But wait before we get rid of all these crawly things we might want to know something about them. We might also like to know that they are not all bugs. We use the word bug to name any little thing that bites and “bugs” us but most of the time those bugs are really insects or spiders.
So what is the difference between bugs, insects and spiders?
Bug is a name given to many invertebrate animals, or animals that do not have a backbone. It is used to describe those animals that have a segmented, hard outer skeleton and jointed legs. They have their skeleton on the outside of their body. It is called an exoskeleton.
True bugs have this exoskeleton and they have a mouth that is called a rostrum (also called a proboscis). The rostrum is a long narrow tube that is stuck in its prey and used like a straw to suck up liquids such as nectar from a flower or liquid from another critter. Some true bugs are Aphids, Bed Bugs, Squash Bugs and Stink Bugs.
Insects are also bugs but they have different types of mouth structures depending on what they eat. They have three body parts – a head, thorax and abdomen. Insects are also recognized because they have six legs. There are the critters we see so often – butterflies, bees, ants, beetles, mosquitoes and flies.
There are lots of other things we call bugs that have more legs or no legs and look very different from our typical bugs or insects. They are the centipedes, millipedes, worms, slugs and snails. These guys fit into other classes of bugs.
Although these bugs, insects and spiders may drive us crazy once in a while. They are so important to the world we know. They help pollinate the flowers that produce food, they feed on other pest that help keep things in our world in balance. They are also the sole food source for so many other animals like birds, or reptiles. They are pretty important to our world. We need to be careful and think before we decide to get rid of them. They are needed.
Now it is your turn to take your science notebook outside to see if you can spot some of our creepy crawly critters.
- Can you find one of each critter? We have named three today.
- Take time to look closely at this little guy you find.
- Draw a detailed picture of it.
- Once you return home you can see if you can find out its name by looking in an insect guide or researching the on the internet.
Books to Read:
- Insects by Robin Bernard (non fiction)
- Everyday Insects by Bobbie Kalman (non fiction)
- Wings of Magic by Sandy McCartney (non fiction – story of butterfly)
- insectiopedia by Douglas Florian (poetry)