When do glow worms glow?



The glow worm is not really a worm at all. It is a firefly in an early stage of development called the larval stage. Most adult fireflies never eat because they did all their eating when they were larvae. They hide during the daytime among the vegetation. After dark, the female climbs up plant stems and the top of her abdomen glows. The light from a larva’s glowing body attracts tiny flies and mosquitoes for the larva to eat.



The Waitomo Caves in New Zealand house a memorable type of glow worm. Tourists entering the Glowworm Grotto in small boats see thousands of lights on the cave ceiling. The glow worms look like stars in a night sky. If you cough or use a camera flash, the lights instantly go off. But wait quietly for a few minutes and they flicker back on, until the cave-ceiling ‘sky’ is again filled with ‘stars’.










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Woodworm, the larvae of the furniture beetle, cause lots of damage to timber both in buildings and in the wild. The damage is evident from the holes they leave behind.




 



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When do bees make honey?



Bees constantly make honey because it serves them as food. So the whole process of making honey is a way of storing up food for the bee colony. The first thing a bee does is visit flowers and drinks the nectar. Then it carries the nectar home in the honey sac. This is a bag like enlargement of the digestive tract just in front of the bee’s stomach. There is a valve that separates this section from the stomach.



The first step in the making of the honey takes place while the nectar is in the bee’s honey sac. The sugars found in the nectar undergo a chemical change. The next step is to remove a large part of the water from the nectar. This is done by evaporation, which takes place because of the heat of the hive, and by ventilation. Honey stored in the honeycombs by honeybees has so much water removed from the original nectar that it will keep almost forever! The honey is put into honeycombs to ripen, and to serve as the future food supply for the colony. Honeys differ in taste and appearance, depending on the source of the nectar.










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Honey is removed from the hive by various methods. It may be squeezed from the comb by presses, or it may be sold in the combs cut from the hive. Most honey, however, is removed from the combs by a machine known as ‘a honey extractor’.




 



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When do dragonflies eat?



Dragonflies are impressive insects with two pairs of powerful clear wings which enable them to catch insects on the wing. They have large eyes for spotting their prey. Dragonfly nymphs live in water and so the adults are usually seen near ponds, rivers and lakes. Some species have a feeding territory which they guard from other dragonflies – their clattering wings can sometimes be heard as they battle. When they mate, most species fly around in tandem before they lay their eggs in the water or among the waterside vegetation. Dragonfly nymphs are active carnivores. They feed on other insects, but can catch tadpoles or even small fish. On the underside of the head is a flap called the mask. This is armed with sharp jaws and fangs. At rest it is folded, but it can shoot out to catch its prey.










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A dragonfly’s eyes are large and five it almost all-around vision. They are sensitive to the slightest movement around them. If you look closely you will be able to see the individual facets of the eye. Each one contains its own lens; together they help form the image seen.




 



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When do caterpillars turn into butterflies?



Young insects develop in two main ways. Butterflies, bees and beetles, go through a process called metamorphosis. This means that their eggs hatch into larvae or caterpillars. Later these become a pupa or chrysalis, within an imago, or an adult insect, develops. The larvae may live in a different habitat from the adult and require different foods.



In species such as grasshoppers and locusts, the young that hatch from eggs look rather like small adults, and are called nymphs. As they grow, the nymphs shed their skins, looking more and more like adults each time.










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The wings of a bee or wasp can beat as many as 250 times per second during flight. The wings of midges can beat as many as 1,000 times per second – which accounts for the high-pitched whine that these tiny insects make.




 



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When do plants eat insects?



Plants growing in bogs and peaty areas often need to supplement their food supply by catching insects. Bog water contains very little nitrogen, but some bog plants can obtain this substance by catching and digesting insects. They are known as insectivorous plants. Other insectivorous plants are covered with sticky tentacles that trap flies. The most remarkable is the Venus flytrap plant. It has two clawed plates that slam together when a fly walks over them and touches a trigger hair. Other insect-eating plants are aquatic, catching tiny crustaceans in bladder-shaped underwater traps. Some of the largest insectivorous plants live in the tropical rainforests.










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Some insects use camouflage to blend into their environment, protecting themselves from predators. 




 



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