Insect Facts

Interesting Facts about insects from the Smithsonian

1.  Houseflies find sugar with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive than human tongues.

2.  Approximately 2,000 silkworm cocoons are needed to produce one pound of silk.

3.  While gathering food, a bee may fly up to 60 miles in one day.

4.  Ants can lift and carry more than fifty times their own weight.

5.  It takes about one hundred Monarch Butterflies to weigh an ounce.

6.  The queen of a certain termite species can lay 40,000 eggs per day.

7.  Honeybees have to make about ten million trips to collect enough nectar for production of one pound of honey.

8.  Insects have been present for about 350 million years, and humans for only 130,000 years.

QUESTIONS:  Some sample, questions I have been asked by young students reading articles about me.

1.  Did anyone inspire you to become an entomologist?

       No, it was the thought of a wonderful career.

2. What has been your favorite movie to work on?

      Lots, but Arachnophobia would be on the list so would Spiderman 1.

3.  Do you work alone or as part of a team?

      I have assistants when I need them.

4.  How many species of spiders have you worked with?

     Not sure. But less then 50.

5.  Do you have any pictures of the biggest spider you’ve ever worked with?

      No but it was bigger than my hand.

6. As a child what made you so interested in bugs?

       Curiosity and being close to the ground

7. How long did it take you to go through college and become an entomologist?

        I was an entomologist but I spent 10 years in college

8. What is your life like off of the set?

        Very interesting.                                                   

9. How do you make the bugs understand you?     

       I studied insect behavior to understand how insects behave.  They do not have advanced brains like mammals and so by understanding their actions and behavior you can predict what they will do.  For example if you give a fly a choice between light and dark it will go for the light.  You do not have to train it to do that.  What people do not understand is that I spend a lot of time watching insects.

10.   Has anything ever happened to you while working with insects, like being bit?

       Yes I have been bit a few times, always my mistake.  If you make a spider do something over and over again it is more likely to get defensive.  It is minor and nothing to get to worried about.  I was once stung three times because my assistant mixed up the wasps that was not fun.

You can learn so much when you learn to observe.