Omen Teaches It: The Insect World

You may be boys or you may be girls. You may call us bugs or pests, but most of us are insects. By the time you finish reading what we have to tell, you may look at insects in a positive light and posibly consider adopting one as a family pet!

We prefer to be called insects, not bugs and definitely not pests! Insects have segmented bodies, six legs and external skeletons. True bugs, and there are a few, suck juices from plants using stylets which are strawmouths or probosces (or proboscis for just one).

There are more insects in the world than bugs and people too! There are about 200 million of us for every one of you.

My name is Omen. I know, that’s Nemo spelled backwards and I know where I am. I am a Chinavia hilaris, what you commonly call a green stink bug. https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/485010-Chinavia-hilaris

By the way, you stink to most of us too!

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A102d2a5e-8508-48d2-91ef-4efe83da0496

I have been chosen by all insects and bugs to educate humans on what we are really about. No conspiracies, rumors, tall-tales or half-truths. I’m here to give you some of the facts about us.

We the insects have been here on earth approximately 479 million years. We have been here before the dinosaurs! I bet you think we’re older than dirt. The oldest insect that still exists today lives in the dirt and it is the termite queen. Our current representative for the termite queen is my friend Kubaba. She can tell you that her family is very strong and has survived all of the changes that have happened on earth. Again, you considet termites as pests, but termites are like nature’s lumberjacks. Termites take down dead trees and eat them making fertilizer and mulch for the soil and clear the land for more plants and trees. Kubaba and other termite queens can live to be 60 years old. She and her family have been through, ice, snow, floods, fires and humans building and cutting trees for farming EVERYWHERE! You call them pests, but they usually stay close to where their homes have always been and that is…..where you put your house, barn, or building! Remember, they were in the forest, woods and rainforests first. https://www.si.edu/spotlight/buginfo/incredbugs

The most common insects on earth are ants, like my friend Eon. There are 10 to 100,000 trillion ants globally, with more than 10,000 different families called species. Ants can carry 10 to 50 times their own body weight. The amount that they can carry depends upon the species. The Asian weaver ant can lift 100 times its own body weight. You could think of it as the superhero of the insects because of its strength. https://www.westernexterminator.com/ants/10-interesting-facts-ants/

The longest living insect today is the ant. The black garden ant has a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. https://antark.net/ant-facts/ants-live-30-years/

The shortest living insect is the Mayfly. It lives for 24 hours. https://io9.gizmodo.com/mayflies-might-just-have-the-saddest-most-perfectly-ev-5815582

The rarest insect, and yes it is an endangered species, is the land lobster, scientifically known as Drycocelus australis. They have been driven from Lord Howe Island several hundred miles east of Australia, to Bali’s Pyramid Island 14 miles away. https://ansp.org/exhibits/online-exhibits/stories/the-worlds-rarest-insect/

The smallest insect is the Fairyfly at only 0.007 to 0.039 inches or  0.5 to 1.8 mm long. You might need a magnifying glass to see one of them. https://animals.mom.me/fun-fairy-fly-4190.html

The heaviest insect is the giant weta, another buddy of mine, Waymore, weighing in at 2.5 ounces. He weighs more than a mouse. https://www.grownups.co.nz/interests/entertainment/quick-facts-giant-weta/

The South American longhorn beetles are 6 inches long, but the walking stick insects have them beat as the longest insects in the world! Scientifically known as Phobaeticus serratipes, they are 2.5 feet long as you can see by my friend Feefifocus.

We have patiently watched and helped humans grow. We have been with you through your phases of fear of us, curiosity, admiration, love and hate. We have listened to your secrets and famous speeches, and marched with you during your wars. We have protected your plants, created food and beauty in your gardens. We have been your pets and best friends and your worst enemies too. We carried a few diseases that spread to you due to your lack of cleanliness and control. You have tried to eliminate us many times over thousands of years, but we think you are beginning to understand that we help you more than we hurt you and we are your friends! So before you stomp, swat, and spray poison on us, please try not to forget that we are EVERYWHERE and have been here since the beginning and we are your friends to the END!

