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Kansas School Naturalist


KSN - Vol 10, No 2 - Insects

THE COVER PICTURE is a photograph, taken by the author, of a rhinocerus beetle of the genus Dynastes, from Costa Rica. The specimen is in the insect collection of the Department of Eutomology of Kansas State University, Manhattan. The picture is about twice the actual size of the insect. Rhinocerus beetles of other genera are found in the southern states. The family Scarabeidae, to which these belong, also includes the common Kansas June bettles or May beetles, often incorrectly called June "bugs."

Volume 10, Number 2 - December 1963

Insects

by Ronald R. Aeschliman, Department of Biology

 

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Published by The Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia

Prepared and Issued by The Department of Biology, with the cooperation of the Division of Education

Editor: John Breukelman, Department of Biology

Editorial Committee: Ina M. Borman, Robert F. Clarke, Helen M. Douglass, Gilbert A. Leisman, David Parmelee, Carl F. Prophet

Online fomat by: Terri Weast

The Kansas School Naturalist is sent upon request, free of charge, to Kansas teachers and others interested in nature education. Back numbers are sent free as long as the supply lasts, except Vol. 5, No. 3, Poisonous Snakes of Kansas. Copies of this issue may be obtained for 25 cents each postpaid. Send orders to The Kansas School Naturalist, Department of Biology, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas.

The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April of each year by The Kansas State Teachers Col­lege, Twelfth Avenue and Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas. Second-class mail privileges authorized at Emporia, Kansas.

"Statement required by the Act of October 1962; Section 4369, Title 39, United States Code, showing Ownership, Management and Circulation." The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April Editorial Office and Publication Office at 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas. (66801). The Naturalist is edited and published by the Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas. Editor, John Breukelman, Department of Biology.


THIS IS THE FIRST ISSUE of The Kansas School Naturalist that was written by an undergraduate student. Ronald R. Aeschliman was a senior biology major when he prepared the text for "Insects." He is now taking graduate work and looking forward to a career in wildlife management. The drawings, except those on page 6, were made by Dr. Robert Boles, Assistant Professor of Biology.


Insects

by Ronald R. Aeschliman, Department of Biology

"Where the bee sucks, there suck I, In a cowslip's bell I lie." Bees were known long before Shakespeare, as were other insects. Bees are and were important for their honey and wax. Bees are only one kind of the multitude of insects we know today. Many of the well-known insects are known for the damage done to farm crops, garden crops, and household goods. Yet not all of these other insects are harmful; many help man in his activities.

What is an insect? How are they classified? Where are they found? What do they eat? How would you collect them? What are some of the common representatives? In the following paragraphs and in the tabular summary on page 10 to 15, these and other questions will be answered.

WHAT IS AN INSECT?

"Bugs" is the common term often used to describe any insect. It is incorrect in general usage because a bug represents one particular group of insects, the "true bugs" of the Order Hemiptera. The box-elder bug (page 12) belongs to this order. Insects are small invertebrate animals that are relatives of the Kansas crayfish and also of the ocean crabs and lobsters. The insect body, which is covered by a hard outer layer, has three sections or regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. A pair of bulging compound eyes are located on the front or upper side of the head. Simple eyes, ocelli, are sometimes present. If wings are present, they are attached to the middle or thoracic region, where the legs are also attached.

The "jaws" or mouthparts, of an insect are in two pairs. Grasshopper jaws are modified for biting and chewing. Butterflies, on the other had, have a long tube or proboscis, formed from these jaws to suck the nectar from flowers. The antennae are located on the head, either above or between the compound eyes. The antennae are of varying lengths in different species of insects. Some antennae resemble feathers, some movable pieces of string and others so short that they are almost invisible. Most insect antennae are used to touch and feel, much as we use our fingers.

Three pairs of walking legs are attached to the thorax or middle body region. The hind pair may be used to jump. The wings are also attached here and may be in one or two pairs.

Reproductive organs of most insects are found within the abdomen and at the end of the abdomen. The males may have organs for clasping the female during fertilization, and the female an ovipositor through which she lays eggs.

Other animals closely related to insects are spiders, centipedes, and millipedes. These differ from insects in body form, number of legs per body segment, mode of reproduction and number of antennae.

Insects have antennae, three pair of walking legs, tracheal tubes instead of lungs for breathing, and three body divisions. Spiders lack antennae, possess four pair of walking legs, "lungs" for breathing, and two body regions.

