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Introduction

Specific Species

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Introduction

Insects are of the class Insecta. Most insects fall into a subclass called, "Pterygota," from the Greek for "winged." Of the insect orders listed below, the Jumping Bristletails belong to the subclass" Monocondylia," from the Greek for "small head," and Common Bristletails belong to the subclass "Apterygota," from the Greek for "lacking wings." All other insects listed belong to the subclass Pterygota. These animals are invertebrates, that is, they lack spines or backbones. All insects have bodies of three sections (head, thorax and abdomen), six legs and usually two antennae. The outer shell coverings, called an exoskeleton, supports the organs and body fluids. Some insecticides wear down the exoskeleton causing the insect to dehydrate and die. Spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites are not insects but belong to the class Arachnida (Arachnids). There are 35 insect or insect-like orders in North America described here. A description of each order follows. Scientific order names are in italics. The orders in gray type are not usually found in Maine. The large number and variety of insects can lead to confusing and varied classifications. The general discussion herein uses the book The Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders by Lorus and Margery Milne as an outline guide to classification. However, detailed information comes from a variety of sources and may depart from a general rule. For example, Cicadas and true Bugs are generally placed in the order Hemiptera but are listed in separate orders below.

The first three orders listed below, Protura, Collembola and Diplura, are not considered insects by many authorities but are listed here because most people would identify them as insects. Protura, Collembola and Diplura are of the class Entognatha.

Protura or Proturans is an order of microscopically small creatures. They lack pigment, eyes, antenna and wings. Proturans live in damp organic matter and feed on decaying matter. None are listed below because they can only be seen under a microscope. The order name means "simple tail."

Collembola or Springtails is an order of very small and wingless insect-like creatures.  They have a tube extending from the abdomen that is probably used to consume liquids. The belief that these tubes were used to attach the insect to an object is responsible for the order's Latin name that means "glue peg." These insects also have an organ folded under their abdomen that is used to propel the insect several inches into the air that is responsible for their common name. Springtails are found everywhere in the world. The common Springtail in the area of French Hill Pond is the Snow Flea.

Diplura or Diplurans is an order of small, nocturnal insect-like creatures no longer than ⅜ inches ( 1 centimeter). They have two appendages at the end of the abdomen resembling tails, whence their name "diplura" meaning "two tails." These insects live under vegetation and rocks.

Microcoryphia or Jumping Bristletails is an order of small insects that have eyes so large that the eyes meet on the tops of their heads. They are wingless and have three long filament tails. Jumping Bristletails hide under vegetation during the day and emerge at night or cloudy days to feed on algae.

Thysanura or Common Bristletails is an order of wingless insects that have long, thread-like antennae and three, long, bristly tails. The order name means "tassel tail." They differ from Jumping Bristletails in that their eyes do not meet at the top of the head. They eat vegetation including paper and processed flour.

Ephemeroptera or Mayflies is an order of winged insects with triangular forewings with many veins and crossveins. Some species also have a pair of rounded hind wings. Their antennae are small and bristle-like. They have two or three tails that are longer than their bodies. Mayflies do not eat and normally  live less than a day although a few may survive for a couple of days. The order name means "living a day." During late spring and summer, Mayflies will emerge from water in the evening to mate. Eggs are deposited in water within an hour of being fertilized. Soon after, the Mayfly dies. The eggs hatch into "naiads" that have the characteristics of insects with gills on the abdomen. Naiads can live as long as four years before their metamorphosis into adults.

Odonata or Dragonflies and Damselflies is an order of winged insects with long, slender bodies. They have four large wings held horizontally and long legs. The wings move independently allowing this insect to fly backward as well as forward. The head can move freely and has large eyes that, in some species, nearly cover the head. The mouthparts are used to cut up and consume prey that consists of other insects, particularly mosquitoes. Odonata mate in flight, an event that is frequently witnessed. Eggs produce naiads that eat insects and even tadpoles and small fish. The metamorphosis from naiad to adult is simple and occurs out of the water. These insects are common on and around French Hill Pond.

Blattodea or Cockroaches are an order of winged insects with long, swept-back antenna and flat, oval bodies. Their back's exoskeleton covers most of their heads. Cockroaches are often found in dwellings where they contaminate food and cause offensive odor. These insects rarely fly but scurry about mostly at night in search of food. They can live for months on very little and many have developed a resistance to pesticides.

