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Insecta

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Green darners

English
Anax junius

These large dragonflies are 6.8 to 8.4 cm long with a wingspan of more than 9 cm. The thorax is green and the abdomen is bluish to dark brown. The extremely mobile head has short antennae, well-developed mouthparts and two huge compound eyes. The face is yellowish-green with a “bull’s eye” pattern on the forehead.

The four membranous wings are wide at the base. The abdomen is slender, flexible and cylindrical.

Dragonflies

English

Dragonflies are divided into two groups: the suborder Anisoptera, which rest with their wings outspread, and the suborder Zygoptera, also called damselflies, which rest with their wings folded together over their backs.

Adults are often strikingly coloured with wings that feature distinctive banded patterns. The head has two large compound eyes and very short antennae. All dragonflies possess two pairs of membranous wings that are larger in suborder Anisoptera than in suborder Zygoptera. The abdomen is long and slender.

The aquatic odonate larva is equipped with unusual mouthparts that form a grasping hinged labium that can be rapidly extended to capture prey; at rest, it is folded away under the head.

Flies and mosquitoes

English

Most insects in the order Diptera are fairly easy to recognize, because of their characteristic shape. They have a single pair of membranous wings. The second pair is reduced to small knobbed structures called halters. A few dipterans have no wings at all. Insects in this order have large compound eyes, and their mouthparts are adapted for licking and sucking.

The larvae, also called maggots in some cases, look like small worms.

This huge group consists of more than 160,000 species divided into two suborders, depending on the size of their antennae:

Nematocera

These insects have longer antennae. They generally look like mosquitoes, with long legs, slender bodies, a fairly fragile appearance and segmented antennae.

Brachycera

These dipterans have shorter antennae and are shaped like house flies, with stockier bodies and fewer antenna segments.

Hummingbird moths

English
Hemaris thysbe

These stocky moths have a wingspan of 3.8 to 5.5 cm and a relatively long proboscis. The narrow, pointed forewings are much larger than the hindwings. All four wings have patches free of scales, except on the veins. These transparent sections are surrounded by a border varying in colour from purplish-red to dark brown. The base of the wings and the front half of the body are olive green, as is the abdomen, which also has reddish bands.

Sphinx moths

English

These moths, with a wingspan of 3 to 20 cm, have stocky bodies and long, colourful aerodynamic wings. They have powerful muscles for flying and beat their wings very rapidly.

Several species have a long proboscis that they use to suck up nectar from flowers with deep corollas.

Some sphinx moths have no scales on part of their wings, and resemble large bumble bees.

Tiger moths

English

This family includes small to medium-sized moths, often quite colourful. The most colourful species are called “tiger moths.” Other species resemble wasps and are known as “wasp moths.” Their caterpillars are usually very hairy and some, like the “woollybear,” are quite well known.

Black flies

English

Black flies are tiny, stocky flies from 1.4 to 6 mm long. Despite their name, their colour varies depending on the species. Their convex thorax gives them a characteristic humpbacked appearance. The six fairly short legs have white bands in certain species.

The females’ abdomens, which absorb blood meals, are particularly expandable. Their short, sharp mouthparts are adapted to cutting through skin and sucking up blood.

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