Centipedes and insects are related, but separated by a number of body divisions and the number of legs and position of the leg attachment. Three body regions with the three pairs of legs attached to the middle one characterize insects, while the centipedes have many segments not defined into distinct portions and with one pair of legs per each segment.

Millipedes have many segments with two pairs of walking legs on each and no antennae, while insects have three body regions and antennae.

HOW ARE INSECTS CLASSIFIED?

The classification system of insects follows the typical zoological grouping into various categories. For example, the honey bee has this scientific classification:

Kingdom-Animal

Phylum-Arthropoda

Class-Insecta

Order-Hymenoptera

Family-Apidae

Genus-Apis

Species-mellifera

Common name-honeybee

The large number of insect species causes great difficulty in the use of specific categorical names except by expert entomologists. Even experts often use common names for insects.

The Class Insecta is typically characterized by the following:

  1. three body regions,
  2. three pairs of walking legs
  3. wings in the adult stage of the life cycle,
  4. some form of metamorphosis in the development of the individual. There are some exceptions to all except the first of these.

Subdivision of the Class Insecta into orders is based on characteristics such as: 1. types of metamorphosis, 2. number and type of wings, 3. type of "jaws" or mouthparts, 4. structure of the external portions of the reproductive system. Further separation into families, genera, and species is on the basis of more detailed features, such as: 1. type of pupal case, as in caddisflies, 2. shape of antennae, as in beetles, 3. chrysalis or cocoon in the pupal stage, as in moths and butterflies.

HOW MANY KINDS ARE THERE?

Insects comprise by far the largest class of animals in the world. More than 600,000 species have been described, and possibly as many as a million more species remain to be identified. Most estimates agree that between three-fifths and seven-eights of all the animals in the world are insects. The class Insecta has been divided into about 25 orders; more or fewer, depending on the classification system used. The beetles, one of 25 orders, may include as many as 250,000 species in the world, and are represented by 15,000 to 18,000 species in Kansas. There are more species of beetles than there are of all other species of animals, excluding the insects.

WHERE ARE INSECTS FOUND?

Insects of some kind are found everywhere on the earth with the exception of the cold polar ice caps and the open ocean. Butterflies have been found within the Arctic Circle, and a few primitive insects are known in Antarctica. Large numbers of insects are found in the tropics. Kansas insects are of course characteristic of those of the temperate regions.

Many adult insects, especially beetles, the larval stages of many species, and some pupae are found in the soil. Many beetles, dragon flies, mosquitoes, midges, and caddisflies are found in or near water. Many grasshoppers, katydids, true bugs, beetles, flies, and ants are found on plants, telephone and highline poles, and houses. Other insects are found burrowing into fruit, in plant stems, in garbage dumps, and in the wood of your houses. The clothes in your closet and the papers in your garage are other places where insects may be found.

One of the best places to collect insects is in the flowers of your garden or yard. Flowers attract moths, butterflies, bees, ants, wasps, flies, and even beetles and true bugs. Many different kinds and sizes of insects may be found with a little effort.

Shores of ponds and streams are good places to find dragonflies, damselflies, whirlygig beetles, water striders, toad bugs, scavengers, and water boatmen. Other insects, such as butterflies and moths, may be found here also.

Many beetles and true bugs may be found on the ground; under leaves, boards, and stones, or in rotten logs or dung. Many beetles are associated with decaying flesh, along with fly larvae.

Parts of plants, other than flowers, have many insects associated with them. Many insects may be found resting, laying eggs, or using the plants for shelter.

The most productive place to collect numbers of insects is around a light in the summer. Many flying, crawling, or hopping insects collect around a light and are easily picked up. As many as fifty species of insects may be collected in a single evening.

HOW DO INSECTS REPRODUCE?

Insect reproduction is similar to that of other animals. The sexes of most species are separate, male and female. Eggs produced by the female usually develop after fertilization, but rarely by parthenogenesis (development of eggs without fertilization). The eggs are either laid by the female with hatching occurring later, or the female retains the eggs within the body until they hatch and Jiving young are produced.

The development of the young after hatching follows one of four courses:

  1. the young resemble the adult except in size, that is, no metamorphosis occurs;
  2. the young resemble the adults, but wings appear only after a period of development (gradual metamorphosis);
  3. the egg hatches into a larval nymph or naiad that is markedly different from . the adult (incomplete metamorphosis);
  4. the larva which changes to the pupa develops into the adult after a period of resting (complete metamorphosis).

Refer to the accompanying drawings for a summary of these types.

WHAT DO INSECTS EAT?

Insects enjoy a variety of food, just as you do. They feed on leaves and stems of plants, juice from the stem, or nectar from the flowers of living plants. Many beetles eat rotten wood, primitive plants found in rotten wood, dung, roots of other plants, and also foliage. Some insects, especially wasps, are parasitic upon other insects. Mosquitoes and some flies are known to suck blood from animals, including man. For each living or dead plant or animal, there is an insect waiting to eat it.

HOW DO YOU COLLECT INSECTS?

There are many ways to collect insects. You may pick them up by hand, catch them with an insect net, or in a variety of traps.

The simple cloth insect net may be used to catch most flying insects. Nearly everyone has seen some happy "bug hunter" chasing a butterfly or dragonfly. Traps of various sorts are simple to construct and effective to use.

The simplest trap to construct is a sheet of white material draped from a tree with a light bulb behind it. Hanging a bulb over a pail of water will collect many insects. A piece of paper attached to a wall, with the outer end bent into a V will funnel insects into a collecting jar. A mixture of molasses and sugar or syrup and sugar will attract moths if placed on trees on a summer evening.

A pamphlet entitled How to Make an Insect Collection may be obtained from Ward's Natural Science Establishment, Inc., Rochester, New York. The Field Book of Nature Activities by William Hillcourt, has an extensive section on insect collections. Both of these references give many ways to construct traps.

WHAT GOOD OR HARM ARE THEY?

Not all insects are harmful. On the contrary, only about one per cent of the known species are harmful. In Kansas, the harmful insects for which control measures are used number only 100 species.

The other 99 per cent may be classified as beneficial. The beneficial insects are helpful in a number of ways; they may feed upon, parasitize, or otherwise destroy the harmful ones; they may furnish us with food; or they may furnish us a service that is far more important: pollination.

Pollination of farm, garden, and fruit crops is carried on to a large extent by insects. Bees, flies, and a few other insects carry pollen from one flower to the next in their search of nectar. Without the bees, alfalfa, many garden flowers, and other wildflowers are not pollinated. Fruit trees are pollinated by many kinds of insects.

THINGS TO DO

  1. Collect the insects from the home garden.
  2. Collect the insects from a field or woods.
  3. Compare the insects from the garden and woods.
  4. Construct an insect observation cage.
  5. Start and maintain an ant colony.
  6. Collect the butterflies from your school yard.
  7. Find a butterfly pupal case and follow its development.
  8. Imbed the insects from your area in plastic.
  9. Visit the insect collection at a college or university.
  10. Make an insect net. The one shown is made of a wire coat hanger, a piece of cheesecloth or other open-weave cloth, and a broomstick handle.
  11. Make an insect cage. The following instructions are quoted from the December, 1958 issue of The Kansas School Naturalist:

MATERIALS

  • two round cake pans or pie tins
  • screen wire or staples
  • plaster of Paris
  • small branch

PROCEDURE

Make a cylinder of the screen, of the right size to fit into the pan or tin to be used. Overlap the edges of the screen and fasten with wire or staples.

Make a mixture of water and plaster of Paris and pour into one pan or tin. At the point of solidification, press the screen cylinder into the plaster of Paris; also insert the branch into the plaster of Paris, in the position it is to occupy after the plaster hardens.

Use the other pan or tin to put on top of the cylinder, to serve as a lid. Modifications of this type of container can be made by using different shapes and sizes of pans. Small containers which children can take with them on field trips can be made from pint ice cream cartons, or similar containers:

FOR YOUR LIBRARY

Audubon Nature Bulletins, Published intermittently by the National Audubon Society, 1130 Fifth Avenue, New York 28, New York.

Chu, 1949. How to Know Immature Insects. Wm. C. Brown Company, Dubuque, Iowa.

Eulrich, Paul R., and Ann H. Ehrlich. 1961. How to Know the Butterflies. Brown Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.

Farb, Peter. 1963 The Insects. Time, Inc., New York. (Life Magazine Nature Library Series).

Frost, S. W. 1959. Insect Life and Natural History. Dover Publishing Company, New York.

Gates, Dell and Leroy L. Peters. 1962. Insects in Kansas (revision). State Printer, Topeka, Kansas.

Goetsch, Wilhelm. 1957. The Ants. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Hercules Powder Company. 1956. Handbook of tr.e Insest World. Hercules Powder Company, Wilmington, Delaware.

