoskeletons 12 Colorblind Challenge 48 Insectigations! Game Orders 117 A Plantastic Feast 14 Training Bees 49 Board 85 Glossary 119 Need a Lift? 17 Concentration 52 Action Cards 87 Nervous Twitch 18 Dinner Detour 54 Resources 121 Mighty Muscles 20 Action Cards 55 7 Te a c h e r ’ s G u i d e 127 Rigged Ratios 22 Ke e p e r s 89 Twist-an-Insect 5 Temporary Terrarium 91 Bibliography 129 (Game Dice) 27 C a n We Ta l k ? 57 You Saw What? 94 Index 131 Action Cards 31 Wing Waves 59 Fly-Tying a Big Bug 98 Here’s to Ears 62 Action Cards 100 Buzzing Bug 63 Insect Amplifier 65 Sound Off Sentry 67 Action Cards 68
  5. 5. AcknowledgmentsI unknowingly started research for this book when I became a naturalist and began teaching More recently, Drake University granted me access to its insect collection, Keith Wonder of let me and my children perform final tests of experiments and activities in and around their this effort has meant to me. Cre- ating a book is a team effort, and I feel incredibly fortunate toabout insects to thousands of Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association yards and homes.Thank you to have had the Chicago Reviewenthusiastic children. Many of shared his enthusiasm for and the Blobaum family: Mel, for Press team of Cynthia Sherry,my coworkers at the Greenway knowledge of fly-fishing, and clipping and mailing all the Allison Felus, Gerilee Hundt,and Nature Center of Pueblo, Robin Pruisner, the State of insect articles you read from Brooke Kush, Rattray Design,Colorado; New Canaan Nature Iowa Entomologist, provided magazines and papers; Norman, and Joan Sommers working onCenter in New Canaan, Con- gypsy moth traps. I appreciate for your constant interest; Paul, my behalf. And I would benecticut; and Neale Woods your assistance. for being my reference resource remiss if I did not single out LisaNature Center in Omaha, Eli, McKenzie, and Olivia pinch hitter; Margaret, for the Rosenthal, my insightful andNebraska, inspired or shared ideas were wonderful models, and care you have given my kids encouraging editor, for a specialwith me that are included in this thanks to all the 37th Street and when I needed it most; and mention—thank you to all of them. Carpenter Avenue families that Philip, for understanding what vii
  6. 6. IntroductionO n September 9, 1945, Dr. Grace Hopper was putting the Mark II computer at trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F. She removed the moth, carefully taped it into the both been bothered by and ben- efited from insects. Every year, millions of dollars in crops are honey, and shellac; as pets; and to sell to gardeners, farmers, wed- ding planners, and educators.Harvard University through logbook, and then made a note: destroyed by insects. Plagues of Insects are the largest group ofsome tests. It had what program- “First actual case of (computer) locusts have filled the sky and animals in the world, with moremers called a “bug” that was bug being found.” eaten every shred of green plants, than one million different kindscausing it to malfunction. Dr. It wasn’t really surprising that causing people to go hungry or identified and named, and perhapsHopper pulled out parts, search- an insect had found its way into migrate to new areas. Fleas were just as many yet to be for the problem. At 3:45 P.M., the computer. As long as humans the carriers of black death, a dis- They were around a long timeshe found it. A moth had gotten have been around, they have ease that almost wiped out the before humans were, and they will population of entire cities in help decompose our bodies when Europe in the Middle Ages. Even we are gone. Since they have been today, some mosquitoes carry so successful, it makes sense to diseases including malaria, which watch them closely and see what kills millions of people each year. we can learn from them. On the other hand, insects In order to observe insects, it pollinate many of our food helps to have some close at hand. plants, including chocolate, In the following pages you will apples, and oranges.They help learn tips and tricks for catching decompose our waste. Ant jaws and keeping insects, and how to U.S. Naval Historical Center have been used as stitches in sur- test the usefulness of an insect gery. Fly and beetle larvae help exoskeleton, compete against investigators solve crimes. Fruit insects in Olympic-style compe- flies are used in genetic research. titions, create a buzzing bug, and People raise insects for food; for train a bee.When you need a liveInsects are often blamed for many of our problems, including computer errors. their products including silk, insect for an activity, remember: ix
  7. 7. they are an important part of our Entomology sidebars.You will be As a special feature, you can regular, numbered die.The natural ecosystems.Tread lightly amazed at where you can find test your luck and survival skills as instructions for putting the game through their habitats and collect insects and how they are used. an insect by creating your own together and the basic rules for only the insects you need or can Speaking of finding and using Insectigations! board game.The playing are at the end of the book. take care of, releasing all the oth- insects, the Real Entomologists materials are easy to find, with If you finish trying the ers back where you found them. sidebars tell the true stories of instructions for how to make spe- experiments and activities and It is also wise to be like Dr. Hop- how insects play a part in engi- cial insect dice in chapter 2,“Body want to do even more, look to per and record all your activities neering projects, crime scene Basics,” and details on the game the Resources section at the back in the journal you’ll learn how investigations, and even food board in chapter 6,“Finders.” You of the book.There you will dis- to make in chapter 1. Journal service studies. Bug Business side- use the action cards you create at cover where to get more infor- Notes at the end of most activities bars tell about enterprising the end of chapters 2 through 8 to mation about favorite activities, give suggestions for important entomologists who earn money make the path through insect find connections to entertaining observations or results to record from insects. And you get the habitats on the game board.The insect festivals, and learn how to in your journal. shortcuts to finding fun on the only other things you need are participate in ongoing research If you have a strong stomach, Internet in the Make a Connec- tokens (cicada shells, plastic insects, projects. All you need to do now make sure you read all the Gross tion sidebars. or decorated bottle caps) and a is turn the page and get going!x
