belostomatidae

Americans have a tendency to call all insects “bugs”. I first thought the terms were interchangeable, but I’ve learned that while all bugs are insects, not all insects are bugs.

The key difference between true bugs and other insects is their mouth parts. True bugs have rigid piercing/sucking mouthparts that look like a long beak and act like a straw. Most suck plant juices, but some feed on animals. Water bugs are venomous; they liquify then drink their prey. Yum!

Thanks to Trisha Nichols for another fun and informative lesson.

hyalophera cecropia

Another one for National Moth Week. The cecropia moth is North America’s largest native moth, and can be found all across the continent. Females have been documented with a wingspan of five to seven inches (125 – 175 mm) or more. Like other members of the giant silk moth family, the cecropia moth lacks functional mouth parts and a digestive system. Due to this, they survive approximately two weeks. So if you get to see one, rejoice!