Eillcourt, William. 1950. A Field Book of Nature Activities. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York.

How to Make an Insect Collection, Wards Natur::11 Scien:e Establishment, Rochester 5, New York.

Klots, Alexander B. 1951. A Field Guide to the Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Mass. (Peterson Field Guide Series)

Lutz, Frank E. 1948. Field Book of Insects. Third Edition. G. D. Putnam's Sons, New York.

Ross, Herbert H. 1981. A Textbook of Entomology. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.

Zim, Herbert S. and Clarence Cottam. 1951. lnsects. Simon and Schuster, New York. (Golden Nature Guide Series)

  Silverfish Big Green Darner Ruby Spot Damselfly
COMMON NAME Silverfish Big Green Darner Ruby Spot Damselfly
ORDER THYSANURA ODONATA ODONATA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Lepisma
saccharina
Anax
junius
Hetaerina americana
DESCRIPTION Length, 3/4"; wingless, primitive insects; chewing mouthparts; long extensions of tail;
long antennae; compound eyes; fast runners.
Biggest dragonfly in Kansas. Wings unspotted, largely yellow-brown; 2-3" long, wingspread 4". Greenish thorax covered with light brown hair. Compound eyes
fused. Found early in spring.
Body length 1 1/2 - 1 3/4"; wingspread 2 - 2 1/2". Copper bronze metallic green with brilliant red spot at base of wing in males, females with amber spots. Veins of wings black in males and brown in
females.
REPRODUCTION Eggs laid singly in cracks, crevices, and secluded places. Young mature slowly in 3 to 24 months, molt an indefinite number of times to reach adult stage. Adults molt. No metamorphosis. Eggs laid close to water on vegetation. Nymph lives in water. Molting of developing nymph until final molt when adult emerges, at night, on vegetation above water. Incomplete metamorphosis. Similar to green darner; eggs deposited in stems of aquatic plants. Naiad aquatic with terminal gills. Adult emerges on final molt. Incomplete metamorphosis.
FOOD Eat starch found in book sizing, old photographs, wallpaper, and other papers. Nymph and adult predaceous. Adult captures prey while flying regular beats. As soon as the prey is eaten, the beat is resumed. Adults eat soft-bodied insects; Naiads eat decaying
vegetation or insects.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Night activity causes damage to
books, photographs. Control with sprays and powders.
Neither harmful or helpful as adults. Nymphs are fish food. Esthetic rat her than functional value. Adults neither helpful or harmful; Naiads valuable fish food.

 

  termite American cockroach praying mantid
COMMON NAME  Termite American Cockroach Praying Mantid
ORDER ISOPTERA ORTHOPTERA ORTHOPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Reticulitermes tibialis Periplaneta americana Stagmomantis carolina
DESCRIPTION Small to medium sized, 3/4"; soft-bodied, social insects resembling ants. Four distinct castes: 1. winged reproductives, 2. workers, 3. soldiers, 4. secondary reproctuctives. Largest of common
roaches. Adult 1 1/2 to 2" long. Reddish-brown
color. Both sexes have well-developed
wings but seldom fly. Legs developed for running. Gradual
metamorpbosis.
Found around
dwellings.
Slender, medium-to-large, 2-5"; green or brown insect with modified front legs; head fully movable on a definite neck; prominent compound eyes. Wings
held flat over abdomen. Middle and
hind legs long and slender.
REPRODUCTION Queen of colony lays eggs that, upon hatching, become either workers or soldiers for most of a year, (either fall or spring) the reproductives swarm, mate. and disperse to start new colonies. Females "glue" eggs together in to two rows. Groups of eggs in dark and humid places. Nymphs active, but grows slowly. Adults are at least 1 year old. Gradual  metamorphosis. Eggs laid in frothy mass on branches
in the fall. Young mantids emerge in
spring. Gradual metamorphosis.
FOOD Eat wood in sheltered places, especially
wood in woodwork
of houses.
Eat both plant and animal food. Both nymphs and adults eat same food. Predaceous on flies, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Highly destructive.
Attacks wooden supports to houses.
Weight of building may collapse these parts.
Disagreeable household pest, often a sign of unsanitary conditions. Contaminates food with fecal matter. Mantids are beneficial predators; not harmful, either directly or indirectly
to man.

