September 16, 2009


Summer is ending, and so are some of the critters life's. Here are a few of what is in store for some of our co-inhabitants of the planet.

The total lifespan of the grasshopper will take around about a year. Each stage of the life cycle takes a different amount of time and breaks down as so:

* Egg - The eggs spend about 10 months in a dormant stage, normally over the autumn and winter months.

* Nymph - This stage takes about 25 to 50 days and results in a fully formed adult grasshopper. The nymph will moult five times during the nymph stage, each is about 5 to 10 day apart.

* Adult - The adult normally lives for about 30 days. It takes 14 days for them to become sexually mature and mate, and a further two to three weeks to lay the eggs. After this the adult will die and the life cycle will start again.

the lifespan of a housfly is about 20-30 days.

Bumble bees can live inbetween Summer and Spring unless they are killed inbetween then. They are very dumb.

A cricket usually lives less than one year, though as , if they can find a warm house, or better, someone to make them a home and provide water and food, their life span can be lengthened. As a rule though, as winter approaches, the female will look for the perfect spot to lay her eggs. This is generally on the ground. When spring arrives, the new cricket, or nymph, hatches looking very muck like an adult cricket, only minus his or her wings. Through several molts, casting off their skin, they grow larger, and develop their wings. Below 32 Degrees they will die so most do not make it through the winter.

The average lady bug lives 4-6 weeks.

An ant's lifespan is usually about 90 days. Harvester ants tend to live longer, usually from 2-6 months.

Also known as fireflies, lightning bugs are part of the beetle family. This means they are not actually bugs and not actually flies either. Beetles are a breed of their own. When they glow, they are communicating with their fellow fireflies. Males and females communicate and, as they
signal with their glow, the male moves closer and closer until the male gets to the female and they mate. Their pattern of flash is how they determine one species from another. The female remains on, or close to, the ground while the male is the one flying around signaling for a female mate.

Lightning bugs are carnivorous. They eat small insects and snails. They hang out in the ground or sometimes find a home in old damp wood lying around. Their larvae live in the ground, just under the surface and also feed on small insects or snails. Some adults have been known to only feed on nectar to sustain energy long enough to mate.

A lightning bug's glow comes from its abdomen. There are special chemicals inside a firefly's abdomen called luciferin and luciferase. These chemicals react with oxygen causing their special glow. There are many different species of lightning bugs and they all have different patterns of flashing. If the female attracts the wrong species she eats the male! The females have been known to trick males of other species by mocking their flash for this very purpose.

Lampyridae is the scientific name for a lightning bug. They hide out all through winter and come out in the spring. They are nocturnal creatures, meaning they only become active at night time. During their off season and the daytime they like moist swamp-like places where food is plentiful.

Adult fireflies live only long enough to mate and lay eggs, usually 1 to 4 weeks. Some lightning bug larvae can live up to a year. How long they can live during winter and fall hugely depends on the climate and how much food is available to them. Generally though, for larvae, their lifespan lasts from one mating season to the next when they have sufficient amounts of food.

Lightning bugs are best known and loved by children. It is a fun summer pastime to go out and collect fireflies in a jar and just look at them and wonder. For adults, it brings back memories and a special youthful feeling. Those that wonder as children may grow up to be Entomologists, specializing in fireflies. An Entomologist is one who studies insects as a profession. Either way, child or professional, we can all appreciate the light show they perform on a warm summer night even though now we know they are just looking for dates or dinner!

No comments: