CLICK THE IMAGES ABOVE TO ENLARGE
Hot, humid weather makes North Louisiana. What we mean to say is that hot, humid weather makes North Louisiana an ideal place for insects, although, we stand by the first statement. As in the rest of the world, the invertebrates here outnumber all other animals. We suspect that insects outnumber other animals throughout the multiverse. Don’t worry, though. We won’t all be speaking bumble bee in ten year; invertebrates have a very high mortality rate.
True insects have three-sectioned bodies, six legs, and, usually, two pair of wings, although many subclasses are wingless. Insects also have an open circulatory system, meaning that the blood is pumped freely inside the body cavity instead of in vessels. Based on this criterion, you may notice that animals like spiders and ticks that are normally considered part of the insect class are actually not insects.
Insects are diverse and are a key element in the food chain. Some insects pollinate plants, boosting the populations of these plants. Some eat plants, controlling plant populations. Some feed other animals and other insects, controlling populations. Some insects are helpful, while others are nuisances: Bees make honey, while fleas spread diseases. Like the other animals of North Louisiana, insects don’t like to be handled or cornered. If they feel threatened, they bite or sting. We really don’t know why we would have to issue this warning, but here it is anyway: Please do not try to handle insects. Insects don’t live to bite or sting people, they live to make more insects. Those that are not as successful at this aspect of their purpose can be found on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Endangered Species List.
Invertebrates form the most diverse group of animals in North Louisiana. Their habitats vary. Some live in water, some on land, some near water, some in dry places, and some even live inside other animals. Their appearances vary. Some have many legs, some have few legs, some have wings, some have shells or exoskeletons, some have soft bodies, some are as big as small rocks, and some are invisible to the human eye. Their diets vary. Some eat other invertebrates, some drink blood, some eat other animals’ food from inside them. Most importantly, their roles in nature vary. The only thing this group of animals has in common is that they don’t have backbones.
Cards on the table, we're not big fans of bugs, so this section required a lot of research. The Insect Identification, the Discover Life, and Bug Guide sites have all been invaluable in our research. If you find a bug that you want to identify, you're likely to find your answer on one of these sites. If you can't find the information on one of these sites, give National Geographic a try. If you are interested in ants, bees, ladybugs beetles or butterflies, you can also find loads of useful information on PlaygroundEquipment.com. While we're not familiar with the products available on the website, and, therefore, can't endorse them, their team has compiled a useful list of links for anyone interested in entomology. We'd like to thank Elliot for bringing this fabulous resource to our attention.