One notable fact about insects is that they are the most diverse groups of animals on earth with the number of species ranging from two million to possibly four million, outnumbering the amount of all other animal species on earth, combined. In Malaysia alone, thousands of insect species exist and the diversity of the insect species in this country is made possible due to the range of habitats and climate in Malaysia.
Insects inhabit a variety of surroundings, both aquatic and terrestrial. Their ability to feed on a variety of plants and animals, makes them the most common of all living things on earth. Insects that are beneficial to humans include those that are edible, provide us honey, wax, silk and various pharmaceutical compounds. Some insects, such as dragonflies, functions as a good indicator of the health of an ecosystem.
30sen – Fulgora Pyrorthynxcha
30sen – Dysdercus Cingulatys
50sen – Valanga Nigricornis
50sen – Rhaphipodus Hopei
MS RM5 – Emperor Moth (Antheraea helferi), Sheets: 20x 30sen, 20x50sen
(3rd August 2007: MS RM5 Overprinted “Bangkok 2007 – 20th International Stamp Exhibition)
Bugs are well known pests of cultivated plants, including rice, vegetables and fruits. They are able to defend themselves against predators through a variety of methods including taste, camouflage and colour. Bright colours, as in the case of the Fruit Bug, is usually a warning sign that the bug is distasteful. This species is known to be a pest to cultivated crops such as lady’s fingers (okra).
Lantern flies (or lantern bugs) are very colourful, with yellow, black, red, blue and green markings on their bodies. The most recognizable ones are those that have a prolongation of the head, as in the case of this ‘Fiery-beaked’ Lantern Bug. Several species of Fulgora can be found in Malaysia, both in the understorey of natural forests and in fruit orchards. They are normally found on tree trunks in groups of two or three, but can also be seen individually.
This species is amongst the biggest longhorn beetles in Malaysia and can be found in hilly areas. The mandibles are straight with rough edges for cutting purposes and the legs are covered with sharp bristles. It is usually found on the bark of dead trees and is confined to forests above 750 metres. Considerable damage is caused annually to valuable timber trees, fruit trees and some cultivated crops by longhorn beetles.
Grasshoppers belong to the order Orthoptera (from the Greek orthos meaning ‘straight’ and pteron for ‘wing’. Generally, the hind legs are large and muscular and are specially developed for jumping. This species is common in cultivated fields and gardens, feeding on a wide range of plants and is treated as a pest. Additionally, this grasshopper is also known to severely attack oil palm and rubber plantations during outbreaks, causing massive defoliation.