The Lifespan Of Insects And Bugs: Average and Longest Life Expectancy
Insects, although very small and discrete, are very important living aspects of our ecosystems and our planet as a whole. They are often looked over and unacknowledged due to their insignificant size, but beyond that lies an entire world of characters and adaptations imperative for the sustainability of nature.
Many insects and bugs have extremely short lifespans and tend to leave the earth in the same amount of time it takes to get them here. However, saying this, the lifespan of insects is actually extremely fascinating and interesting and encompasses a lot of meaning to how we experience life on earth today. From bees to beetles, here is everything you need to know about the longest living insect.
What Is The Longest Living Insect?
All insects vary in shapes, sizes, characteristics, purposes, and of course lifespans. One might feel sorry for those with shorter lifespans and wonder why it occurs. However, the lifespan of each specific insect or bug is done on purpose as a part of the specific role they play within our ecosystems. So out of all the hundreds of thousands of species on our planet what bug lives the longest? The longest insect lifespan is known as the queen termites.
Queen termites are very busy bugs and produce anywhere between 20,000-30,000 eggs per day. The eastern subterranean species found in the US live anywhere between 15-30 years and South African species a whopping 50 years. However, it is believed that under the right conditions these tiny little creatures can survive up to a decade on planet earth, making them the longest living bug.
How Long Do Insects Live?
Now that you know a bit more about the longest living insect in the world, what about the more common average lifespan of insects. Unfortunately, bugs don’t have the longest of lifespans and most of them don’t even make it to one year. The most common household bugs we are most familiar with will only last roughly between 3-6 days before they die.
So considering we make such a fuss every time they appear this may be a fact to consider on the next occasion. However, bug lifespan is not only due to being killed, some bugs are intended to have a lifespan that is short and others are prone to predators, or lack resources and safe habitats. Most insects have a very short lifespan due to the fact that they reproduce quickly and in large amounts allowing the species to be ongoing.
The Life Expectancy Of A Housefly
So the humble houseflies, we all know them, some of us a little better than others but we have all experienced their constant hissing bugs and need to appear when food is set on the table. Of course, their lifespan can vary as a result of several conditions; however they complete their entire life cycle in just 15- 30 days. This includes all of the very distinct stages of life and can be prolonged in a habitat with an abundance of food resources. During their short lifespan, each fly will lay approximately 5 times and produce an average of 120 new flies.
The Average Lifespan Of A Mosquito
There are many different species of mosquitoes on our planet and thus all of their lifespans vary slightly. However, the average lifespan of the blood-sucking insect is 6 -7 days. Different mosquito species require different things in order to increase their lifespan, such as an increase of water such as rain or nectar which will include the right amount of sunlight. Some species of mosquitoes can live for several months and do not die after taking blood from their first bite victim.
The Lifespan Of A Beetle
The beetle, another little insect that often appears within our lifetimes. Just like mosquitoes, beetles’ lifespan varies depending on what species it is. Some such as the Eastern Hercules Beetle will live a whopping 3-6 months, whereas a species such as the Callosobruchus Maculatus will only survive 10-14 days. There are four different stages to the life cycle of a beetle, which is known as complete metamorphosis. These different stages include egg, larvae, pupal, and adult.
The Bed Bug Life Expectancy
I’m sure we are all wondering how long the annoying little bigs seeped into our mattress are going to last. Well, the average lifespan of a bed bug is 2 to 4 months. For the tiny size of the little guys, this is quite surprising, however, they are often hidden and find favorable conditions long before any of their predators notice. Bed bugs are actually little parasites that feed on humans, using their blood to reproduce and grow.
Cicadas Life Span
The cicadas are the bug that you can often hear making a racquet during the summer months of the year. They are one of the oldest insects living on our earth and have an average lifespan of 17 years. While they may seem to be loud and crave the attention they do not always start off that way and can remain hidden for over a decade. After the female cicada lays her eggs in the trees, the nymph is hatched and then immediately drops to the ground.
This is where it will begin to bury itself and be attached to the roots of trees and plants. Here it usually remains completely motionless and sucks off the sap of the tree for nutrients. The rest period can last 10 years or more and only once it is ready will it move towards the sunlight, which will kill it after about 5 weeks.
The Longest Living Ant
We all know ants, we’ve seen them, and we’ve most definitely probably stepped on them. Just like most other insects, the lifespan of an ant will depend strongly on what type of species it is and where it is placed in the world. Generally speaking, ants have a very short lifespan and only survive days on the planet.
Male ants for example only live a few days and die after mating with a female. Queen ants are the most long-lived members of the ant colony, as they are the ones laying the eggs. Worker ants, which are non reproducing females and the ones we see most commonly, do most of the work to help maintain the colony and protect the queens. They can live for several weeks and even months depending on their surroundings and conditions.
What Insect Only Lives 24 Hours
You may have heard about insects dying extremely quickly and wondered what their purpose may have even been in the first place. Well to answer one of the most asked questions“ what lives for one day ?” is none other than the Mayfly.
These are the aquatic insects you may see flying across your pool or most probably lying dead in your pool to be more precise. They spend up to two years as larvae underwater, where they develop and grow their signature wings. After this, they will only appear alive for 24 hours as a fully formed adult.
As you can see, the oldest insect on earth is just a mere example of the average lifespan of most of the insects and bugs on our planet. Believe it or not, it is these tiny creatures sitting at the bottom of the food chain that allows ecosystems to function properly. Although their time on the planet is not long-lived, they are still able to achieve their goals as part of nature.
One thing that is extremely important and a lesson to be learned after knowing more about the lifespan of an insect is to be aware of killing them before their time. Most of them are harmless and yes they may bother you or appear indoors but think about the fact that they will only be there a couple more days at the most.
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