Mantodea or Mantids is an order of insects that have very long bodies and four legs. Their mouthparts are very strong enabling them to attack prey as large as a small bird. They attach eggs to twigs in autumn. These egg masses contain a bird repellent and can survive very cold temperatures to produce miniature versions of the adult in the spring.

Isoptera or Termites is an order of small, pale colored insects similar to ants but with long bodies that have less prominent body sections than similar insects like ants. They eat wood and can cause damage to wooden structures. Termites prefer warm climates and are generally not found in Maine.

Zoraptera or Zorapterans also known as "angel insects" is an order of small insects that live in rotted wood. They are similar to termites but they do not harm wooden structures. These insects are not native to Maine.

Grylloblattodea or Ice Insects is an order of small insects that live in cold places like the mountains of the Northwest United States. These insects resemble crickets or cockroaches but are found only in the wild. Most of the year, they remain frozen but emerge in warm weather to feed on plants or other insects and reproduce. Some species of Ice Insects will die of heat exposure if handled. These insects are not found in Maine.

Dermaptera or Earwigs is an order of insects with slender, flat bodies and pincers at the end of the abdomen. They are nocturnal. "Dermaptera" means "skin wings." However, many of this order of insects lack wings and few actually fly. As fearsome as these insects appear, they are harmless.

Plecoptera or Stoneflies is an order of winged insects that live near water crawling among stones, whence their name. They have two pairs of wings but are such poor flyers that they will run way when disturbed. "Plecoptera" means "folded wings." These insects are not native to Maine.

Orthoptera or Grasshoppers and Crickets is an order of winged insects that have very powerful hind legs, large heads and large mouths with powerful, chewing mouthparts. Males of some of these species make noise with their wings or legs to warn of danger, establish territories or attract females. They eat vegetation and can cause considerable damage to crops.

Phasmatodea or Walkingsticks and Timemas is an order of insects with long bodies that blend into foliage. They resemble the twigs or other parts of the plants on which they feed.

Embioptera or Webspinners is an order of small insects that live in mosses or soil. They are not found in Maine.

Psocoptera or Booklice and Barklice are tiny insects with large heads. Barklice are found on the bark of trees where they will spin webs. Booklice may be found feeding on the glue in book bindings, whence their name. None of these insects are true lice, although they resemble lice, nor are they parasitic.

Mallophaga or Chewing Lice is an order of very tiny, wingless, flat-bodied insects that spend their entire lives infesting a host. The order name means "wool-eating," but only a few species of this order infest sheep.

Anoplura or Sucking Lice are flat-bodied, wingless, tiny insects that are blood-sucking parasites on animals including people. Each species is associated with a distinct animal. For example, cat lice do not infest people and vice versa. They differ from other orders of lice by having a claw on each leg with which they firmly attach themselves to the host and also have a blood-sucking mouthpart.

Hemiptera or True Bugs is an order of wing insects that generally have two sets of wings: fore wings that are half-membranous, whence the name "Hemiptera" from the Greek for "half-wings," and a pair of flying wings to the rear. Some in this order include water bugs, common terrestrial bugs and nuisance bugs like bed bugs.

Homoptera or Cicadas is an order of winged insects placed in the order Hemiptera (True Bugs) by many entomologists. They resemble True Bugs but their mouthparts are further back beneath their heads and their wings are uniformly membranous. this order includes Cicadas, Aphids and Mealybugs.

Thysanoptera or Thrips is an order of tiny, dark insects frequently seen as dark specks crawling on vegetation or flying in swarms around vegetation.

Megaloptera or Alderflies, Dobsonflies and Fishflies is an order of large, winged insects that have large, hind wings. The order name means "ample wings." They live around bodies of water, serve as food for fish and are attracted to lights at night.

Raphidioptera or Snakeflies is an order of winged insects with intricately-veined wings that are nearly transparent. Snakeflies are not found in Maine.

Neuroptera or Net-veined Insects is an order of winged insects that have many veins in their wings and a border of cross veins on the front of their fore wings.

