Small though they are, insects seem to excel at everything. They have the five senses that we do, and then some. They hear, taste, smell, see and feel. But that’s not all!
Vinegar flies have speedometers and gravity meters. Bogong moths complete long night-time migrations navigating by stars and the magnetic field of the earth. Bees can see ultraviolet light. Some flowers wanting to attract their insect pollinators, or butterflies wanting to attract a mate, display special patterns that are only visible in ultraviolet light.
Sometimes I wonder how the insects cope in this world that humans have altered so fundamentally. Atmosphere, ground and water is infused with toxic chemicals, the air vibrates with strange radio waves and electric charges, nights are no longer dark, lit up by innumerable artificial suns and stars. So how do they cope? Not well it seems. Not well at all.
Continue reading the whole article in Leopard’s Echo, a bi-annual online magazine of Kloof Conservancy.
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