The tundra might seem one of the harshest ecosystems, but insects thrive and flourish even in this icy environment. The season when most insects are in largest numbers is springtime. During this season the ice melts and is unable to brain away due to the layer of permafrost under the soil. Under these conditions stagnant water allows insects to breed freely. Here is a guide to what type of insects live in the Tundra.
The answer to the question what type of insects live in the Tundra can be varied. This ecosystem includes springtails, weevils, beetles, spiders, and blow flies. The most notorious insects of the tundra are the mosquitoes and black flies. They are especially troublesome in the summer months. The female mosquitoes found in the Tundra region make a meal of human and animal blood. Creatures like caribou are especially prone to attacks by swarms of female mosquitoes. Humans are also a favorite target for these insects and it is wise to carry a good mosquito repellent to protect yourself against them.
The herbivorous springtails come next in the list of what type of insects live in the Tundra.
Springtails live in humid environments like leaf litter, under tree bark, worm beds, snow fields, and nests built by other insects. Springtails are minute six-legged insects with an average length of 0.25 to 8 mm. These insects lack wings and their body color varies greatly from white to pale brown, red or purple. In some instances, they may also have elaborate patterns on their bodies. The common name “springtail” refers to the ability of the insects to jump when disturbed , or during mating. Springtails can jump with the help of a forked appendage, called the furcula, at the tip of the abdomen.
Plant sucking weevils are the next on the list of what type of insects live in the Tundra. These insects come from a family of beetles. These insects can vary in size from 2 to 20 mm. The insects can be easily recognised as all adults of this species have a characteristic snout projecting from the head with jaws at the tip. Most species have elbowed antennae. The larval stages are white or yellow in color. Adults and larvae of all species feed on living or dead plant tissues.
Blow flies are another interesting group of insects in the list of what type of insects live in the Tundra. They have varying body sizes ranging from 6 to 14 mm in length and generally having a metallic sheen to their bodies. The black blow fly has a dark, olive-green body, black legs, and orange coloring around its thorax. All blow flies have blunt mouthparts and do not bite. Most blow fly larvae feed on carrion and decaying organic matter. They often infest wounds of sheep, goats and cattle. Adult blow flies are attracted to nectar, carrion, garbage, and other refuse. They also show an affinity for soiled hair, fur, or wool.
Richard Dorads – InsectPest.net