 

  walking stick differential grasshopper field cricket
COMMON NAME Walking Stick Differential Grasshopper Field Cricket
ORDER ORTHOPTERA ORTHOPTERA ORTHOPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Diapheromera
veliei
Melanoplus differentialis Gryllus asimilis
DESCRIPTION Slender, green or brown stick-like, 3"; long, many-segmented antennae; small compound eyes. Small scale-like forewings, long easily broken legs, move along
sticks slowly.
Length, 1 3/4", black, chevrons on the thick part of the hind legs. Body marked with black. Length, 7/8" excluding long egg-layer of the females. Common black-bodied or winged cricket found throughout Kansas.
REPRODUCTION Eggs are dropped singly as the female
moves along a branch; many drop
to the ground. Eggs
overwinter, or longer, then hatch. Parthengenesis
common. Gradual
metamorphosis.
Eggs laid in soil where they hatch immediately or overwinter. Nymph emerges and with molting develops into the adult stage. Gradual metamorphosis. Eggs laid in soil in fall. Molting several times, development reaches the winged adult stage. Adult
lives until frost, then dies. Gradual metamorphosis.
FOOD Leaf feeders, but
are not abundant.
Leaves of weeds, corn, alfalfa. and other field crops. Stored grains, clothing, draperies, and animal food. Strongly omnivorous.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Walking Sticks are of little economic importance. If numerous enough, this grasshopper is a pest. Damage to farm crops may be extensive. May cause great damage to stored grains, clothes. Pests in basements and houses.

 

  boxelder box pea aphid green cicada
COMMON NAME Boxelder Bug Pea Aphid Green Cicada
ORDER HEMIPTERA HOMOPTERA HOMOPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Heptocorius trivittatus Macrosiphum pisi Tibicen pruinosa
DESCRIPTION Length, 1/2". One of the " true bugs,"
commonly found in houses in the spring. Adults black with orange markings on the wings. Adults active on warm days and fly or crawl into houses.
Length, 3/8 to1/2", small green or yellowish insect that frequents many plants from March to June and sometimes October. Length, 1 3/4". Green body, black markings. Most
brown dried skins found on trees belong to this species. Incorrectly called locusts. Best-known cicada in Kansas.
REPRODUCTION Female lays eggs in small groups or singly. Young emerge and resemble adults in general body form. Adults appear after a series of molts. Gradual
metamorphosis.
Aphids emerge in early spring, from eggs fertilized the previous fall, and develop rapidly. From early April to fall females produce eggs that hatch without fertilization. Gradual metamorphosis. Female deposits eggs in a limb of a tree or in the ground. Nymphs live in ground for 1 or 2 years, then emerge, crawl up a tree trunk to shed skin and emerge as an adult.
Gradual metamorphosis.
FOOD Nymphs and adults feed on maple and other seeds in the spring, suck sap from the new growth of boxelder and other trees. Suck juices from stems and leaves of plants. Found on alfalfa, peas, clover, and other legumes. Nymphs feed on sap of tree or shrub roots. Adults suck the sap from tree limbs or shrubs.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Damage to trees and other pbnts slight. Some damage at times to strawberries. Does not bite or harm furniture. In sufficient numbers cause damage to farm and garden crops. Other aphids attack melons, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and corn. Adults do little damage. Nymphs may damage some trees if abundant enough. Best known for shrill cry on summer
evenings.

 

  golden lacewing dobson fly yellow jacket
COMMON NAME Golden Lacewing Dobson Fly Yellow Jacket
ORDER NEUROPTERA NEUROPTERA HYMENOPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Chrysopa oculata Corydalus cornuta Vespula maculifrons
DESCRIPTION Length, 9 /16 to 3/4," with golden eyes, heavy red and black bands on face. Light green, fragile insect of wheat, alfalfa, and other cereal grain crops. Large larvae and
adults (to 4"). Brown, faintly marked with different
shades of brown.
Adult males have greatly enlarged jaws used for prey
capture. Larvae
called hellgramites.
Length, 1/2 to 3/4"; yellow and black banded. Stout bodied, with two spots between the wings.
REPRODUCTION Stalked eggs attached to leaves of various plants. Larva live in a silk cocoon. Adults emerge in early spring. Further generations of the year may have naked or camouflaged larval stages. Incomplete metamorphosis. Life cycle requires 3 years. Female lays eggs in water. Larvae are found in running water under rocks. After 2 years the larvae crawl upon vegetation, molt and emerge as adults. In complete metamorphosis. Female lays eggs in paper cells underground, log at the base of stumps, and under rocks. Workers care for larvae and pupae Adults may remain in the colony. Complete metamorphosis.
FOOD Adults and larvae active predators. Body juices are sucked from prey caught by curved set of jaws. Attack smaller soft-bodied insects. Larvae and adults highly predaceous. Larvae feed on aquatic on terrestrial insects. Eats caterpillars or a form of boney. Also stocks the larval cell with the same.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Not harmful to crops because of small numbers. Adults not harmful. Larvae, an important source of food for fishes and fish bait. May inflict a painful bite. Workers may inflict a painful sting when the colony is threatened.