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The Two Sisters’ Treasure

Debbie and Sonya were two sisters walking home from school one day when the found a

dollar bill on the sidewalk. They looked around to see if someone nearby dropped the

money, but there was no one in sight. Debbie decided she would carry the dollar home

until they could decide how to spend the dollar. Sonya did not like Debbie carrying

the dollar so she grabbed the dollar. Debbie grabbed the dollar back and this went

on until one of them dropped the dollar and a gust of wind blew the dollar into the

gutter and down the storm drain. Debbie and Sonya were sad at their loss. Mrs.

Davis, the neighbor across the street watched the whole episode and told the girls

it is always better to give in a little than to lose everything because you were

stubborn.

The Thumbprint Detective and the Blackout Christmas Tree

I just received a phone call from 7777 South Bay Drive. The owners said that their Christmas is now in the dark and the Christmas tree is down. There are no clues and they need help solving the mystery.

I open the front door and I can see the Christmas tree on the floor with the lights out and limbs broken. Some of the gifts seem to be unwrapped and torn. I will start interviewing the suspects and witnesses.

The Nephew: Chris

I was in the rec room watching TV when I heard the crash upstairs. The tree was on the floor, the gifts were torn and the lights were out on the tree. That’s when I called you.

The Niece: Kelsey

I was in my room on my laptop taking my writing class on
the Internet, when I heard a loud crash downstairs. Chris and I met in the kitchen after the crash and we called you.

The Bird: Squawk Box

When I first saw the tree, I thought what a great reminder of my home in the jungle. It’s been years since I have seen a tree. I could not wait! I opened the latch on my cage and flew to the near top of the tree and made a nest to relax. I was on vacation! No sooner than I got comfortable, the tree came crashing to the floor like the trees in my jungle. I miss my vacation spot!

The dog: Chewy

I could smell it down the hall! The dog treats under the tree! Chicken, cheese, fish, lamb and sweet potato flavored treats! They were in one of those boxes under the tree with all of those lights! I just had to find out which one! So I chewed the wrapping paper off some of the gifts until the tree started to fall! I ran for the doggie pillow in the hall for safety!

The Gold Fish: Fish and Bowl

We saw everything! Squawk Box flying into the tree, Chewy chewing the gifts and…….Sox the cat knocking down the tree and the lights went out!

The Cat: Sox

The tree smelled so good! It looked like it would make a great scratching post! I just could not resist it! I walked under the tree and placed my paws on the trunk and began to scratch when the lights went out and tree tipped back and I got this terrible feeling and my fur stood up and I was thrown back against the wall. I’ll never try to scratch one of those trees again!

Well, it looks like you’ll have to create another Christmas at 7777 South Bay Drive. The only surprises that you have are a dark Christmas tree, unwrapped gifts, several scared pets and a guilty dog and cat. I guess we will leave it at that! Since you have some shopping to do, I’ll send you my bill after January two! Another mystery solved by the Thumbprint Detective!

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

The Frog and The Grasshopper

It was a sunny day and the grasshopper was happily jumping and leaping around in the

tall grass near the pond. He wasn’t paying very much attention when he made a leap

that landed him right in front of a large green frog! The grasshopper quickly

started to beg for his life. He asked the frog to please not eat him. The frog had

just awakened from his nap in the sun and was thinking about having a snack. The

frog asked the grasshopper why should he not eat him?

The grasshopper said he was small and puny and would not be tasty or worth his

time. The frog said let me think for a minute and I will let you know. The

grasshopper panicked and gave the frog a challenge. He asked the frog to let him go

if he leaped farther than the frog. If the frog leaped farther than the grasshopper,

the frog could eat the grasshopper for his snack. The frog agreed to the challenge.

The grasshopper and the frog agreed to leap from the edge of the pond to the tree on

the other side of the pond. The grasshopper jumped first and easily landed behind

the tree. The frog was next. He leaped into the air just over the center of the

pond, when he was suddenly swallowed by a large white crane who had been standing in

the pond watching the whole challenge! The grasshopper was amazed and went on his

merry way!

It is important to look before you leap! I’m sure the frog wished that he had!