Mental Floss

Delightful Insects of Summer

Miss Cellania
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Summer is here, so the insects can't be far behind. You might think of houseflies, ants, ticks, and the dreaded mosquito, but let's leave those subjects for another time. There are some really fascinating and (dare I say it?) nice bugs we can enjoy in the summer.

Honeybees

A honeybee will sting you if you step on one barefoot, but we couldn't get along without them. Honeybees traipse from flower to flower, ensuring that our food crops are pollinated. Pollination is a fortunate side effect; what the bees are after is sweet nectar, which they concentrate and covert to honey. And there are few things better on a hot fresh biscuit!

435_firefly.jpg
435_firefly.jpg /

According to

The Firefly Files

, fireflies produce light "via a chemical reaction consisting of Luciferin (a substrate) combined with Luciferase (an enzyme), ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and oxygen." Personally, I just love to watch them blink on and off in the distance as I enjoy a late night campfire with friends.

433-butterfly.jpg
433-butterfly.jpg /

There are 24,000 different species of

butterflies

, each more beautiful than the last. People plan

entire

gardens

around the plants' ability to attract butterflies.

435_luna.jpg
435_luna.jpg /

Luna

moths

only live about a week as adults, so if you see one, consider it a rare treat. They are more likely to come out at night, so watch for them by the light of the moon.

435_Ladyugs.jpg
435_Ladyugs.jpg /

A single

ladybug

can eat 5,000 other insects in its lifetime, which makes them the perfect addition to a garden. And they're cute, too.

435_Praying-Mantis-(3).jpg
435_Praying-Mantis-(3).jpg /

Praying

mantids

tend to have a gruesome sex life, but that's their business. Seeing one can startle you, since they blend in so well with their plant habitat. Praying mantids eat other insects, which can be beneficial in a garden unless they eat other beneficial insects, such as ladybugs. For an insect, they make fairly good pets, and can live up to three years in captivity.

Do you have any to add to this list?

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