Today’s topic is about the smallest insect on earth, read along as we educate you on the smallest insects in the world.
Insects are usually small, but some reach a microscopic level and develop interesting priorities, in this post you get to know the smallest insects on earth. Apart from the ones we see with our naked eyes such as the household flies and ants, there are those who fly, swim and crawl under the radar, so small that they are essentially invisible to the human eye.
These creatures have adorable names like the pygmy blue butterfly and the little bell wasp. Unfortunately, some of these species are not well known, because their size not only makes them difficult to detect but also makes examining them a difficulty for scientists.
From a spider smaller than the head of a pin to a mantis one centimeter long, here are the smallest insect wonders in the world.
The smallest insects in the world belong to the Mymaridae family, to which more than 100 genera and 1,400 species of kaleidosis wasps belong (a certain type of insect, not lengthy) that are completely parasitic and depend on the eggs and larvae of Other insects for survival.
The Fairyflies are officially discovered in 1833 by Alexander Henry Halliday. They are often called “Fairyflies” and are the smallest of all wasps they are also called fairy wasps. The fairyflies are normally found in tropical and also in the temperate regions of the earth.
These flies, although very tiny, play a crucial role in the balance of ecosystems. They have been used several times to control crop pests thanks to their life cycle: since they feed and lay eggs in eggs of other insects they can directly eliminate the focus of the threat.
But we are going to what interests us: which is the smallest insect? The smallest species of the fairy wasps family is known as the Dicopomorpha echmepterygis, and, in particular, the male with an average size of around 0.139 mm – one-seventh of a millimeter.
This is due to the marked sexual dimorphism of the species: this means that there are notable differences between the male and the female.
In this case, the male is 40% smaller than the female. They usually have a variety of colours like brown, yellow, and black. The eggs and larvae are noticeably smaller but for this post, we have only taken into account the size of insects in the adult phase.
This species (Dicopomorpha echmepterygis), like the others of its genus, mates in eggs of other insects and dies just after. Eggs hatch and feed on parasitized eggs. Sometimes nature is cruel …
The size of the male of this species is what characterizes it. Its body measures 0.14 millimeters (that is, 0.00014 meters) closely followed by the Tinkerbella family that only contains one species, Tinkerbella nana with a size of 0.25 millimeters.
2. Scarlet Dwarf Dragonfly
Dragonflies are among the largest known flying insects. In fact, the prehistoric ancestor of the dragonfly, Meganeura, was one of the largest insects ever known with a wingspan that exceeding 70 centimeters.
Fossil records show that he lived about 300 million years ago during the Triassic period and was a predatory species that fed on other insects. Today’s dragonfly species (Odonatos), although not as large, can boast a wingspan of almost 20 centimeters and a body length of approximately 12 centimeters.
At the extremely small end, the smallest dragonfly is the scarlet dwarf (Nannophya pygmaea). It is also known as the northern pygmy or tiny dragonfly.
As part of the Libellulidae dragonfly family, the scarlet dwarf’s native geography extends from Southeast Asia to China and Japan. It is occasionally found in Australia. The wingspan of the dragonfly is approximately 20 millimeters or three quarters of an inch.
3. Patu Digua Spider
Most spiders found in American homes are more useful than harmful. It includes the smallest spider, the patu digua. This spider lives around the Digua River, near the El Queremal region, Valle del Cauca, in northern Colombia.
They are difficult to detect since males grow approximately a third of a millimeter, even smaller than the head of a pin. Some believe there are even smaller arachnids that crawl somewhere.
For example, the female Anapistula cecula from West Africa is about three-hundredths of an inch and the males would probably be smaller. In general, male spiders are smaller than females.
4. Microtityus Minimus Scorpion
Scorpions are often considered one of the fiercest and deadliest insects. They have been shown to fight and defeat the largest predators, such as giant spiders.
This predatory skill evolved over more than 430 million years with sophisticated features such as a poisonous stinger, strong claws and a thick exoskeleton that functions as body armor.
But while the scorpion venom is poisonous, only 25 species produce a toxin that is capable of killing humans.
This makes even the smallest scorpion species a small and hard type. Microtityus minimus, the smallest scorpion in the world, was discovered in 2014 by researchers who observed the Great Antillean Island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic.
A fully grown scorpion measures around 11 millimeters, which makes its stinger and claws less intimidating and, in fact, a little cute.
5. Uranotaenia Lowii Mosquito
The craziest thing about bloodthirsty mosquitoes is the stealthy way they cover us with bites. Despite sucking enough blood to double their weight, mosquitoes can implement a special flapping technique that allows them to jump and take off in silence without being detected.
This cunning form of evasion is especially problematic in parts of the world where mosquitoes are known to spread viruses and deadly diseases.
Fortunately, the smallest mosquito in the world does not like the taste of human blood. The 2.5 mm long Uranotaenia lowii, sometimes known as the pale-legged Uranotaenia, prefers to chop frogs and other amphibians.
They locate their objectives using their innate acoustic sensitivity to squawking and other sounds. The habitat of Uranotaenia lowii extends throughout the south from Texas to Florida, and can be found to the north of North Carolina.
