Insects have some incredible abilities when compared to other animals, largely due to their small size. In relative terms, insects are generally much stronger and faster than larger species of animals. Some of the best predators in the world are also insects, including both pursuit and ambush predators. This article will discuss the insect superpowers of:
- Dung beetles
- Ambush bugs
Dung beetles subsist entirely on dung. They belong to the Scarabaeoidea superfamily, with most species belonging to the Aphodiinae and Scarabaeinae subfamilies within the Scarabaeidae family. The African dung beetle, Onthophagus gazella, was introduced to several locations in North America and has become naturalized in many warm regions of the United States, including southern California.
A close relative, O. Taurus, is the world’s strongest insect in terms of its own body weight. One test showed that an adult male can pull 1,141 times its own body weight, which is equivalent to a 150-pound human pulling about 85 tons. However, these amazing insects don’t use their strength for rolling dung balls, as many dung beetles do. Instead, most O. Taurus males have enormous horns that they use to fight each other for mating rights. Males without horns will attempt to sneak into a female’s underground burrow to mate with her without getting caught by a horned male.
Bumblebees include all members of the Bombus genus in the Apidae bee family. Popular folklore holds that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly, although this assertion is typically based on calculations that fail to take a bumblebee’s extremely rapid wing-beat rate into account. A bumblebee’s wings beat about 200 times each second, which is faster than an insect’s motor neurons can fire. The wing muscles accomplish this apparently impossible feat by vibrating rather than actually contracting.
Bumblebees are also able to fly in colder weather than any other bee by first increasing their internal temperature, which can reach 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest temperature at which a bumblebee can fly under laboratory conditions is scientifically known as its chill-coma temperature. The bumblebee’s chill-coma temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit, although they can fly in temperatures colder than this if they live in an insulated shelter.
Dragonflies belong to the Anisoptera suborder of the Odonata order of insects. These superhero insects are the world’s most successful predators, with a 95 percent success ratio in capturing prey. In comparison, great white sharks are successful in about 40 percent of their pursuits of prey, and lions only succeed in about 20 percent of their attempts. Dragonflies use their enormous eyes to maintain a visual fix on their prey at all times and are highly effective in predicting how their prey will change direction in mid-flight.
Ambush bugs belong to the Phymatinae subfamily within the Reduviidae family. Their superpower is the ability to blend in perfectly with yellow flowers, especially sunflowers and Black-Eyed Susans. Ambush bugs wait for their prey to approach, which are typically sap-sucking or pollinating insects. They can capture and kill insects much larger than themselves with their powerful front legs and sharp beak.
While they may not have superpowers like these insects do, common household insects can still put up a good fight. Call or contact us at American Rat Control today and let us help you win your war against pests!