17 Mart 2013 Pazar

Georgia State Insect

Georgia State Insect

European Honeybee (common name)
Apis mellifera 
(scientific name)

Overview

Honeybees are one of the most common insects in the world. They are extremely important in agriculture for their ability to pollinate plants and also contribute to the economy in terms of honey and beeswax. The European honeybee was named the state insect of Kansas (in 1976), Louisiana (1977), North Carolina (1973), Maine (1975), Missouri (1985), Nebraska (1975), New Jersey (1974), Utah (1983), Mississippi (1980), Georgia (1975), South Dakota (1978), and Wisconsin (1977).

Close-up

STATUS
Official
PHYSICAL DETAILS
Honeybees have compound eyes comprised of hundreds of smaller eyes called ommatidia. Worker bees are 0.37-0.62 inches (9–18 mm) in length and have a pollen basket on their hind legs, four pairs of beeswax-secreting glands on their abdomen, and an extra stomach for storing nectar and honey. Only females have stingers that they use when threatened. Worker stingers can be used only once, unlike those of queen bees. Worker bees are golden brown and black in color with a black head and patches of pale orange. Their abdomens and wings are covered with yellow bands and their entire bodies are covered with tiny hairs. Queen bees are much larger (0.75 inches or 20mm) than other bees and have a longer abdomen.

Larvae: Eggs hatch after three days into a white larva. After another six days they become pupae.
LIFESPAN
The queen bee lives as long as five years. Drones live for eight weeks. Worker bees born in summer live for around 6 weeks, and those born during the fall live until the next spring.
HABITAT
Range: Honeybees are found all over the world except Antarctica.
Flight period: Most active during spring and summer.
Conservation status: Least concern
BEHAVIOR
Honeybees are very social in nature and exist in a very structured social system that has three specialized groups: the queens, the drones, and the workers. Each of these "castes" has their own function. The queen’s main function is to lay eggs, and she can lay more than 1,500 eggs per day. Drones exist only to mate with the queen bee and either die or are driven away at the end of the season. Worker bees take care of building and maintaining the hive and honey comb and also take care of the queen and defend the hive.
Older workers, also known as field bees, gather nectar, water, pollen and plant resins that are used to build hives. Once the bee colony gets a new queen, it subdivides in a process known as "swarming," during which the old queen moves out with half of the bees to build a new colony. Honeybees are not usually aggressive, but they react when their hive is under attack. Eggs have to be incubated at 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius), and the bees maintain this temperature by depositing water and fanning the hive with their wings during hot weather. In winter, they cluster close together to generate heat.  
DIET
Adults: Flower nectar and pollen form the main diet for honeybees.
Larvae: Young queen bees are fed a special jelly that is made using glands in the heads of the worker bees. Only bees that are fed this special "royal jelly" develop into queens.
TRIVIA
  • The size of honeybees depends on the size of their colonies. Smaller colonies have just one large queen and tiny other bees, but as the summer ends, bigger honeybees are produced due to larger colonies.
  • Only one queen reigns over a hive. The other weaker queens are stung to death by the reigning queen bee or by the workers. Unfertilized eggs become drones.
  • Hive activity is regulated by a scent produced by the queen bee.
 

Click to enlarge an image
State Insect
Honeybee Harvesting Nectar
State Insect
Crowded Beehive
State Insect
Frontal View of Honeybee
State Insect
Honeybee Depositing Nectar in Honeycomb
State Insect
Honeybee with Tongue Extended
State Insect
Beekeeper Checks His Hive

CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Hymenoptera
Family:Apidae
Genus:Apis
Species:A. mellifera
Author: World Trade Press
 

Georgia State Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (common name)
Papilio glaucus 
(scientific name)

Overview

The tiger swallowtail is a very large, yellow butterfly with wings that have black edges, black stripes, and small iridescent red and blue markings. The black stripes at the top of the butterfly’s wings resemble a tiger’s stripes. These butterflies are called swallowtails because the long "tails" on their wings look like the long, pointed tails of a bird called the swallow.  The lower or hind wings have scalloped edges. There is also a version of the tiger swallowtail, a dark form that is completely black with bluish-purple markings. This is completely distinct from the black swallowtail, which is a separate species with very different markings. The tiger swallowtail butterfly was named the state insect of Delaware in 1999, Georgia in 1988, South Carolina in 1994, and Virginia in 1991.

Close-up

STATUS
Official
PHYSICAL DETAILS
Wingspan: 3.5–6.5 in (8.8–16.5 cm)
Larvae:
 The newly hatched caterpillar is initially brown and white and then turns green with a large head and bright "eye spots." The butterfly develops from egg to larva (caterpillar) to pupa to adult in one month.
LIFESPAN
Two to three weeks
HABITAT
In deciduous woods, along streams, rivers, and wooded swamps.
Range: The United States east of the Rocky Mountains. The northern range is from eastern Colorado to southern Ontario and southern Vermont. Its southern range extends to northeastern Mexico. Two closely-related species are the larger Papilio appalachiensis in the Appalachian region and the Papilio canadensis in the northeastern US and Canada.
Flight period: The first flight begins in late February or early March and continues through late autumn or early winter in the southern part of the range. There are two flights in the northern part of the range and three to four flights in the southern range.
Conservation status: Least Concern
BEHAVIOR
Females lay eggs one at a time on the leaves of host plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars within one week, longer if the temperature is cool. After feeding for a week (during which the caterpillar molts several times) it seals itself into a cocoon (also known as a pupa or chrysalis) and hibernates. The insect undergoes a metamorphosis and emerges as an adult butterfly 10–14 days later. Shortly after the butterfly’s wings have been unfolded and dried, the butterfly takes flight and begins to feed on flower nectar.
DIET
Adults: Nectar from the flowers of milkweed, thistles, cherry, Japanese honeysuckle, ironweed, lilac, and red clover.
Larvae: The caterpillar's first meal is its own shell. Caterpillars eat the leaves of a wide variety of trees and shrubs, including cottonwood, tulip tree, sweet bay, lemon, and cherry.

Click to enlarge an image
State Insect
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - State Butterfly
State Insect
Side View of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Papilionidae
Genus:Papilio
Species:P. glaucus
Author: World Trade Press

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