 

  honey bee black ant lightning bug
COMMON NAME Honey Bee Black Ant Lightning Bug
ORDER HYMENOPTERA HYMENOPTERA COLEOPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Apis mellifera Monomorium minimum Photinus pyralis
DESCRIPTION Best known of Kan sas social insects; 3/41"; common from Italy. Yellow and brown bodies with four wings. Workers, soldiers and reproductives in colony. A 3/8" black-bodied ant with long antennae. Very powerful. Caste systems have workers that may have a faint sting produced by the injection of formic acid upon biting. A common visitor to picnics. Common firefly of
Kansas ; 7/16 to 9/16" ; reddish-yellow shield over the head; distinctive black spot in center of shield. Intermittently a "cold light" is flashed.
REPRODUCTION Queen lays eggs in specially prepared
wax cells called combs. Larvae feed on pollen nnd noney from workers. Special care given future queens. Development to adult stage takes place within the cell. Complete metamorphosis.
Eggs laid by the queen in underground homes, hatch and are cared for by workers. Larvae pupate and adults emerge in a short time. Workers care for young, forage for and care for the colony. Complete metamorphosis. Larval stages of firefly emerge from eggs and live in the soil or in trash. Pupal stage
10 days long and occurs underground. Adults emerge after a final molt. Complete metamorphosis.
FOOD Bees eat honey prepared from flower nectar and pollen. Ants are seavengers eating bits of plant and animal matter found while roaming near the colony. Both larvae and adults predaceous, feeding upon soft-bodied insects found in the soil or in bushes or shrubs.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Valuable as a source for wax and honey. Pollination essential to many farm, garden, and orchard crops. A pest at outings but not economically valuable or worthless to man. Little economic importance except a recent interest in t he production of cold light. Larvae commonly called glow worms.

 

  caddie fly luna moth monarch butterfly 
COMMON NAME Caddie Fly Luna Moth Monarch Butterfly
ORDER TRICHOPTERA LEPIDOPTERA LEPIDOPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Leptocella albida Actias luna Danaus plexippus
DESCRIPTION Pale 5/8" insect with long, narrow forewings containing pale veins and scattered blackish spots. Body covered with long. fine, white hair. Long antennae. Light green moth with 3 to 4" wing spread. An eye-like spot is found on the upper surface of the wing. Forewings bordered with purple. Dull, brownish yellow-winged butterfly with 3" wing spread. Many white spots on wings. Migratory; wintering in south. Leisurely journeys north in ones or twos.
REPRODUCTION Larvae hatch from eggs laid in water. Found enclosed in cases of wood, stones, or sille Live in moving water. Adults swarm upon emergence. Incomplete metamorphosis. Female moth after fertilization deposits eggs from which a glossy green caterpillar emerges. After a period of feeding it will spin a cocoon, pupate, and eventually will produce an adult by cutting the end from the silk cocoon. Complete metarmorphosis. Female lays eggs on the milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa). Caterpillars feed on tender upper leaves. Chrysalis is formed from outer skin of the caterpillar. May or may not overwinter, but after a time the adult emerges. Complete
metamorphosis.
FOOD Larvae eat small aquatic insects captured with well-developed jaws. Some eat decaying vegetation. Adults predaceous. Adults feed on nectar if they feed at all. Larvae eat leaves of many types of trees. Caterpillars eat young milkweed leaves. Adults suck nectar from its flowers and flowers of other plants.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Important source of food for fishes, in larval but not in adult stage. Of little economic
importance. Beautiful and desirable in insect collection. Larvae may damage trees.
Not important to man except for its beauty. Numbers may be sufficient during migration to break small tree limbs.

