The signs are clear to us: Autumn is here. The days are getting shorter and the temperature is gradually decreasing. We take out our winter clothes and make sure the radiators are on. But how do insects know that winter is approaching? And what do they do to prepare? Scientists have been searching for answers to these questions.
Light can help explain
According to folklore, insects and other invertebrates can predict the weather. For example, if we see a larger spider web, the weather will likely get colder and colder. But all this, according to science, is weak evidence. But for sure there will be some changes in the behavior of insects that we can see at this time of year, This shows that somehow they are still able to predict changes in the weather.
Insects are very sensitive to environmental changes, and changes in light are the main signal that insects use to change the seasons. Elizabeth Duncan is an assistant professor of zoology at the University of Leeds ZME Science Online science portal. “Insects, like humans, see light through their eyes, but unlike us, they have more than two eyes.
He added that the light information is transmitted from the eye to the brain and is interpreted by an internal clock so that the insect can sense the changing seasons. Of course, this is just as important as humans and other primates.
Do they wander or sleep in a winter dream?
However, in the case of insects, it is necessary that they respond to the changes of the seasons, since they are cold-blooded and unable to regulate their body temperature.
So these organisms have different ways of dealing with the approach of cold weather.
some, such as thistle mites (Vanessa Cardoy)They leave their home in the fall and migrate to North Africa, where they breed. Others produce their own “anti-freeze” type of protein that allows them to handle winter temperatures.
However, most insects go through a slowing process called diapause, which means a period of stunted or stunted growth during the insect’s life cycle. Thomas Daly, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leeds explained. Insects sleep mainly in the winter.
At this time of year, these insects are looking for a sheltered place to spend the winter. That’s why experts say we see more spiders in and around our home this time of year. You may also notice groups of insects, such as ladybirds, lingering under windowsills and rocks. These insects remain sheltered in the winter and re-awaken in the spring.So it is possible, contrary to popular belief, that insects react only to changes in the weather, just like people carrying an umbrella when the sky is gray.
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