New Zealand had no native land mammals apart from native bats before humans arrived. Ecological niches that were filled by mammals in other parts of the world were filled by native fauna in New Zealand. It has been suggested that the weta’s place in the ecosystem is comparable to that held by mice and other rodents elsewhere in the world. For example, like their foreign mouse equivalents, they are hunted by an owl: in this case the Morepork, New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. Weta also pass seeds of some plant species through their digestive tracts unharmed, thus acting as seed dispersers. It is yet to be seen how decreases in weta populations are affecting native plant species that rely on the weta's help.
The order Solifugae is a group of arachnids, containing around 900 species. The name derives from Latin, and means those that flee from the sun. The order is also known by the names Solpugida, Solpugides, Solpugae, Galeodea and Mycetophorae. Their common names include camel spider, wind scorpion, sun spider and matevenados ("deer-killer" - a Mexican nickname).
Solifugae are not true spiders (which are from a different order, Araneae). Like scorpions and harvestmen, they belong to a distinct arachnid order.
Most Solifugae live in tropical or semitropical regions where they inhabit warm and arid habitats, but some species have been known to live in grassland or forest habitats. The most distinctive feature of Solifugae is their large chelicerae. Each of the two chelicerae are composed of two articles forming a powerful pincer; each article bears a variable number of teeth. Males in all families but Eremobatidae possess a flagellum on the basal article of the chelicera. Solifugae also have long pedipalps, which function as sense organs similar to insects' antennae and give the appearance of the two extra legs. Pedipalps terminate in eversible adhesive organs.
Solifugae are carnivorous or omnivorous, with most species feeding on termites, darkling beetles, and other small arthropods; however, solifugae have been videotaped consuming larger prey such as lizards. Prey is located with the pedipalps and killed and cut into pieces by the chelicerae. The prey is then liquefied and the liquid ingested through the pharynx.
As indicated by their name, Solifugae are mostly nocturnal, and seek shade during the day. It was this behaviour which led coalition soldiers in the 2003 invasion of Iraq to think these arachnids were attacking them. In reality, they were merely moving toward the newly available shade provided by the soldiers' presence. The absence of shade sends them away.
8.Mexican Redknee Tarantula
The Mexican redknee tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) is a species of burrowing tarantula native to Mexico, but might be found in small numbers in neighboring countries. They are among the most popular tarantulas available in the pet trade, due to their impressive size and striking coloration. A similar terrestrial tarantula is named Mexican Painted Redleg ("Brachypelma emilia").he mature Mexican redknee tarantula has a dark-colored body with orange patches on the joints of its legs; the second element of the legs (the trochanter) is orange-red. Following moulting, the colors are more pronounced. The dark portion is very black while the orange-red portions will be far more on the reddish side. This is usually the best time to take pictures.
An adult female has a body roughly 4 inches (10cm) long, with a legspan of 6–7 inches (15 to 18 cm), and a weight of approximately 15 to 16 grams, and usually contains large amount of venom.
7.European Earwig ( Forficula auricularia)
Forficula auricularia, the Common earwig or European earwig, is an omnivorous insect in the family Forficulidae. Native to Europe, it has been introduced to North America in the early twentieth century and is now present throughout much of the continent.
This earwig is about one centimetre long, shiny brown, with yellowish wings and legs. The cerci (pincers) of the male are thick and sli ghtly curved; those of the female are straighter and less robust. The cerci are used during mating, feeding, and self-defence. The earwig has functional wings but rarely flies.
This insect is considered a pest of crops, although it does eat other pest insects and eg gs as well as plant parts. Earwigs readily consume corn silk and can damage the crop. It wedges itself into enclosed spaces, and can be found resting in harvested produce and cut flowers.
The female earwig lays a clutch of about 50 eggs in an underground nest in the autumn. She enters a dormant state and stays in the nest with the eggs. In the spring the young emerge from the eggs and she guards them until they reach maturity after about one month.
Interestingly, the male earwig has two identical, fully-functional and independantly operable penises.