  8. 8. 1Getting Star tedLadybug, ladybug, fly away home,Your house is on fire and your children are alone. ❃You’re as busy as a bee. ❃Snug as a bug in a rug. ❃You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. ❃The larger the middle band on a wooly bear caterpillar, the colder the winter will be. ❃Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite. 1
  9. 9. From the time you were every young, you have likely heard many say- try to figure out how to increase the number of insects that help ings like these.What do all these sayings have in common? humans. Others try to figure out how insects communicate, how their They show that people have been studying insects for a long time. senses work, or how to use insects to solve human problems. - The formal name for studying insects is entomology (en-ta-MOL-a-je). Although humans spend billions of dollars every year on insects, you Scientists who study insects are called entomologists.What exactly do don’t need a lot of money to be a good entomologist.You can find entomologists do? Some identify and name new insects. Others keep insects wherever you are, and the only equipment you really need is a track of insect pests and try to figure out ways to control them. Some pencil and a journal.2
  10. 10. Make a Jour nalE xplorers and scientists have long used journals, also called logs, to record what paper to record your discoveries for each activity or experiment that you do, repeat this processthey find, see, hear, and do. Most until you have at least 20 sheetsof the activities in this book of unlined paper for your jour-include observations or questions nal. Put the unlined paper and atfor you to answer in your jour- least 20 sheets of lined paper onnal.Your notes will become a the rings in your binder. Finally,valuable record of what you see slip any equipment you want inand think, even if you feel your the pockets, and you are readyexperiences are ordinary or nor- to go.mal. Although any type of note- A three-ring binder makes a the first cover for your journal. It’s essential to include in yourbook will work, the following great journal for several reasons. You might want to include your journal entries: the date andjournal is one you can use for It has pockets that can hold pen- name, a clever title, and some place of each activity or insectyears. cils, a magnifying lens, ruler, small sketches of insects or insect habi- find, the name of the activity field guide, and a bandage or tats. Slip the cover paper into the (when appropriate), sketches ofMaterials two. It is easy to wipe dew, dirt, clear plastic sleeve. what you see, and specific thingsThree-ring binder with pockets or mud off the plastic cover. It If your unlined paper doesn’t you notice, like how many differ- and a clear plastic cover lies flat when you open it, mak- already have holes punched in it, ent colored grasshoppers you sleeve ing it easier to write in. It is sim- lay a piece of lined paper with find or the sizes of the ants thatUnlined paper ple to add more paper. It is easy holes on top of three sheets of you catch. Also, copy down theMarkers to make a new cover and plain paper to use as a guide. questions from this book so thatLined paper rearrange the contents for sci- Use the hole punch to make you know what your answersHole punch ence projects or reports. three holes so the paper can be mean. Use one piece of unlined put on the rings. Since you paper and the markers to create should use a separate sheet of 3
  11. 11. Draw an Insect E ven if you are a beginning artist, it is important to include in your journal 3 accurate sketches of the insects you see.You can start by copying other drawings or photographs, How to shade drawing 4 but your goal should be to draw from actual insects that you find 1 or catch. Remember, the more you practice, the better your drawings will become. 2 Materials shapes (circle, oval, rectangle, pyra- Journal mid) or to think about the shapes Pencil of common items (egg, crescent Eraser moon, ice cream cone, pencil). Insect (or insect picture) Sometimes it is helpful to draw the middle part of the Take a close and careful look at insect first and then think of it as small, make a line to show its real When you have drawn all the the insect you want to draw. a clock.Where are the legs? At size, then draw it whatever size pieces, erase or adjust any that Instead of trying to draw it all at 4:20, 6:30, and 8:40? Where is you want.What is important is to don’t look like you want them one time, use your imagination to the head? Where is the abdo- show relative sizes. Is the head to. After you have everything in break it down into pieces. Don’t men? You also want to think the same size as the body? Half place, spend some time erasing worry about the little details at about sizes. It is impossible to the size? Twice as big? Figure out extra lines, making lines at joints, first; just look for shapes you rec- make a decent, life-sized drawing how big each piece is compared points, and special features ognize and can draw. It might of some of the very tiny insects. to the others, then lightly sketch darker, and adding shading to help to think about traditional Instead, for every insect, large or the shapes you need together. show different textures.4
  12. 12. her home into her laboratory, andAn Ordinary Observation started raising monarchs. Each day,Becomes an Extraordinary she gave the same caterpillars milk-Opportunity weed plants that had a layer of roadLike many kids who live in the coun- dust on them, and gave other caterpil-try, high school student Rachael lars clean milkweed plants. SheCollier knew the easiest place to find weighed the caterpillars at each stagemonarch caterpillars was on the milk- of their development and kept track ofweed plants growing along the gravel how many lived and how many died.roads near her home in Iowa. She By the end, her records showed thatnoticed that the milkweed plants were monarch caterpillars exposed to lime-often dusty, and she began to wonder stone road dust were not as large andif the road dust had any effect on the were more likely to die than caterpil-monarch larvae’s health. Instead of lars that ate clean milkweed. She pre-waiting for someone else to answer sented her findings at science fairher question, she turned a bathtub in competitions, where she was awarded several thousand dollars in scholar- ship money, plus a summer researchMake the Connection job in another country. Although a journal and pen-If you really enjoy drawing cil are your most essentialinsects, enter one of your and valuable equipment, aartworks in the University few other things will makeof Illinois annual insect art your study of insects easiercontest. More information is and more fun. A magnifyingavailable at lens is helpful for looking at very Rachael Collier’s bathtub laboratory. Courtesy of Rachael small insects, a ruler is importantegsa/ifff.html. for noting the size of insects, and away while you are trying to to catch insects, and chapter 6 a jar where you can keep an sketch it is also handy. (Activities has more information on making insect from flying or crawling in chapter 5 will teach you how temporary insect homes.) 5
