Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hello Everyone!!

            My name is Debora and I am a Ph.D. student. I am from Brazil and I started my “bug life” back in college when I was a biology student and this guy came to me with an Acrocicnus longimanus in a bucket asking me what was that? I haven’t seen a bug like that before and I started reading about it and how amazing and important bugs are. It was the beginning of a love history <3   
            After finishing biology I started my Masters in Biotechnology where I studied the biology of some species of Spodopteras occurring in Brazil. Spodoptera spp. are a very important corn pest, also important here in the United States, mainly in the Corn Belt. That is why I had the opportunity of studying my Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln; we have “some” corn around here. Ok, Back to the cool part of bugs, corn pests can be boring sometimes. Even though I am a Ph.D. student in Entomology, other day I saw this “ Cool Entomology Facts” that some of them I did not know about… And they are really cool. That is why I decided to write here today, to share it with you all, I hope you enjoy, have fun reading =)

Most abundant: Macroterms, an East African termite, has a queen that lays an egg every two seconds… or 4,300 every day. Termite’s queens may live 50 years!
 Fastest: Large dragonfly may reach a speed of 60 MPH… and yet their flight is noiseless because their wings beat too slowly to produce a hum.

 The largest insect that ever lived: Ancient dragonflies were the largest insects that ever lived. Some fossil specimens from Kansas had a wingspan of three feet. A reconstruction of one of these giants may be seen in the Paleobiology Gallery in Morril Hall - University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Diversity: There are about one million described insect species. Based on studies in the canopy layer of tropical rainforest, there may be as many as 10-30 million different species of insects! The entomology collection contains approximately 44,000 species or about 4.4% of the world`s insect diversity. The entomology Collection contains many more species that are new to science.

Performance: A flea can jump 13 inches high. That would be equivalent to a human jumping 275 feet straight up!

Insect discovery: Curators and students in the division of entomology collect insects and explore jungles and cloud forest every year for research. On each expedition, “Team Scarab” discovers several species that are new to science.

Economy: The annual economic benefits resulting just from honeybee pollination of plants is about U$20 billion, and it is greater than all kinds of insect damage combined, what is U$5 billion in the United States.

Nebraska insects: There are 84 species of mammals in Nebraska. Based on current estimates, there are roughly 21,000 species of insects in Nebraska, that is 250 times more insects than mammals in Nebraska!!

That is a lot of specimens: If all of the specimens in the Entomology Collection were placed end to end, they would measure 11 football fields in length!

Most Massive: The most massive specimen in the Entomology Collection is the rhinoceros beetle, Megasome actaeon, which weight about 3.5 oz (or 100 grams). It would take about 28 prairie shrews to equal the weight of one of these beetles!

Smallest: The smallest specimen in the Entomology Collection is a feather-wing beetle that measure less than 1/32nd of an inch (or 0.34mm). Feather-wing beetle are so small that they can float in the air like dust particles.

Brett Ratcliffe - University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Reference 3

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