6. Midget Moths
While butterflies are usually associated with the heat of the day, moths tend to fly at night. However, it is not always easy to distinguish between them.
Melanitis leda or the brown of the common afternoon, for example, is considered a butterfly that lives at night and there are some moths that come out during the day.
The best way to distinguish them is to look at the antennas, since the butterfly antennas have a small ballpoint compared to moths that do not.
The smallest moths come from the family Nepticulidae and are known as pygmy moths or dwarf moths. Some species, such as pygmy sorrel moth (Enteucha acetosae), have a wingspan that measures only 3 millimeters, while the average moth wingspan is 25 millimeters.
They start as small larvae that extract the leaves of several host plants. The caterpillar’s chewing pattern leaves a unique and quite large imprint on the leaves they feed on.
7. Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly
Although they seem ornate and delicate, prehistoric fossils suggest that butterflies have existed for over 200 million years. The prehistoric ancestors of the modern butterfly fluttered among dinosaurs at a time when there were not even pollen-rich flowers to feast on.
They also managed to survive mass extinction events such as ice age. Today, the order of lepidopteran insects currently comprises more than 180,000 species and includes not only butterflies but also members of the moth family.
It is believed that the smallest member of the butterfly family is the pygmy blue butterfly (Brephidium exilis). Western Pygmies can be found throughout North America and in the west to Hawaii and the Middle East.
It can be recognized by the copper brown and opaque blue pattern at the base of both wings. The small wingspan of the butterfly can be only 12 millimeters. Its counterpart, the eastern blue pygmy can be found in the forests along the Atlantic coast.
8. Euryplatea Nanaknihali Fly
With less than half a millimeter, Euryplatea nanaknihali is the smallest species of flies on earth. These tiny flies lay their eggs inside the heads of the ants, and once the eggs hatch and the larvae grow, they begin to devour their host from the inside out, decapitating the ant.
Although it is something quite frightening, they are not the only species of fly that implements this reproductive strategy. Species in the family of Phoridae flies also lay eggs in the bodies of ants.
9. Bolbe Pygmea Mantis
Mantis are rare insects that have a special relationship with humans. The ancient Greeks considered that the mantis had supernatural powers and that they have been deified in the texts of ancient Egypt.
The Chinese, in particular, have a certain affection and reverence for an insect that the ancient poems describe as a symbol of courage and audacity.
In fact, the technique and strategy of fighting with the arm of the praying mantis has inspired at least two popular martial arts known as “Mantis religiosa from the north” and “Mantis religiosa from the south”. Mantis are also one of the few insects that are kept and raised as pets.
The order of Mantodea consists of more than 2,400 species and can be as large as 3.5 inches standing. However, the smallest species of mantis, Bolbe pygmaea, is only 1 centimeter in length and can be found in Australia.
10. Pharaoh Ant
The ant, Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus), is commonly known as the pharaoh ant. The name possibly comes from the erroneous tradition that it was one of the plagues of ancient Egypt. This ant is distributed throughout the world, is one of the most common ants in the house, and carries the dubious honor of being the most difficult to control within the ants of the home ants.
Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus) has spread due to trade in all inhabited regions of the. This ant, is probably native to Africa, does not nest outdoors, except in warm places, in southern latitudes it has been able to adapt to the conditions even though the climates are colder, settling inside the buildings and taking advantage of your heating.
The antennas have 12 segments, with 3 segments of antennal nail. The eye is comparatively small, with approximately six to eight omatidia across the largest diameter. The prothorax has subangular shoulders, and the thorax has a well-defined mesoepinotal impression.
Erect hairs are scarce in the body. The head, the thorax, the petiole and postpetiole (the petiole, or the petiole and postpetiole, in the ants is also called the pedicel) is dense.
The clipped, the Gaster, and jaws are bright. The color ranges of the body yellowish-brown or slightly red, with the darker abdomen often blackish. A stinger is present.
The Pharaoh ant colony consists of queens, males, workers, and immature stages (eggs, larvae, pre-pupae and pupae). Within the same colony there may be several queens that are hidden as polygynous colonies. Nesting occurs in (80 to 86 ° F), (80%) hot and humid areas that are difficult to access near food and / or water sources, such as in the holes in the walls.
The size of the colony tends to be large, but it can vary from a few dozen to several thousand or even several hundreds of thousands of individuals. Approximately 38 days are required for the development of workers from egg to adult.
Mating takes place in the nest. Males and queens usually take 42 days to develop from egg to adult. The males are the same size as the workers (2 mm), they are black. Males are not usually found in the colony. The queens are about 4 mm long and are a bit darker in color than the workers.
The queen can produce 400 or more eggs in batches of 10 to 12. Queens can live four to 12 months, while males die within three to five weeks after mating.
Part of the success and persistence of this ant undoubtedly refers to the habits as a whole or to the separation of the colonies. Numerous daughter colonies are produced from the mother colony when a queen and a few workers come off and establish a new colony.
Even in the absence of a queen, workers can develop a queen from the offspring that is transported from the mother colony. In large colonies, there may be up to several hundred breeding females.