  13. 13. Looking Jar I nsect cages come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are made from a wide variety of materi- However, many of the plastics used today are brittle and will split if you try to punch holes in als.While netting is good for air- them.With the help of an adult, flow, it makes it hard to see the you can either drill very small small details on insects. If you holes in the lid and near the bot- want to observe an insect for a tom edge of the jar or heat the short time, a clear, plastic con- tip of the barbecue fork over a tainer is your best bet. flame and melt small holes in the lid and near the bottom edge of Materials the jar. A large, clear, plastic jar with a The larger the mouth of the lid (large peanut butter con- jar, the easier it will be to put tainers work well) insects in. After you have Drill with very small bit (or a watched your insects and made barbecue fork) notes and sketches in your jour- nal, turn the jar on its side and Insects need air to breathe, just open the lid. Don’t shake the jar like every other animal.To make to get the insects out, just wait a your looking jar ready for tem- few minutes and they will be porary insect visitors, you need gone. to make plenty of air holes.6
  14. 14. Field Research Tips will help protect you from as big as the end of a pencil (tick side in) to create yourMany activities in this book scratches, scrapes, poison ivy, eraser. Most ticks need blood own piece of ticker tape. If ashould be done outdoors and and insect attacks. from a warm-blooded animal tick has its head stuck underwith live insects. Since insects • It is a good idea to bring a in order to continue their your skin, have an adult usehave a wide range of defense simple first-aid kit with you. development or lay eggs.To tweezers to remove it.strategies, including biting, Tweezers, alcohol swabs, first- discourage these bloodsuckingpinching, stinging, spraying, and aid ointment, and bandages ticks from feeding on you, Do you have your journal andspitting, here are a few tips and can be a big help. tuck your pant legs into your pencil ready? Are you dressed fortricks to help you feel the most • If you get stung by a bee, pull socks.When you go inside, adventure? Get ready to explorecomfortable out in the field. the stinger out immediately.To check all over your skin and in how insects are similar to and help ease the pain, put ice, your hair to see if any ticks different from you as you attract,• If you are going to be collect- baking soda, meat tenderizer, managed to sneak by.To catch, study, mimic, and release ing insects in tall grass or or barbecue sauce directly on remove a tick that is crawling insects in your area. brushy areas, wear long, light- top of the sting. on your clothes or skin, place colored pants, a long-sleeved, • Ticks are tiny creatures with the sticky side of a piece of light-colored shirt, closed-toe eight legs.They can be as tape on the tick. Lift up and shoes, and a hat.These clothes small as the size of a period to fold the piece of tape in half 7
  15. 15. 2 Body BasicsP ut a butterfly and a cricket side by side, and what do you notice? Even though the size, shape, color, and sometimes the function of each part can be different, the basic bodyplan for both insects, and every other adult insect, is the same.(Immature insects can look very different than adult ones. Seechapter 3,“Metamorphic Magic,” for details.) They may seem sim-ilar to each other, but how do insects compare to you? Can theysee better with those huge eyes? Are they really able to lift more,jump farther, and run faster than humans? Get ready to find out. 9
  16. 16. Insects are cold-blooded inver- muscles to attach. However, a An insect’s thorax has three The abdomen is the softest - tebrates (in-VUR-ta-br ats). solid, hard shell would be too segments. Each segment has a and most flexible part of an Invertebrates are all animals that hard to bend and move, so insect pair of jointed legs, so an insect insect’s body. It usually has do not have a backbone, includ- bodies are divided into three normally has six legs. Most between eight and eleven seg- ing worms, clams, slugs, and parts, and each part has smaller insects also have one pair of ments with tiny holes called spir- insects. Instead of having bones segments. wings attached to the middle acles on the side of each to hold their bodies up, insects The three body parts are the segment, and another pair of segment.These holes are how an have exoskeletons. Exoskeletons head, thorax, and abdomen. wings attached to the back seg- insect breathes.The abdomen are like miniature suits of armor. On its head, an insect usually ment. But some insects have only also holds an insect’s stomach These hard shells protect insects’ has two sets of jaws, two kinds of one pair of wings, and a few have and other organs. bodies and give a place for their eyes, and one pair of antennae. none at all. Antenna Head Thorax Abdomen Head Thorax Abdomen10
  17. 17. Head Thorax Abdomen Compound eye Ocellus AntennaMandible Spiracle Ovipositor 11
  18. 18. Excellent Exoskeletons A lmost 300,000 kinds of beetles have been identified so far, making them the 1 wet paper towel stuff a dry paper towel inside a third tube. Add food coloring to the water in the spray bottle. Lay cardboard and stained the paper towel. Place an egg inside the fourth tube. Roll it across the largest group of animals on the the tube down and spray it until ground until the egg breaks. earth.Their hard exoskeletons are color has seeped through the one reason they have been so 2 successful. How do exoskeletons help beetles and other insects Journal Notes survive? This activity will give you some ideas. Start time: _________ Stop time (towel inside dry): down water loss due to Materials _________ evaporation. They also Spray bottle with water Stop time (towel outside dry): keep unwanted chemicals Paper towels 3 _____________________________ (such as bug spray) from being taken 4 toilet paper tubes How long does it take for each wet in. Exoskeletons protect insects from dry paper towel Watch or clock paper towel to