Several species of small chalcids lay their eggs in the larvae of wood-boring beetles. They may directly hunt the larvae in their tunnels and one can often see these nimble little insects flying in and out of the holes in the timber, but some can lay their eggs through the timber with the help of […]
( Latin: genus Ophion ) These insects lay eggs in moth larvae. The adults often enter houses at night, being attracted by the lights. They have a powerful ovipositor which may be long or quite short, according to the species.
These small hymenopterans belong to a group with a very large number of species. Their larvae live as parasites in other insect species. The female inserts an egg into the victim with the help of her ovipositor, and in some cases this organ can also be used as a defensive weapon. The small dark parasitic […]
(Latin: Anopheles maculipennis) This is the malaria mosquito of parts of Europe, including Britain. The larvae live in ponds and lakes with fairly dense vegetation. The indigenous malaria of Britain, commonly known as ague, was transmitted by this insect, and it still occurred in certain coastal districts until about the end of the nineteenth century.
( Latin: genus Aedes ) These insects breed mainly in pools and ditches of the kind that fill up with water in the spring months, but dry up later in the year. They have only one generation in the year, which flies in May, normally at the same time as the beech comes into leaf. Some […]
( Latin: Family Culicidae ) These insects usually spend their whole lives outdoors, but some enter houses in autumn to spend the winter. They may also come in through open windows during summer and if this causes a serious problem, as it does in the tropics, it may be necessary to fit mosquito netting or at […]
( Latin: Cimex pipistrelli ) This species may occur in lofts where bats roost.
( Latin: Ctenocephalides felis, ctenocephalides canis) Cat and dog fleas are very similar in appearance and both species can live on both dogs and cats. Humans are mainly attacked by cat fleas.A cat or a dog may have a light infection of fleas without the human inhabitants of the house noticing, but if the domestic […]
(Latin: Pulex irritans) The human flea has become a rather rare insect, but in former times it was the constant companion of men of all classes. At one time the Chinese and others used flea traps made of ivory or bamboo which were gently warmed and placed between the sheets before they went to bed, […]
( Latin: Order Siphonaptera) Fleas are extremely well adapted for their special way of life. The hard, tough, chitin exoskeleton makes it almost impossible to squash them and the tall, thin body allows them to move about very rapidly among hairs or feathers. If all else fails, a flea can jump up to about 30 cm.. […]
( Latin: Mallophaga ) These insects are somewhat similar in appearance to the true lice, but the head is broader, they usually have two claws on each leg, and they do not suck blood.They feed by gnawing fur and feathers and also scraps of skins. They do not affect man. Biting lice attach their eggs firmly […]
( Latin: Ixodes ricinus) The adult male is 2 mm long, the female twice this .length, but these measurements only apply to individuals which have not recently fed. The red-brown, leathery skin of the abdomen can stretch to an incredible extent. This species is very common in some areas, but not in others. This is […]
(Latin:Dermanyssus gallinae) When filled with blood this mite has a beautiful red colour. Gradually as the blood is digested the mite becomes a little smaller and the colour changes to grey or blackish, and if it has fasted for a long period it is almost white. The poultry mite lives in henhouses, in dovecotes and […]
(Latin: Sarcoptes scabiei) This mite lives actually in the skin, burrowing tunnels in the upper layer, rather like a mole. It is only 1/3 mm long and is rarely seen, but its presence is revealed by the inflamed and eczema-like condition it causes (see p. 52). The eggs are laid in the burrows made by […]
Parasitism is very common in the animal kingdom. It has been estimated that about a quarter of the existing animal species live in or on the remaining three-quarters. The words bite and sting are often used indiscriminately, but it is best to say that an animal bites when it uses its mouth, even when this […]