Entomology: Relatives Insects Essay

1872 Words Jun 13th, 2010 8 Pages
Entomology: The Study of Insects and their Relatives

Insects and their terrestrial relatives belong to the phylum called Arthropoda and have inhabited the earth for an extensive time. Paleontologists show that the earliest fossils, most primitive forms of arthropods date back to the Devonian Period over 350 million years ago (Henning 1981). By the Age of Dinosaurs, 300 million years ago, insects were abundant in number and diversity. Like the dinosaurs, some pre-historic forms of insects were enormous: the dragonfly Meganeuropsis had a wing span of 35 inches, and the giant Mesozoic relatives of the scorpions, the eurypterids, measured over 6 feet in length (Borror and others 1992).

The origins and evolution of insects and related
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Honey is widely used as a food and in the manufacture of many other products. Beeswax is extensively used many products including candles, sealing wax, polishes, and certain types of inks, models of various kinds, dental impressions, cosmetics, and various other products. Beekeeping in itself is a multimillion-dollar business in the United States.

Another commercial derived product is silk. The silk industry is very old extending “as far back as 2500 B.C.” The rearing of silkworms, processing, and weaving of silk takes place mostly in an oriental setting, but to certain extend practiced in Spain, France, and Italy. Several types of worms have been used for commercial silk, but the most common, Bombyx mori, the domesticated species. The use of synthetic fibers is undercutting the industry however the need for fine and consistent fibers has maintained its high demand. The annual world silk production is approximately 65-75 million pounds (Yokoyama 1963).

The soil provides a home, protection, and food for many types of insects. These insects improve the physical properties of the soil and add needed organic material recycling nutrients feeding on humus or dead decaying plant materials. They tunnel the soil which helps to aerate and enrich the soil through their excretions and their dead bodies. This presents a perfect soil condition for gardening by recycling several nutrients necessary for soil organic content.

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