dry out? cuts, scrapes, and bruises when they Red food coloring How much spray does it take to run into things. Egg colored water get the towel inside the tube to turn There are two main disadvantages red? to exoskeletons. Every time an insect Wet one paper towel and stuff What finally causes the egg to grows, it has to shed its skin. While it it inside a toilet paper tube.Wet break? is shedding its exoskeleton, an another paper towel and wrap it 4 Our skin acts as a two-way trans- insect’s body is soft, making it easier around the outside of a different portation system. It lets water out for other animals to attack and eat it. tube. Record the time on your (sweating), takes chemicals in (such And the exoskeleton limits how big watch in your journal, then stand as with skin lotion or medicine patch- an insect can get. You will never see a both tubes on end and set in a es), and is easily bruised, scratched, beetle the size of a small dog—the safe place.While these are drying, egg and cut. Insect exoskeletons slow exoskeleton would be too heavy.12
  19. 19. Since worker honeybees do not mate and they often clamber into flowers to get nectar, honey- bees have short, simple antennae. Moth antennae are often large and featherlike so they can detect small amounts of airborne chemicals to find a mate, but they don’t get in the way since moths have long, tube-like mouthparts to obtain flower nectar. Can you determine other rea- sons for the different types of antennae? can be used to taste, touch, smell, things.They are called com- and hear.There are at least 14 pound eyes because each eye is –During the summer, the shed exoskeletons of cicadas (si-KA-das) can be found clinging to types of antennae.Antennae are made of between two andtrees, fences, and even houses. While one type of cicada, known as dog day cicadas, appears different lengths and shapes, and 23,000 lenses. Even with all theseeach year, periodical cicadas live underground as nymphs for either 13 or 17 years. have a different number of jointed lenses, most insects are near- segments. Entomologists often use sighted—they can only see thingsHeads Up! whole body. On the other hand, the shape and the size of antennae that are pretty close to them.There are three main parts to an a fly has tiny antennae but its to help them identify insects. However, they can focus oninsect’s head: the antennae, the compound eyes take up two- Insects have two kinds of eyes, things that we would need aeyes, and the mouth. How these thirds of its head. If a fly had a simple and compound. In larvae, microscope to see!three parts look and are used head the size of yours, its eyes - the simple eyes, called ocelli (o- People use fingers, forks,depends on what senses an insect would be about the size of can- - can detect spoons, straws, and cups to help SEL- i),needs to be successful where it taloupes.This lets a fly see almost some colors and get food into their mouths.lives. A cave cricket spends most all the way around its body with- shapes, while the While insects don’t eat exactlyof its time in caves, hollow trees, out ever having to turn its head. ocelli in adult the same way we do, they haveor under rocks. Being able to see People use antennae on televi- insects are sensitive mouthparts adapted to do manywell is not as important as being sions, radios, and other electronic to light and movement of the same jobs.These mouth-sensitive to smells and touches. devices to get better signals. but cannot see images. parts determine the type of foodSo its eyes are very small, but its Insects use their antennae to get It is the compound eyes on an insect can eat.antennae are longer than its better signals, too. Insect antennae nymphs and adults that really see 13
  20. 20. A Plantastic Feast A single plant can provide food for many different insects, with each kind feeding on a separate part of the plant.The coiled tube mouthpart of a butterfly is great for sipping nectar but is useless in trying to bite a green leaf.The chewing Because their mouthparts limit the types of food they can eat, most insects must be able to travel to find enough food. mouthparts of a grasshopper make a quick dinner of a leaf but Materials Remove the straw from the a straw and take a butterfly sip of can’t pierce the stem to drink the Juice bag juice bag.Wrap the sheet of the nectar in the cup. Next, pick sap.The piercing-sucking mouth Pointed-end straw (from the green construction paper around up the pliers and use them as a of the spittlebug can do two jobs, juice bag) the juice bag, tape it in place, and grasshopper would, ripping a leaf first making a hole in the stem, 1 sheet of green construction set it on the plate to create the off the stem and taking it to then sucking out the plant juice, paper stem of your plant.Tape the let- your mouth. Use the pointed- but can’t soak up the juices that Tape tuce or spinach leaves to the side end straw as your spittlebug dribble down the side or spill on Sturdy plate (not paper) of your stem. Draw some flower mouth to jab a hole in the stem the ground. However, nothing Lettuce or spinach leaves petals on the red paper, cut them of your plant, then gently goes to waste, as those juices are 1 sheet of red construction paper out, and tape them around the squeeze the stem as you sip some great for the sponging mouth of Pencil top rim of the small paper cup. plant sap.To slurp up the juice the fly. Scissors Tape the cup to the back edge at that landed on the plate, put the Small paper cup the top of the stem and pour a sponge on the bottom of the Juice bit of juice inside. straw. Move it around, then take 2 Straws Now it is time for your plant your drink as a fly. Pliers to become dinner. Start out with 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of clean sponge14
  21. 21. 1 2 3 6 54 15
  22. 22. Thorax Up Close Attached to the top of the thorax is the most noticeable part of many insects—the wings. Insects are the only types of inverte- brates that have wings.Wings can be used to fly, to make sounds, and as protection.Wings also help entomologists identify the insects they catch. Entomologists look to see: • How many wings does the insect have? (Flies only have two wings. Almost all other flying insects have four, although some have none at all.) • How big are the wings? • What shape are they? • What do they look like? Are they like cellophane, leather, scaly, or a hard shell? • How does the insect hold its wings when it is not flying? Are they out to the side? Above its body like a tent? Tucked away? • What do the wing veins look like?16
