Sometimes it’s the small things which matter the most. Insects may be tiny but they rule the world. They are in the air, on and beneath the ground, in the fur of your pet and might even be in your food.
Over 56% of all known species on Earth are insects, and there are anywhere between five and ten million species still unknown to science; there are more than 1.6 billion insects for every man, woman and child on earth. Insects are everywhere and can even be found in the chilly extremes of Arctica and Antartica during the warmer months.
Insects were here long before humans. Insects were the first animals to appear on land, 400 million years ago, and have survived five massive extinction events since then. Although there are 26,000 million insects living in every square mile of habitable land on Earth, some insects are so small that you may not even see them. Here are a few fascinating facts about these very small but important creatures.
Big Facts About Tiny Insect
- The world’s smallest cockroach is only 3mm long and lives in ants nests.
- The fastest flying insect is the parasitic wasp Dicopomorpha echmepterygis. The parasitic wasp measures just over a tenth of a millimeter and has been used for pest control to keep the chimps free of flies at Edinburgh Zoo. Males of the species are blind and wingless, but females are capable of flight.
- The Thief Ant is the smallest ant species measuring 1/32-inch. Nests occur in a great variety of locations especially indoors, in cracks and cupboards. The ants are so small they are difficult to detect, and are very persistent and difficult to control.
- The smallest insect is the fairy wasp with a length of 0.2mm. The fairy wasp flies underwater and lays eggs inside those of water beetles.
- Although individually small, termites’ total biomass per unit area is double that of the biggest herds of African hoofed grazing animals.
- And if you were wondering how humans figure in all of this the world’s smallest man is Junrey Balawing, an 18 year old, 22-inch Filipino. He is only 10.5 cm taller than the Goliath beetle, the world’s biggest bug.