The described taxonomic richness of insects

Probably slightly over 1 million species of insects have been described; that is, have been recorded in a taxonomic publication as "new" (to science), accompanied by description and often with illustrations or some other means of recognizing the particular insect species (section 1.4). Since some insect species have been described as new more than once, due to failure to recognize variation or through ignorance of previous studies, the actual number of described species is uncertain.

The described species of insects are distributed unevenly amongst the higher taxonomic groupings called orders (section 1.4). Five "major" orders stand out for their high species richness, the beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), wasps, ants, and bees (Hymenoptera), butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), and the true bugs (Hemiptera). J.B.S. Haldane's jest - that "God" (evolution) shows an inordinate "fondness" for beetles - appears to be confirmed since they comprise almost 40% of described insects (more than 350,000 species). The Hymenoptera have more than 115,000 described species, with the Diptera and Lepidoptera having at least 150,000 described species each, and Hemiptera almost 100,000. Of the remaining orders of living insects, none exceed the approximately 20,000 described species of the Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, and katydids). Most of the "minor" orders have from some hundreds of to a few thousand described species. Although an order may be described as minor, this does not mean that it is insignificant: the familiar earwig belongs to an order (Dermaptera) with fewer than 2000 described species and the ubiquitous cockroaches belong to an order (Blattodea, including termites) with only about 6600 species. Nonetheless, there are only twice as many species described in Aves (birds) as in the "small" order Blattodea.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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