  23. 23. Need a Lif t ?M any butterflies that travel long distances conserve their energy by gliding up include the dashed line. Cut it out around the solid line edge. Fold the paper along the dashed watch what happens.Trace the pattern on tissue paper and on an index card.What happens whenand down, using invisible warm air line to make a crease, then open you try to balance them? Whatbubbles, called thermals. When the it back up. Grab the pencil about happens if you make the patternsun shines on a dark parking lot halfway down in one hand. Use larger? Smaller? Stand on a chairsurrounded by trees, the air over your other hand to balance the and drop the wing pattern, not-the parking lot gets much warmer paper on the pencil tip. Hold ing what happens as it falls.than the air around the trees.Warm steady for at least one minute andair is lighter than cooler air, so thewarm air over the parking lot risesas a thermal. If a broad-winged Journal Notesbutterfly flies by, it can stretch itswings and let the thermal carry ithigh into the sky, then glide down I held the wing on the pencil What made the wing move? Youra long distance with just an occa- point for one minute and this body makes heat. The heat from yoursional flap of its wings. is what happened: hand created a mini-thermal that _____________________________ went up, hit the paper, and made itMaterials When I did this with a thicker spin. When you dropped the paper, itSheet of thin writing paper wing, this happened: likely twirled around as it fell, lookingPencil with sharp point ________________________________ more like a maple seed or mini-heli-Scissors When I did this with a thinner copter than a gliding butterfly. OneTissue paper wing, this happened: reason is because butterflies haveIndex card ________________________________ four wings, not just two. The wings When I dropped a wing from up act together to control upward and Trace the broad wing pattern high, this happened: downward motion, just like the flapsonto the paper, making sure you ________________________________ on a glider’s wings. 17
  24. 24. Ner vous Twitch W hile some butterflies and moths flap slowly and gracefully as they float through the air, flies, bumblebees, and hummingbird moths flap faster than the eye can see. For years there has been a popular myth that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly because they have a short, fat body shape and their nervous system can’t send mes- sages fast enough to make their wings flap the necessary 200 times a second.The truth behind lar manner.The muscles are the myth is that a bumblebee’s ready to move, similar to you shape and wings are more like a winding up the wings.Ten to helicopter than a glider, and the twenty times a second, the muscles work a bit like a rubber nerves send the message to the band. Place the sheet of thin paper notches. Put the wing piece in wing muscles to flap, or in your over the bee and wing pattern the middle of the rubber band. case, to release the wings. It only Materials and trace them. Cut them out, Wind the wing piece around 20 takes one message from the 1 sheet of thin paper place them on the foam tray, and times in one direction. Release nerves to get the wing muscles Pencil with dull tip trace around them. Cut them out the wings, and watch and listen started, then they keep vibrating, Scissors of the foam and decorate them to them as they spin. like the rubber band keeps Foam tray or plate with crayons. Place the rubber The nerves and thorax mus- unwinding, moving the wings 10 Crayons band over the bee pattern with cles that control a bumblebee’s to 20 times until the nerves send Thin rubber band the sides hooked into the wings work in a somewhat simi- the next message to flap.18
  25. 25. All About Legs Human Leg hot liquid out of their abdomens.Legs are attached to the lower side Fireflies have abdomens theyof the thorax. Insect legs have the light up to help them find theirsame basic parts that yours do, but mates. Female crickets andmany insects also have extra adap- grasshoppers have a long, skinnytations for survival. A praying spear at the end of their Femurmantis’s front legs have sharp abdomens.This is called anspines along the edges to hold its ovipositor and is used to lay eggs.prey. Flies have sticky pads at the The ovipositor on female beesend of their legs to help them and wasps has changed over timewalk on things, even the ceiling. to become a stinger. TibiaGrasshoppers and crickets havelarge bent hind legs, just right forjumping.Water boatmen andbackswimmers have legs like oars Robber Flyfor paddling through the water. TarsusGround beetles have long, stronglegs for running. And crane flieshave very long legs, helping them Insect Legstand above the grass on theground.About AbdomensAbdomens can be long and thin,short and round, or shapes inbetween. Some are striped, someare one color, and some have littlehooks at the end called cerci (SIR- -se). Bombardier beetles protect Assassin Bug Cricketthemselves by squirting boiling 19
  26. 26. Mighty Muscles H ave you heard of the amaz- ing feats that insects can do? Ants can lift 50 times Olympic events, how well would you do? Since you are much larger fair, you need to relate how far and high you jump, how fast you run, and how much you can lift where you landed. Measure how far you jumped. Divide this number by your height to deter- their own body weight. than insects, of course you can to your own body size. mine how many body lengths Grasshoppers can jump 30 times lift more actual weight than an you jumped. their body length. If you were to ant, and jump higher and farther Materials Tie a rope between two trees compete against insects in than a flea.To make the contests Tape measure or solid posts, about eight inches Pencil (20 cm) above and parallel to the Bathroom scale ground.Try to jump over the Bug Business Chalk rope without taking a running Rope start. If you make it over, raise Watch with a second hand the rope two inches (5 cm). Keep Fireflies, which are a family of bee- flies, then sells them to Friends raising the height until you miss tles, can be found on every continent researchers. The except Antarctica, but not every fire- researchers remove the Record your fly flashes. In the United States, the chemical that glows (luciferin) and use height in inches (or fireflies that live east of the Rocky it in their studies. Some researchers centimeters) and Mountains and away from the desert mix the luciferin with small samples of your weight in Southwest flash their abdominal ground beef or other foods. If the bac- pounds (or kilo- lights on warm summer nights. teria e. coli is in the food, the luciferin grams) in your jour- While most people catch fireflies attaches to the bacteria, making it nal, then get ready for fun, some people do it for money. easy for researchers to see it. to do your best! Since 1952, a company in Tennessee How much do firefly catchers Draw a line on has sponsored a summer firefly drive. earn? The price can change, but a the ground with the It pays people to catch and freeze fire- good estimate is about one penny chalk. From a still This female rhinoceros beetle moved nearly 100 times its own per perfect insect. position, jump as far mass during an experiment measuring how much energy it used flies. The company collects these fire- while carrying extra weight. as you can. Mark Photograph courtesy of Rodger Kram, Ph.D., University of Colorado20