Coleoptera or Beetles is an order of winged insects with tough, armorlike fore wings that cover the body and flying wings. This order accounts for about one third of known insect species. The order name comes from the Greek for sheathed-winged.

Strepsiptera or Twisted-winged Parasites is an order of tiny, winged insects that eat smaller insects, like Bristletails, or insect-like creatures. They are found under stones and other areas where Bristletails are found.

Mecoptera or Scorpionflies is an order of insects that have slender bodies and snout-like heads with biting mouthparts. They eat fruit, dead insects and other organic matter.

Siphonaptera or Fleas is an order of small, wingless insects that live as parasites on other animals. They suck the blood of their hosts. Their abdomens have many spines with which they can attach themselves to their host. Fleas' skin is very tough making them immune to many insecticides. Their powerful legs enable them to jump great distances. Unlike lice, specific fleas may attached themselves to a wide variety of hosts although they will prefer a specific kind of host. For example, fleas on dogs may also infest people and vice versa. In earlier times, families would keep dogs as pets to attract fleas away from family members. Some species of fleas transmit disease.

Diptera or Flies is an order of winged insects with only one pair of normal wings behind which is a pair of knobbed organs used as stabilizers during flight. Some species are biting insects and may carry disease. The non-aquatic larvae of flies live in decaying matter and are called "maggots." Aquatic larvae are slender and live in water. Flies are important pollinators.

Sarcophagidae or Flesh Flies is an order of winged insects with well-developed lobes at the base of their wings. These flies breed in dead animals and other decaying animals. They are very common.

Trichoptera or Caddisflies is an order of winged insects that resemble moths but have hairs on the wings and bodies and do not have the coiled proboscis of moths. They tend to be nocturnal. The order name is Greek for "hairy wings." Their larvae develop in water.

Lepidoptera (from the Greek and Latin for "charming wings") or Butterflies and Moths is an order of flying insects easily identified by their large and often highly decorated wings. They have four wings covered with pigmented scales that rub off easily. Their mouthparts have a coiled proboscis (tube) for drinking nectar. Some species do not feed as adults and will not have a proboscis. Butterflies fly during the day whereas most moths are nocturnal. The larvae are called caterpillars and generally eat vegetation. Adults are important pollinators.

Hymenoptera or Bees, Ants and Sawflies is an important order of winged insects with two pairs of wings having large cells and few veins. Except for Sawflies, their waists between the abdomens and thoraxes are generally tightly constricted. They have well-developed ovipositors, that is, egg-laying organs, which in some species have evolved into a stinger. They eat pollen or nectar and are important pollinators. The order name comes from the Greek for "membrane wing."

 

 

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Specific Species

The following columns are specific orders of insects found in the area of French Hill Pond. Point and click on the photograph or common name of the species for which you wish a detailed description.

Species will be added as information becomes available.

Diptera Coleoptera Hemiptera Hymenoptera Lepidoptera Odonata Orthoptera
Crane Flies (Tipula spp.)
Crane Flies
Japanese Beetle
Japanese Beetle
Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis)
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Black Carpenter Ant
Black Carpenter Ant
 
American Copper Butterfly
American Copper Butterfly
Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
Ebony Jewelwing
Curve-tail Bush Katydid
Curve-tail Bush Katydid
Fungus Gnat
Fungus Gnat
Convergent Ladybug Beetle
Convergent Ladybug Beetle
  Eastern Yellow Jacket
Eastern Yellow Jacket
Eastern Tailed-blue Butterfly
Eastern Tailed-blue Butterfly
Half-banded Toper
Half-banded Toper
Red-legged Locust
Red-legged Locust
  May Beetle 
May Beetles
  Orange-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius)
Orange-belted Bumble Bee
Fall Webworm
Fall Webworm
Blue Dasher
Swift Long-winged Skimmer or Blue Dasher
 
        Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly
Violet Tail (Argia violacea)
Violet Tail
 
        Hobomok Skipper Butterfly
Hobomok Skipper Butterfly
   
        Luna Moth
Luna Moth
   
        Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
   
        Pink Sallow
Pink Sallow
   
        Silver-spotted Fern Moth
Silver-spotted Fern Moth
   
        White Admiral
White Admiral
   

 

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Fauna of French Hill Pond