What Do Insects Eat?


There are over 900,000 different types of insects on earth. And as you might have guessed they eat all different kinds of things. So today we decided to write an article on what are the things that these funny little creatures actually like to eat. So without further ado, lets get right into it

Some of the most common things in an insect’s diet are:

  • Other Insects
  • Some plants
  • Other Anthropods
  • Dead Meat
  • Drink water and blood
  • fungus
  • wood
  • Salts
  • Seeds
  • Nectar
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Flowers
  • roots

Insects That Eat Other Insects

There is a huge list of isnects that eat other insects. Lets take a brief look into these predatory, carnivore insects

A list of some carnivore insects
  • Robber fly
  • Arachnocampa luminosa
  • Tiger Beetle
  • Meat Ant
  • Dragonfly
  • Siafu ant
  • Praying mantis
  • Larinus minutus
  • Thrips
  • Pteromalus
  • Pug moths
  • Cockroaches
  • Giant Katydids
  • Aphid
  • Only In Oz
  • Hide Beetles
  • Bot Fly
  • Army Ants
  • crime schen insects
  • Insidious insect
  • culture insects
  • Flesh Flies
  • Scale Insects
  • Scarabaeoidea
  • Predaceous Diving Beetle
  • Slender Pitcher-Plant
  • Japanese hornet
  • Antlion
  • Assassin bug
  • Pteromalus puparum
  • Saginae
  • Crickets
  • Peper wasps
  • Spiny leaf insect
  • Antlion
  • Adephaga
  • American Carrion Beetles
  • Trap Jaw Ants
  • And a tonne more other insects

There are quite a lot of carnivore insects like the above list suggests. And all of them feast on different kinds of insects usually targetting insects that are smaller than them.

Insects That Eat Wood

Some of the insects that eat wood are

  • Wood Borers
  • Carpenter bee
  • Bark beetle
  • Powderpost Beetles
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Ptilinus pectinicornis
  • Asian long-horned beetle
  • Termites
  • Powderpost beetle
  • Carpenter ant

Insects That Eat Plants

  • Butterflies
  • Ladybirds
  • Bees
  • White Flies
  • Mealy Bugs
  • Mosquitos
  • Flea Beetles
  • Stink Bugs
  • Cabbage looper
  • Brown marmorated stink bug
  • Corn earworm
  • Pieris rapae
  • Black swallowtail
  • Leaf Cutting Bees
  • Orthoptera
  • Silk Worm
  • Louse
  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Saw Flies
  • Hawk Moths
  • Tarnished plant Bug
  • Hoverflies

Insects That Eat Clothes

  • Sliver Fish
  • Termite
  • Cricket
  • FireBrat
  • Common carpet beetle
  • Silk Worm
  • Skin Beetle
  • Common Clothes Moth

Insects That Eat Mosquitos

  • Damselflies
  • Dragonflies 
  • Crane flies 
  • Predaceous diving beetle
  • Scavenger beetles.

Insects That You Can Eat Safely

  • Flies and Mosquitoes
  • Stinkbugs
  • Long Horned Beetles.
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Bees
  • Ants
  • Cicadas
  • Wasps
  • Ants
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Locusts
  • Palm Weevil Larvae
  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Water Boatmen Backswimmers
  • Termites

Should You Feed On Insects?

There is no doubt that a lot of insects out there contain lots and lots of protein along with some other helpful nutrients. And insects are already being eaten in quite a lot of places in the world. But one thing to keep in mind is that certain insects might contain venomous parts that need to be cut down are extracted. So if you do plan on eating insects, eat them through a source that knows what they are doing, and don’t just start eating random insects that you find. Though most of them won’t do much harm, eating a random spider ( Technically not an insect ) that you see can end up giving you an upset stomach

Mareike Janiak, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology says and lead author of the study published recently in Molecular Biology and Evolution Says “For a long time the prevailing wisdom was that mammals didn’t produce an enzyme that could break down the exoskeletons of insects, so they were considered to be very difficult to digest. We now know from research on bats and mice, and now my research on primates, that this isn’t true.

Digestion Of Insects

The way in which insects ingest and digest may vary quite a bit. But a known feature of organisms under the “Animalia” Kingdom is that they generally possess a digestive cavity of some sort, within which the food being swallowed goes. To elaborate, the cavity is mostly like a tube that is running from an orifice through which the food is being swallowed ( mouth in the usual cases ). Insects mostly have a head that they use to feed themselves with made up of a couple of body segments. The mouth is often blessed with jaws to pierce through the things the insects usually eat. And the mouth through which the insect ingests food is located right below the head. The jaws are usually in forms of pairs just like other organisms from the Anthropods Phylum.

A picture of the digestive system of an  insect to better elaborate on "What Do Insects Eat?"

After being cut down into pieces whether it is meet or plant-based, the food is passed onto the gullet which is one of the parts of the alimentary canal of the insect and is located in the front region of the digestive tract of an insect. The details of the digestive tract might also differ depending on the insect. The food from the gullet is transferred from the gullet to the thorax and then the food goes from there to the abdomen where a quantity of material is being stored and waits for further digestion, which can again vary depending on the type of insect

Insects use their digestive systems to get the nutrients and energy they need to run their normal life. Most of the food they ingest is usually in the form of protein fats and nucleic acid which often needs to be broken down to be of any use to the insect. The breaking down of this material to reap the benefit to an insect is the basic definition of digestion. As we mentioned above the alimentary canal allows the food that has been entered through the mouth to get processed along the way while finally reaching the anus. There are quite a few sections within the alimentary canal through which different breaking down and absorption processes take place. There are quite a lot of enzymes that vary depending on the insect and the kind of food being digested that play a very vital role at this stage

Moreover, for many insects digestion starts taking place right in the mouth where they already have quite a lot of slivary glands that produce enzymes along with lots of saliva of different natures

Do Insects Poop?

Yes, insects do poop as a way of excreting the waste material that their body doesn’t require. The amount and type of waste may vary from insect to insect. There are some insects that only excretes in liquid form and then there are others that form little pallets of. Moreover, another very interesting thing about excretion and insects is that many insects out there don’t let their poop ( excrement ) go to waste. Rather they often use it for making shelters, using is as self-defense, and even eat some parts of it again for better digestion of the waste

Hopefully, this article was helpful in answering a few of your insects’ related questions. lastly if you want to through an article answering “What insects pollinate followers”, we have a great article written on that too. So do give it a look if you are interested “What Insects Pollinate Flowers?

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