  27. 27. Record Holdersit three times in a row. Record Event Long jump High jump Running Liftingthe highest level you jumped in Human About 29.5 feet (almost Over 8 feet (2.4 m) (with About 20 miles (32 km) 17 x body weight in a 9 meters) = about a running start) = per hour = between trestle liftyour journal. Divide this number 4.5 body lengths about 1.25 x height 5 and 6 body lengthsby your height to determine how per secondmany body lengths high you Insect A 2-inch (5 cm) 0.1 inch (.25 cm) cat flea Cockroaches run about Rhinoceros beetle can grasshopper can has jumped 13 inches 3.7 miles (6 km) per support 850 times itsjumped. jump 30 inches (76 (33 cm) = 130 x its own weight on its hour = 50 body Begin from a still position at a cm) = 15 body height lengths per second backstarting line. Run as fast as you lengthscan for five seconds (have afriend use a watch to time yourrun). Measure how far you ran in Gather some friends who Journal Notes Headsinches (cm) and record this num- weigh about the same amountber in your journal. Divide this as you. Put your hands and 3. I ran _________(D) Write these sentences into your jour-number by 5 to determine how knees on the ground, keeping inches/cm in 5 seconds. nal and fill in the blanks with yourfar you ran per second. Divide your back in the air. Ask your D ÷ 5 = _________(E) far you ran per second by friends to straddle your back, distance per second.your height to figure out how adding one more friend at a E ÷ A = _________ is the number of I am _______(A) inches/cm tall and Imany body lengths that is. time until you cannot hold body lengths per second I jumped. weigh ___________ pounds/kg. any more without collapsing. 1. I jumped a distance of 4. I can hold __________ friends on _________(B) inches/cm. my back at the same time. B ÷ A = __________ is the number of Who wins every contest? Don’t feel body lengths long that I jumped. bad that the insects always win. For one thing, many insects have more 2. I jumped _________(C) inches/cm muscles than we do. Humans have high. about 800 muscles. Grasshoppers C ÷ A = _____________ is the number have about 900 and caterpillars have of body lengths high that I jumped. as many as 4,000! 21
  28. 28. Rigged Ratios N ot only do insects have more muscles, but those muscles have to do less along the short edge to form a shorter tube, and again, and tape the sides. Place one of the tubes Place the other tube on the other piece of cardboard. Pour the cereal from the first tube into the work.When muscles work, they on a piece of stiff cardboard and second one. have to move whatever is being fill it to the top with dry cereal. lifted or pushed and the body Journal Notes parts as well. Since humans have more inside (volume) compared The __________ tube held the to their skin (surface area) than greater amount (volume) of dry insects do, our muscles have a cereal. bigger job to do from the start. You started with the same size paper, so each tube has the same Materials surface area. But because of the way Pencil you rolled the paper, one tube holds 2 pieces of paper (81⁄2 × 11 inches) a greater volume than the other. This Tape is true when you compare insect and 2 pieces of stiff cardboard human bodies as well. Because of the Dry cereal way they are made, insects have less volume compared to their surface Sketch a strong insect (an ant area than humans do. or beetle is a good choice) on Even though you have a greater vol- one piece of paper, and a human ume compared to your surface area on the other. Roll the insect than an insect does, and an insect has paper along the long edge to more muscles than you do, if you form a tall tube, and tape the found an insect the same size as you, sides. Roll the human paper you would likely have about equal strength.22
  29. 29. What’s Bugging You? end of the book in the table Des Moines, 1234 Main Street. are put in the insect class, whileEntomologists use everything titled “Ten Common Insect The first level of information the other arthropods are put intofrom an insect’s antennae to its Orders” (see page 117). in the name address for a living different classes like the arachnidtoes to help identify each kind. organism is called the Kingdom. (spider) class or the crustaceaInsects that look and act a lot Classification There is a Plant Kingdom, an (lobster, crabs) class.alike are put in big groups called Around 1735, Carolus Linnaeus Algae Kingdom, a Fungi King- Scientists keep sorting eachorders. All the butterflies and introduced a new system of clas- dom, and, of course, an Animal level into smaller and smallermoths are grouped together in sification—a way to identify, Kingdom. All animals are part of groups. All the animals in eachone order, beetles are another name, and group living things in the Animal Kingdom, so it is a class are put into orders. Bugs,order, and cockroaches are a third an organized way. Although his very big group. beetles, and flies are all in differ-order.There are about 30 major first system concentrated on As scientists look at all the dif- ent orders. Each order is sortedorders of insects.You will most plants, he later worked to organ- ferent kinds of animals, they sort into smaller groups called fami-likely be able to find insects from ize animals into a formal system them into smaller, more exclusive lies. Stinkbugs, assassin bugs, andaround ten of these orders.These as well.There are seven major groups called Phyla. Furry, bedbugs are all in different fami-ten common orders and their levels of information used to warm-blooded animals with lies. Each family is sorted into acharacteristics are listed at the classify all living things. backbones who give birth to live small group called a genus (JîN- The system works like making babies and feed them milk are us). Stinkbugs could belong to a seven-level name and address put in the Mammals phylum, the rough stinkbug genus, the for each living thing. Each level while those animals with green stinkbug genus, or