The thorn bug is an occasional pest of ornamentals and fruit trees in southern Florida. During heavy infestations, nymphs and adults form dense clusters around the twigs, branches and even small tree trunks. Some hosts which have been severely damaged include Hibiscus sp., powder-puff (Calliandra spp.), woman's tongue tree (Albizzia lebbek), and Acacia spp. Young trees of jacaranda (Jacaranda acutifolia) and royal poinciana (Delonix regia) with a diameter of 1.5 to 2 inches have been killed by thorn bugs in the Tampa area. The trunks were so heavily infested that is was difficult to place a finger anywhere on the trunk without touching a specimen. Damage is caused by sucking the sap and by oviposition cuts. Butcher (19 53) reported that certain trees, especially some cassias, suffered considerable loss of foliage, and that pithecellobiums (Pithecellobium spp.) suffered ge neral and extensive terminal twig death.
He also mentioned that thorn bug honey-dew secretions and ac companying sooty mold development caused a nuisance to home owners. Kuitert (1958) noted that heavy accumulations of honey-dew sometimes occurred on parked automobiles. There are reports of barefooted c hildren stepping on the spines of thorn bugs which drop out of tre es. The wounds are slow healing and sometimes become infected.
The Giant African Stick Insect Bactrododema tiaratum from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa (known from all provinces except Eastern Cape and Free State), Swaziland and Zimbabwe i s known to reach a length of 125-185mm. in females (up to 350mm. including legs stretched out). This is much shorter than the largest known stick insect, Phobaeticus kirbyi from Borneo, also the longest insect in the world, the females of which reach 328mm (548mm. includin g legs stretched out). A 278mm. Malayan Phobaeticus serratipes measured 555mm. including legs stretched out.Giant stick insects are particularly interesting because of their size and weight and the fact that some of them can fly with their relatively small wings. The flight of these insects may be regarded as one of t he wonders of aerodynamics, although often it is only a downward gliding flight. Although Giant stick insects can make very good pets, and there is a d emand for specimens in insect zoos, Giant African Stick Insects have rarely been kept in captivity. A stock kept in the London Zoo was stolen in the 1960's! If you want to keep a Giant African Stick Insect as a pet, make sure you have a good supply of potted Acacia saplings. Peltophorum might also work. In other countries people have had success feeding stick insects from various countries on rose or oak plants. Make sure the leaves have NOT been sprayed with insecticide! It is not easy to keep these insects in captivity, so it would be wise to refer to Brock (2000).
The name of the order is derived from the Latin word for "cockroach", blatta. The folk etymology of the English word cockroach is the Spanish cucaracha.
Cockroaches exist worldwide, with the exception of the polar regions. There are roughly 4,500 species in six families.
Among the most well-known species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 3 cm long, the Germa n cockroach, Blattella germanica, about 1½ cm long, the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, also about 1½ cm in length, and the Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, about 2½ cm. Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger, and extinct cockroach relatives such as the Carboniferous Archimylacris and the Permian Apthoroblattina were several times as large as these. When infesting buildings, cockroaches are considered pests; out of the thousands of species, however, only about 30 (less than 1%) fall into this designation.
The bite from a larger specimen can be painful, especially considering the light, agile, and airborne nature of the fly. Unlike insects which surreptitiously puncture the skin with needle-like organs, horse flies have mandibles like tiny serrated scimitars, which they use to rip and/or slice flesh apart. This causes the blood to seep out as the horsefly licks it up. They may even carve a chunk completely out of the victim, to be digested at its leisure.
The horsefly's modus operandi is less secretive than that of its mosquito counterparts, although it still aims to escape before pain signals reach their mark's sphere of awareness. Moreover, the pain of a horsefly bite may mean that the victim is more concerned with assess ing and repairing the wound, than finding and swatting the interloper.
1.Giant Water Bug
The Giant Water Bug is one of the largest insects in the U.S. and Canada. Giant water bugs are approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length. Some species grow as long as 4 inches (10 cm).
Because it often
turns up under street lights and porch lights, it is also one of the most asked about insects. It is commonly mistaken for a beetle or even a cockroach. Alternate names include toe biter because they can deliver a nasty bite, and electric light bug because they are attracted to lights.
Clear, freshwater streams and ponds, preferring those with aquatic vegetation. Giant Water Bugs like slowly moving water, especially where there is emergent vegetation such as cattails. They usually grab hold of a plant near the surface, and stick their short breathing tube out of the water to allow them to breath while waiting for prey. With their powerful front legs they are able to grab other bugs and prey as big as small fish, frogs and salamanders. They pierce their prey with their sharp beak and secrete enzymes that dissolve the body tissues, thus allowing them to suck up the resulting liquid.