Are Insects Larger In The Tropics?

Are Insects Larger In The Tropics?

If you had to guess where the world’s largest insects thrive, then you would probably find yourself imagining exotic locations with very little human activity, such as tropical jungles. Perhaps some would guess that Australia is home to the largest insects, while others would insist that South America contains the world’s largest bugs. However, both would be right, as any region near the globe’s midsection would definitely contain super-huge bugs. The experts agree that the largest bugs can be found within the equatorial tropics. For example, the African goliath beetle can weigh as much as one hundred grams. Also, the giant stick insects of Indonesia can be found populating equatorial regions.

The reason why so many bugs prefer to dwell within the equatorial regions of the world is easy enough to understand. For one thing, these regions offer a constant supply of food. The yearlong warm weather offers insects a source of food that never disappears. But insects prefer the perpetual warmth because they rely on warm external temperatures in order to survive. For example, warm-blooded mammals depend on stable internal temperatures in order to survive. Also, the bigger a mammal, the more likely it will survive in cold external temperatures. So unlike cold-blooded insects, mammals prefer colder climates since they rely on internal heat.

However, this trend is not the case for all insects, as some insects take longer to develop than others. For example, larger bodied insects, like grasshoppers and beetles, may prefer colder temperatures in order to remain small in size. This tactic works for these insects because the growing season is short in colder climates. Unlike other insects that dwell in tropical climates, grasshoppers and beetles are only two of many insects that do not grow as quickly, and do not reproduce as rapidly.

Do you think that grasshoppers or beetles would eventually become larger if a few of them were transplanted to equatorial regions?

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