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Name: Carol L Giles
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Question:
What would the world be like without insects? How long can a fly hibernate being that its life span is very short? Name the insect that has the longest life span.



Replies:
If all insects were to suddenly die, then the insect-eating small animals (e.g. chickens, bats, birds, frogs) would die, as would most flowering plants (apple trees, corn, potatoes), from a lack of insects to carry the pollen from male to female plant. Higher animals that ate the flowering plants or insect-eating animals would then die. Given these facts, and starting from the fact that insects themselves constitute the majority of the life on the planet, it's a safe bet that the sudden death of all insects would mean the death of most or perhaps nearly all the life on Earth. If on the other hand the insects died off slowly, or had never been, probably some other small life form of very similar habits would evolve to fill the niche.

I don't believe houseflies can hibernate at all. All the houseflies you see each summer are descended from the miniscule number that survive the winter in sheltered warm spots, a tribute to the fantastic breeding ability of flies.

I have no idea what the longest-lived insect is, but I'd nominate the 17-year locust.

Christopher Grayce



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