20 Things You Never Knew About Insects!

July 22, 1991     Twenty Things

20 Things You Never Knew About Insects!

They’re here, there and everywhere. Summer’s here again, and so are insects. Whether you’re walking in Wakefield Westgate, picnicking in Pontefract park or hitch hiking in High Heaton, just pick up a rock and there they are – hundreds of little insects, ranging from big to small, fat to thin, and with any number of legs. Girls hate them, babies eat them. But what exactly are insects? What do they do and where do they live? How much do you really know about these miniature marvels of Mother Nature. Here’s twenty creepy crawly things you never knew about insects . . .

      1. You’ll never drown an insect by holding its head under water – no matter how hard you try. That’s because insects breath through special lungs – called trachea – which are in their arse.
      2. Next time you cross the road as well as looking out tor cars, keep an eye peeled for the Deer-Bot fly. For it’s the world’s fastest flying insect, travelling in short bursts at up to 36 miles per hour! That’s faster than the prescribed speed limit for a motor vehicle travelling in a built-up area.
      3. Insects live in the most unusual places. For example moths, which live in wardrobes, spiders, which live in the bath, and cockroaches, which live in Chinese restaurants.
      4. And Dung beetles, which live up cows’ arses.

        Clare Short.

        Clare Short.

      5. The noisiest insect of all is the Trumpet beetle of Papua New Guinea. Mating pairs make a noise often compared to a washing machine in its ‘spin’ cycle. An endangered species, the few remaining examples are protected by strict conservation laws. Residents living near the insects’ breeding grounds can claim government grants enabling their homes to be fitted with secondary double glazing.
      6. We’ve all cursed after tripping on a broken paving stone. But next time you do it, don’t blame the council. Blame insects. For as well as living under rocks, many insects set up home under pavements and footpaths, their constant to-ing and fro-ing causing damage which costs local authorities an estimated £19 million a year in crack repairs alone.
      7. During the swinging sixties it was all the rage to name pop groups after insects, the best example of course being ‘The Beatles’ . . . The only other one we can think of is Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
      8. Next time you’re in Australia and you need to go to the toilet, check under the seat before you sit down. For each year over 2,000 unfortunate Aussies die from insect bites. The Black Widow spider nests under toilet seats, and repeatedly bites the arse of any unsuspecting victim who sits down to use the loo. Within ten minutes of being bitten the poor toilet-goer develops a huge pan-handle, and dies.
      9. Another dangerous insect, the bee, can only sting once, and then it dies. That’s because the poor insect pulls its ringpiece inside out while flying away afterwards.
      10. Mind you, another kind of ‘B’, phone company ‘B.T.’ can sting you repeatedly. Every time you pick up the fucking phone to be precise.
      11. The QueenLike us, bees have a Queen. However, unlike our Queen, the Queen bee doesn’t sit on her arse all day, occasionally waving at people.
      12. And another thing. The Queen bee’s offspring go out and become useful members of their community, working hard, instead of going skiing for 8 months every year.
      13. And if bees had universities, which they don’t, but if they did, the Queen bee’s kids would have to qualify for entry on merit, instead of getting into Oxford with one bloody ‘A’ level in dance or something ridiculous like that.
      14. Getting back to bees, the Bee Gees are another sixties pop group with an insect in their name, although ironically ‘Bee Gee’ was never intended as an insect reference. It is, of course, the initials of the ‘Brothers Gibb’.
      15. Adam's AntInsects hit the pop headlines again in the early eighties when Adam Ant and The Ants dressed up as swashbuckling highwaymen, complete with red indian war paint, and invited the record buying public to “come and join our insect nation”, whatever that meant.
      16. Like so many post punk pop stars of that era, among them Gary Numan, Howard Jones and Nick Heyward, Adam Ant (real name George O’Dowd) later disappeared up his own arse.
      17. One exception was of course Limahl out of Kajagoogoo, who by all accounts disappeared up …
      18. Getting back to insects, if you visit a flea circus, you can expect to see fleas, tied up with fuse wire, perform a variety of spectacular and exciting tricks. (However, if you go to a flea market you can expect to be charged about eight quid for an old bottle with soil on it.)
      19. Linda McCartney

        Linda McCartney – guest starred in TV’s ‘Bread’.

        If someone tells you they’ve got ‘butterflies’, they don’t necessarily own a collection of lepidopterous large winged insects. More likely they’re suffering from a mild attack of nerves. Or alternatively they might be referring to a video recording of Carla Lane’s ‘gentle’ BBC TV sit-com, starring Wendy Craig and Geoffrey Palmer. Although that’s a bit unlikely, as it was a heap of shite. Just like Bread. And everything else she does, for that matter.

      20. Some flea parasitic forms of are unable to live independent lives. Instead, they live on the back of a ‘host’ beetle upon whom they rely entirely for their survival.

 

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