Why do legs need insects? There seemed to be only one definite answer to this question: of course, for movement. In fact, the legs of insects perform several functions.
The function of the insect's limbs depends on the environment in which it lives, how it feeds and protects itself. Therefore, the paws of different species are adapted for digging up moves, burying dead animals, nesting devices, protection from attack, food grabbing, jumping, swimming, running.
How many legs do insects have?
In adults of the insect class, there are three pairs of limbs. The thoracic section of their body consists of three segments, each of which carries one pair of legs. They attach to the underside in the thoracic region.What are the extremities of insects, how are they arranged, and what functions do they perform .... about this below.
How are extremities arranged in insects?
The class of insects belongs to the type of arthropods. This name confirms the structural features of the legs of insects: they consist of several segments.
The main segment attached to the corresponding segment of the chest is called the coxa. The basin has a strictly defined shape. It differs in different types of insects. In some representatives, the basin is similar to a ball or a transverse cylinder, in others it has the form of a cone or a wide leaf. The limb mobility depends on the shape of the basin. The smallest segment is called trochanter. Sometimes it is double. The swivel still articulates with the hip.
The longest limb component is the thigh. It is longer than all parts of the leg like a long rod of cylindrical shape.
The next section is called the shin. It is comparable in size to the thigh, and with it forms the longest part of the extremity of the insect.
The thigh with the lower leg is connected with the knee. Leg ends with a foot. It consists of several lenniks connected movably among themselves, their number is 2 - 5. The paw is armed with small claws. Usually there are two, and very rarely one.Even those insects that fly or swim need legs.
Types of Insect Extremities
The most ancient are the running and walking legs of insects. The remaining types of limbs appeared in the process of long development, and are usually associated with various adaptations to environmental conditions.
- Running limbs
Running legs are elongated. They are slender, and the foot, lower leg, thigh and coxa are narrow or wide. This type of limb is present in cockroaches, ground beetles.
- Walking legs
Walking legs are designed for slow movement. Beetles such as longhorn beetles, leaf beetles crawling from leaf to leaf and slowly gnawing at such leaves.Extremities need insects to move around.
- Swimming limbs
Usually the hind legs, less often the middle legs of insects, become swimming. They are covered with long hairs forming a wide rowing surface - a kind of oar. Basically, representatives with such limbs live in water bodies and swim and dive superbly. These are swimming diving beetles, smoothbugs, water-lovers.
- Jumping legs
Jumping legs are present in representatives of the orthoptera. These include locusts, grasshoppers, crickets. The last pair of legs they have is very long and powerful. Many representatives of orthopterans jump to a height of eighty centimeters, and if they spread their wings, then the distance covered in one jump reaches about ten meters.
- Digging legs
Digging legs are typical for a bear, a dung beetle, a May beetle. Usually the first pair of legs becomes a digger. The limbs of this type are powerful, flat and short.The grasshoppers' legs give them the ability to move tens of meters in seconds.
- Collecting limbs
Collective or basket are called limbs in bees, bumblebees. On the hind legs of these insects there are special areas surrounded by long chitinous hairs, this is the baskets. Bees move from flower to flower and get dirty in pollen, which adheres to the hairs of the body. With special brushes located on the paws, the bee collects pollen in baskets.
glued dust particles form a lump, which is called "stump". A bee carries pollen to a hive and lays it in a honeycomb. A pork is formed that is saturated with nectar; it serves as a reserve protein feed for the entire bee family.Thanks to the collective type of paws, a bee can “accumulate” pollen.
- Grasping legs
The grasping feet of a mantis. They are armed with sharp spikes, with which the predator holds the prey.
- Suction limbs
The legs of males of some species of insects - swimmers, ground beetles have extended segments at the ends of the legs. During the breeding season with these devices, the males embrace the females during mating.The grasping legs help not only to hold the prey, but also the female during mating.
How else do insects use limbs?
On the front legs of many insects, especially representatives of the hymenoptera and butterfly order, there is an apparatus for cleaning the antennae, spiracles and other parts of the body. It is a recess at the end of the tibia, equipped with a comb of hard setae and spikes on the first segment of the foot. With this device, insects tidy their appearance.