Environment

Why do we see more insects during the rainy season?

What’s the first thing most of us do when it rains? We look at the sky. But do look at the ground beneath your feet, and you can spot some beauties from the insect world. Naturalist ‘Poochi’ Venkat gives us the low-down on what kind of insects make their appearance following a spell of rains in the city. After the showers at night a few days ago, Venkat says that he was witness to a lot of “interesting phenomena” in his backyard.

“Insects are essentially lying in a dormant state until they feel that conditions for them to develop are perfect,” he says. This state is called ‘diapause’ and Venkat adds that this could be one of the reasons why we see a lot of insect activity after a spell of rains.

Why do we see more insects during the rainy season?

“I saw a profusion of butterflies in places like Indira Nagar,” he says. “I spotted the tawny coster, common emigrant, lime butterfly, plain tiger…schools in North Chennai have been sending me photos of butterflies in their campus on WhatsApp to identify.”

Venkat has also been seeing “activity among bees”. This, according to him, is because plants are sprouting and flowers too are blossoming. “In my garden at home, I’ve been seeing plenty of smaller moths; beetles too are flying around,” he says. Ants too, are in their element and he is seeing a lot of winged ants.

Why do we see more insects during the rainy season?

Now that the insects are out, Venkat says that birds and bats will follow, since they will have plenty to eat. “I’m also seeing a lot of lizards moving around,” he says, adding: “All of this has a beautiful connection.” According to him, insects are among the most adaptable creatures. “They are hardy and can successfully adapt to new weather conditions and environments,” he says.

What’s fascinating is how they never let climate change affect them, and make changes in their life patterns accordingly. He explains how ants are coming out to mate now since they have calculated that weather conditions will be conducive for their next generation if they laid eggs around this time. This is something humans cannot even imagine coming close to. “I sometimes wonder who is more superior,” laughs Venkat.

“I think insects are.”


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 6:21:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/follow-the-ants/article28434621.ece

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