one ofReal Entomologists of information gets more spe- exoskeletons, at least two body several others, with each group cific. Imagine you were space- segments, and pairs of jointed having only a few members. Not all entomologists traveling in a distant galaxy and legs are in the Arthropod (ARE- Finally, at the very end, each ani- agree how insects should met another creature who asked - thro-pod) phylum. mal gets its very own name; that be grouped. Some ento- where you were from. If the Insects are members of the is, its species.The species name mologists recognize 30 creature wanted your exact Arthropod phylum, as are spiders, for the spined soldier stinkbug is orders, while other entomolo- address, you might answer some- centipedes, and lobsters. So scien- Podisus maculiventris. If you putgists recognize more or fewer. thing like: Milky Way Galaxy, tists take all the animals in the together all the classification Planet Earth, North American Arthropod phylum and sort them information about the spined continent, United States of into even smaller groups, called soldier stinkbug, this is what it America, State of Iowa, City of classes. All six-legged arthropods would look like: 23
  30. 30. Classification Level Animals Included For example, a key to put an Kingdom Animalia All animals insect in the right order might Phylum Arthropoda Only those animals with jointed legs, two or more body segments, exoskeleton Class Insecta Only those arthropods with six legs, two antennae start out like this: Order Hemiptera Only those insects with front wings longer than hind wings, and a piercing-sucking mouth that forms a beak 1. Does the adult have well- Family Pentatomidae Only those bugs with a shield-shaped back and strong, defensive odor developed wings? Genus Podisus Only those stinkbugs considered soldier stinkbugs Species maculiventris The spined soldier stinkbug Yes (go to 2) No (go to 28) 2. Are the wings clear? What tools can you use to fig- First Field Guides Yes (go to 3) No (go to 24) ure out which order an insect belongs to? There are two basic 3. Are there two sets of clear types of books to help you: field Field guides come in many differ- Insects: A Concise Field Guide to wings? guides and keys. Field guides ent shapes and sizes. Some use 200 Common Insects of North photographs of insects; some use America. Peterson’s First Guides by Yes (go to 4) No (go to 20) include pictures of the insects, common names, and a short detailed black and white drawings; Christopher Leahy (Houghton After going through a list and description.You can find a field others use colored illustrations. Mifflin, 1987). picking the best descriptions, guide that includes all different Look at several different types of Insects: A Guide to Familiar your final choice tells you to kinds of the most common field guides to find the one that is American Insects. A Golden Guide which order your insect belongs. insects, or one for just one type right for you. The field guides list- by Herbert S. Zim, Ph.D. and If you want to find out which of insect, such as butterflies.To ed here are first guides. To keep Clarence Cottam, Ph.D. (Golden family, genus, and species your identify an insect, you look them light and easy-to-use, they Press, 1987). insect belongs to, you use through the field guide to find only include the insects you are Insects and Spiders: National another key that is made for each the picture that looks the most most likely to find. Audubon Society’s Pocket Guide order. Keys are usually found in like what you have found. Bugs and Slugs: An (Chanticleer Press Inc., 1988). entomology textbooks and other A key is a list that gives you Introduction to Familiar Insects: Spiders and Other scientific resources. two choices. After picking the Invertebrates. Pocket Naturalist by Terrestrial Arthropods. Dorling While most amateur entomol- choice that best describes your James Kavanagh (Waterford Press, Kindersley Handbooks by George ogists start by using field guides, insect, you follow the instruc- Inc., 2002). C. McGavin (Dorling Kindersley it doesn’t matter which type of tions to the next set of choices. Inc., 2000). book you use. After some prac-24
  31. 31. tice, you will be able to automat- exactly which insect you have. It pod phylum, a very large groupically put most insects into the Make a Connection works a lot like your name when of animals. Many arthropods liveright order. it is listed in a phone book.Your close to each other, sometimes Don’t get discouraged if you Go to last name (surname) groups you under the same rock or in thehave trouble identifying some Extension/ or look in the phone with the other members of your same rotting log. Its no wonderinsects you find. Sometimes it book for your area Cooperative family.Your first name shows people often get confused by thetakes professional entomolo- State Research, Education exactly which family member different types of small, many-gists days or weeks to iden- and Extension Service (look you are. legged creatures and just calltify an insect all the way to for Extension Service in the If you use a key to identify the them all “bugs.” Turn the pageits species name. After com- county government sec- insects you catch, you will see the to find some clues to help youparing an unknown insect to tion). Many of them have official names.The official names separate real insects from theirsimilar ones in their collections, active entomology departments are usually in Latin, and some are close cousins, the insectentomologists use a microscope that will identify insects found in hard to pronounce, like Drosophila look at its antennae, mouth- your state. melangaster (fruit fly). Of course,parts, how the wings are veined, some entomologists have fun,and other very specific details. even with Latin names. G.W. Common NamesEven then, they are sometimes What’s in a Name? Kirkaldy named one bug Ochismefooled. Everyone agreed that a People often call the same insect (o-kiss-me), another one Poly- Many insects have a common namecertain insect in Borneo looked by different names. For example, chisme (Polly-kiss-me), and a third in addition to their scientific name.and acted like a tiger beetle. It do you call it a lightning bug or one Marichisme (Mary-kiss-me). A The common name is like a nick-was only when one entomolo- a firefly? To make sure they are fly was named Pieza kake (piece name and often describes thegist started to raise the insect all talking about the same insect, of cake), and one entomologist insect. Honeybee, walking stick,from an egg to adult that he entomologists use the official named a moth Dyaria (which grasshopper, fire ant, stinkbug, andbecame suspicious. Beetles two-part name for each insect. sounds the same as diarrhea). swallowtail butterfly are examplesundergo complete metamorpho- The first part of the name is the of common names. How many othersis, but this insect did not. He genus, which puts each insect Insect Imposters ones can you think of?finally determined that the insect into a small group of very similar Insects, spiders, centipedes, milli-was actually a grasshopper, acting insects.The second part is the pedes, ticks, scorpions, mites, andlike a beetle.Very tricky! species name, which tells you lobsters all belong to the Arthro- 25
