Insects represent more than half of all living things on the planet and live in almost every habitat.  Nearly 92,000 species of insects live in North America.  They vary in size from less than a millimeter to almost 6 inches, and come in a wide array of colors and shapes.  Generally, most adult insects have 6 legs and 3 distinct body parts.  Most hatch from eggs.  After that their development follows one of 3 patterns:  complete metamorphosis (a larval stage, followed by a pupa to an adult); partial metamorphosis (larva directly to an adult) and simple metamorphosis (the youngest stage looks like small, wingless versions of the adults).  


Insects can be destructive to man by eating his crops and spreading disease.  But they are also essential to maintaining life by pollinating plants and preying on noxious insects.  Some insects are indicators of environmental quality.  Mayflies and caddisflies are very sensitive to water quality.  When they start to disappear, it’s time to clean up the streams.  Some insects produce materials that humans use such as beeswax, silk, honey, dyes and shellac, and some produce chemical compounds that  are increasingly being used in medicine.  Others aid forensic scientists in solving crimes, or are employed to control noxious weeds.  Insects inspired the invention of making paper.  In addition to all of the above, insects are interesting to look at and to study.  There are over 2400 images of insects on NatureSearch representing more than 850 species that have been identified in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods. 


To learn more about insects and meet people with similar interests, the Fontenelle Forest insect Club has regular meetings with programs and field trips. 

Disclaimer: The content of NatureSearch is provided by dedicated volunteer Naturalists of Fontenelle Nature Association who strive to provide the most accurate information available. Contributors of the images retain their copyrights. The point of contact for this page is: Loren Padelford.




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