 

  horse fly mosquito
COMMON NAME Horse Fly Mosquito
ORDER DIPTERA DIPTERA
SCIENTIFIC NAME Tabanus atratus Aedes vexans
DESCRIPTION Common 7/8 to 1" black wooly fly found around cattle or horses. Covered with short, fine, almost invisible hair. Dark brown, body about 3/16" long; white banded legs and abdomen, nose blackish, females persistent biters around stagnant or standing water.
REPRODUCTION Female lays large numbers of eggs in flesh or manure. Larvae (maggots) emerge and are found in open sores and on dead or decaying flesh. Pupation occurs and the adults emerge within one or two weeks. Several generations per year. Complete metamorphosis. Female lays eggs in water where
they hatch and give rise to larvae or wigglers. Wigglers pupate, break the skin and the adults emerge. Several generations produced each year. Complete metamorphosis.
FOOD Female sucks blood from warm-blooded animals. Larvae and male eat flesh and decaying vegetation. Female sucks blood from warm-blooded animals. Males secretive and lack the bloodsucking habit. feeding on plant juices.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE Persistent biter causes this fly to be a pest. Summer infestation serious at times. Sprays are used in treatment. Serious pests in areas of standing water. Other species transmit diseases.

The Department of Biology presents the seventh AUDUBON SCREEN TOUR SERIES in 1963-1964. This series consists of five all-color motion pictures of wildlife, plant science, and conservation personally narrated by leading naturalists. All pictures are presented in Albert Taylor Hall at 7:30 p.m. on the dates listed below. Both group and single admission tickets are available; for further information write Dr. Carl W. Prophet, Department of Biology, KSTC, Emporia.

Roy E. Coy, Manitoba Memories, Jan. 9, 1964
Harry Pederson, Village Beneath The Sea, Feb. 18, 1964
Eben McMillan, Land That I Love, March 5, 1964


PLAN NOW TO ATTEND the 1964 Workshop in Conservation during the 1964 Summer Session of the Kansas State Teachers College. As in the past, the Workshop will cover water, soil, grassland, and wildlife conservation, with emphasis on conservation teaching. There will be lectures, demonstrations, discussion groups, films, slides, field trips, projects, and individual and group reports. You may enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit.

Exact dates, fees, and other details will appear in later issues of The Kansas School Naturalist. For further information write the director, Mr. Thomas A. Eddy, Department of Biology, KSTC, Emporia.


PREVIOUS ISSUES

Oct. 1954, Window Nature Study;

Dec. 1954, Wildlife in Winter;

Feb. 1955, Childrens' Books for Nature Study (First in a series);

April 1955, Let's Go Outdoors;

Oct. 1955, Fall Wildflowers;

Dec. 1955, Snow;

Feb. 1956, Spring Wildflowers;

April 1956, Turtles in Kansas;

Oct. 1956, Hawks in Kansas;

Dec. 1956, Childrens' Books for Nature Study (Second in the series);

Feb. 1957, Life in a Pond;

April 1957, Spiders;

Oct. 1957, Along the Roadside;

Dec. 1957, An Outline for Conservation Teaching in Kansas;

Feb. 1958, Trees;

April 1958, Sum­mer Wildflowers;

Oct. 1958, Watersheds in Kansas;

Dec. 1958, Let's Build Equipment;

Feb. 1959, Poisonous Snakes of Kansas;

April 1959, Life in a Stream;

Oct. 1959, Field Trips;

Dec. 1959, Conservation Arith­metic;

Feb. 1960, The Sparrow Family;

April 1960, Measures and Weights;

Nov. 1960, Let's Experiment;

Jan. 1961, Recent Science Books for Children;

March 1961, The Greatest Show on Earth;

May 1961, The F.B. and Rena G. Ross Natural History Reservation;

Nov. 1961, Rhythms in Nature;

Jan. 1962, The Cacti of Kansas;

March 1962, The Formation of Soil;

May 1962, Let's Build Equipment;

Nov. 1962, Terns of Kansas;

Jan. 1963, Kansas Natural History in 1863;

March 1963, Attracting Wildlife for Observation;

May 1963, The Water Table;

Oct. 1963, Microclimate.

Those printed in boldfaced type are still available, free of charge except Poisonous Snakes of Kansas, which is sold for 25¢ per copy postpaid, to pay for the increased printing costs due to the color plates.

The out-of-print issues may be found in many school and public libraries in Kansas.


The Kansas School Naturalist Department of Biology 
  College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 
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Kansas School Naturalist.
 Emporia State University