  32. 32. Centipede Sowbug Mite Centipedes: long, flat bodies with 15 to 181 segments.The one pair of legs on each body segment Scorpion stretches out to the side. Millipede Isopods (pill bugs or roly-polies): two body parts, hard shell, one Spiders pair of antennae, and usually five or more pairs of legs. Arachnids: spiders, mites, ticks, Millipedes: cylinder-like body and scorpions. Eight legs, two with 9 to 100+ segments. Each body segments, and no antennae. segment has two pairs of legs, Tick which are directly under the body.26
  33. 33. Twist-an-Insect (Game Dice)T he classification orders put insects with parts that go together in predictable ways Glue stick Thin dowel rod (1⁄4 inch [ 6⁄10 cm] diameter), 7 inches (17.75 the insect pictures on pages 29 and 30. Cut along the dotted lines. Glue all the head pieces, one inside, to form a cube. It is easiest to do the long side last. Place the cubes on the dowel rod with thein the same group. Flies have two cm) long picture per square, on one cube head box on top, the thorax boxwings and sponging mouthparts. Pencil topper erasers (optional) pattern; all the thorax pieces, one in the middle and the abdomenGrasshoppers have large hind legs picture per square, on a second box on the bottom. Put pencilfor jumping and chewing Carefully cut along the thick cube pattern; and all the abdomen top erasers over the ends of themouthparts. Beetles have a line black outer lines on the cube pat- pieces, one picture per square, on rod to keep the boxes in place.that goes straight down their tern. Fold and crease along all the a third cube pattern.When the Twist the boxes around to create aback, and many have a set of thinner inner lines, then flatten glue has dried, use your pencil crazy creature or to help identifypinching jaws called mandibles. the pattern again. Use your pencil point or punch to poke through insects that you catch.When you By making and using a twist- point or a hole punch to poke the circles again. Put glue on the want to play the Insectigations!an-insect, you will start to recog- through the circles. Do this for all trapezoid tab pieces and fold the game, take the boxes off the sticksnize characteristics that go three copies of the cube. Color pieces up, sticking the tabs on the to use them as dice.together.This will make it easierto classify anything you catch to Animal Head: Feeding parts, eyes, and antennae Thorax: Legs, wings Abdomen: Shape and other featuresthe right order. Bee Coiled tube mouthparts, medium Four clear wings, small legs with Striped, squat, hairy, stinger compound eyes, short antennae pollen basketsMaterials Cricket Chewing mouthparts, long antennae, Large hind legs bent higher than the Long, thick, females have ovipositor,3 photocopies or tracings of small compound eyes body; four wings held to sides when males have claspers (cerci) at end resting cube pattern on page 28 House Fly Sponging mouth, very large Two clear wings, hairy body, walking legs Short, round, soft, hairy1 photocopy or tracing of compound eyes, short antennae insects on page 29 and Stag Beetle Small eyes, mouth with pincers, Running legs, two pairs of wings, hard wing Abdomen hidden by shell page 30 long antennae shell makes middle line down back.Scissors Moth Feathery antennae, coiled tube Four colored wings with scales Fat, fuzzy, long abdomenPencil or hole punch mouthparts, small compound eyesMarkers/colored pencils Spider Eight simple eyes, no antennae Eight legs on combined head and thorax Soft, hairy abdomen with six spinnerets 27
  34. 34. Cube pattern28
  35. 35. Bee Cricket House Fly Stag Beetle 29
  36. 36. Moth Spider30
  37. 37. Insectigations! Game Action CardsB (6.3-by-7.6-cm) cards.Write the eing an insect has its advan- following actions based on insect tages and drawbacks.While anatomy onto the cards, one per food is usually easy to find, card. Place all four cards (includ-predators are almost always lurk- ing the blank one) into the enve-ing nearby.You will get to test lope for safekeeping until you areyour luck at surviving as an ready to create your Insectigations!insect in the Insectigations! game game.included on page 115, but firstyou need to create action cards. • You stumbled across a picnic!Action cards will be used to Roll the head die. If you havebuild the path, with instructions mandibles to carry away thefor moving your game token for- crumbs, roll again.ward and backward as you try to • A hungry bird is looking forbe the first player to make it an easy meal. If a roll of thefrom egg to adult. abdomen die shows you have an unprotected abdomen, goMaterials back to start.2 3-by-5-inch (7.6-by-12.7-cm) • Here comes a fly swatter! If a index cards roll of the head die doesn’tScissors show big compound eyes, losePen one turn. Although adult insects come look very different from eachEnvelope in many shapes, sizes, and colors, other, and even from their par- at least they all have the same ents. Get ready to explore and Cut the index cards in half so basic body plan. On the other understand metamorphosis, onethat you have 4 21⁄2-by-3-inch hand, immature insects often of nature’s greatest magic shows. 31
  38. 38. 3Metamor phic MagicM ost animals are born with all the body parts they will ever have and in the habitat where they will spend their whole lives. As animals grow bigger, they might growfur or feathers, and move to a new place within a habitat, but most animals look and act pretty much the same their whole life. 33
  39. 39. Insects are different. Insects green leaves become winged but- change. This process of change is terflies, flying through the air and called metamorphosis (met-a- feeding on flower nectar.Algae- - MOR-fa-sis). Soft, white, worm- eating mayfly nymphs that breathe like grubs that hatch from their underwater through gills surface eggs will later emerge from stiff from the bottom of a pond or pupal cases as beautifully colored stream, split their skins, stretch hard-shelled beetles. Striped cater- their iridescent wings and fly pillars that creep along munching away, never to eat again.34