The Various Ways That Insects Defend Themselves

The Various Ways That Insects Defend Themselves

InsectsBe happy that you are not an insect, because insects are, more often than not, brutal creatures that kill without compunction. In the insect community there exists many different methods of hunting and killing. Some of these methods are short and quick, and others seem to be slow and painful. Some insects do not even have to fight by virtue of their spectacular camouflaged bodies. However, other insects are nearly always vulnerable to predators. Many insects sport particular colors that scare predators away, and some insects use venom in order to subdue their prey before feasting on it. There are many more methods of attack and defense to be observed in the insect world, and even the few methods named above do not begin to touch upon the great variety of ways that insects attack others and defend themselves.

Some insects use irritating sprays to subdue their enemies. For example, ladybugs, bombardier beetles, and blister beetles are just a few insects that are capable of deterring predators with unpleasant fluids. The bombardier beetle keeps a caustic substance within its abdomen at all times. When this beetle’s life is threatened by a predator, it will spray the invader with its caustic fluid. While the injured predator is occupied with the caustic substance, the bombardier beetle will make its getaway.

Another interesting, and largely unheard of defense tactic employed by some arthropods involves the sacrifice of a limb. Many long-legged insects, such as katydids, walkingsticks and craneflies have easily detachable legs, which they are more than happy to give up to a predator if it means getting away alive. These legs have “fracture points” located at certain joints on the legs. When a leg is pulled by a predator, the leg will become detached, leaving the insect alive and the predator with a modest meal.

Have you ever found a spider or an insect that had been missing a leg/legs?


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