What makes an insect dangerous? Is it powerful bites, poison, or something else? In fact, for more of these insects, it is the fact that they work as a team rather than on their own, but some of them really are just deadly all by themselves. So watch your footing as we walk through the world of very dangerous insects…
10. Hemiptera – Kissing Bugs
The defining feature of hemipterans is their possession of mouthparts where the mandibles and maxillae have evolved into a proboscis, sheathed within a modified labium to form a “beak” or “rostrum” which is capable of piercing tissues (usually plant tissues) and sucking out the liquids — typically sap.
The forewings of Hemiptera are either entirely membranous, as in the Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha, or partially hardened, as in most Heteroptera. The name “Hemiptera” is from the Greek ἡμι- (hemi; “half”) and πτερόν (pteron; “wing”), referring to the forewings of many heteropterans which are hardened near the base, but membranous at the ends. Wings modified in this manner are termed hemelytra (singular: hemelytron), by analogy with the completely hardened elytra of beetles, and occur only in the suborder Heteroptera. The forewings may be held “roofwise” over the body (typical of Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha), or held flat on the back, with the ends overlapping (typical of Heteroptera). In all suborders, the hindwings – if present at all – are entirely membranous and usually shorter than the forewings.
9. Siafu (African Ants)
The army ant genus Dorylus, also known as driver ants, safari ants, or siafu, is found primarily in central and east Africa, although the range also extends to tropical Asia. The term siafu is a loanword from Swahili, and is one of the numerous similar words from regional Bantu languages used by indigenous peoples to describe various species of these ants. Unlike the New World members of the subfamily Ecitoninae, members of this genus do form temporary anthills lasting from a few days up to three months. Each colony can contain over 20 million individuals. As with their New World counterparts, there is a soldier class among the workers, which is larger, with a very large head and pincer-like mandibles. They are capable of stinging, but very rarely do so, relying instead on their powerful shearing jaws.
The term wasp is typically defined as any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. Almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that preys upon it or parasitizes it, making wasps critically important in the natural control of their numbers, or natural biocontrol. Parasitic wasps are increasingly used in agricultural pest control as they prey mostly on pest insects and have little impact on crops.
Locusts are the swarming phase of short-horned grasshoppers of the family Acrididae. These are species that can breed rapidly under suitable conditions and subsequently become gregarious and migratory. They form bands as nymphs and swarms as adults—both of which can travel great distances, rapidly stripping fields and greatly damaging crops.
The origin and apparent extinction of certain species of locust—some of which reached 6 inches (15 cm) in length—are unclear.
Locusts are edible insects and are considered a delicacy in some countries and throughout history.
6. Anopheles Mosquito
Anopheles (play /əˈnɒfɨliːz/)is a genus of mosquito. There are approximately 460 recognized species: while over 100 can transmit human malaria, only 30–40 commonly transmit parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which cause malaria in humans in endemic areas. Anopheles gambiae is one of the best known, because of its predominant role in the transmission of the most dangerous malaria parasite species (to humans) – Plasmodium falciparum.
The name comes from the Greek αν, an, meaning not, and όφελος, óphelos, meaning profit, and translates to useless.
Some species of Anopheles also can serve as the vectors for canine heartworm Dirofilaria immitis, the filariasis-causing species Wuchereria bancrofti and Brugia malayi, and viruses such as one that causes O’nyong’nyong fever. There is an association of brain tumour incidence and malaria, suggesting that the Anopheles might transmit a virus or other agent that could cause a brain tumour.
5. Fire Ants
The bodies of fire ants, like all insects’ bodies, are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax,the abdomen, with three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen. The worker ants are blackish to reddish, and their size varies from 2 mm to 6 mm (0.12 in to 0.24 in). These different sizes of the ants can all exist in the same nest.
Solenopsis spp. ants can be identified with three body features—a pedicel with two nodes, an unarmed propodeum, and antennae with 10 segments and a two-segmented club.
4. Giant Japanese Or Asian Hornet
The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), including the subspecies Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica), colloquially known as the yak-killer hornet, is the world’s largest hornet, native to temperate and tropical Eastern Asia. Its body length is approximately 50 mm (2 in), its wingspan about 76 mm (3 in), and it has a 6 mm (0.2 in) sting which injects a large amount of potent venom.
3. TseTse Fly
Tsetse sometimes spelled tzetze and also known as tik-tik flies, are large biting flies that inhabit much of mid-continental Africa between the Sahara and the Kalahari deserts.They live by feeding on the blood of vertebrate animals and are the primary biological vectors of Wuchereria bancrofti, which cause Elephantiasis, and trypanosomes, which cause human sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiasis, also known as nagana. Tsetse include all the species in the genus Glossina, which are generally placed in their own family, Glossinidae.
Tsetse have been extensively studied because of their disease transmission. These flies are multivoltine, typically producing about four generations yearly, and up to 31 generations total over their entire lifespan.
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families,[though many are undescribed and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.
Bees are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen, the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for larvae.
Bees have a long proboscis (a complex “tongue”) that enables them to obtain the nectar from flowers. They have antennae almost universally made up of 13 segments in males and 12 in females, as is typical for the superfamily. Bees all have two pairs of wings, the hind pair being the smaller of the two; in a very few species, one sex or caste has relatively short wings that make flight difficult or impossible, but none are wingless.
Fleas are the insects forming the order Siphonaptera. They are wingless, with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals and birds.