Did you know...?
Hello, I'm Jo, the curator of Biology in the Yorkshire Museum
Super Bugs Laboratory!
I think the world of minibeasts is amazing. There is always something new to learn. Here are a just a few of the most fascinating facts about minibeasts but I am sure if you do some research of your own you will find even more!
Most minibeasts eat either plants or other invertebrates. But did you know that some eat more unusual things, including solid wood, animal droppings and rotten food ? It might sound disgusting but they are very good for the environment because they recycle lots of waste materials!
Did you know there is an insect called the bird-dropping caterpillar? It looks just like...a pile of bird droppings! Not many animals would want to eat it! Minibeasts are great at disappearing into the background. They use camouflage to protect themselves from being eaten or to help them creep up on and catch other creatures.
Explosion of colour
Whilst some minibeasts try to blend into their background, others want to stand out. Bright colours are often a warning to predators like birds. It means that the creature tastes nasty or is poisonous, so predators know to leave it alone. The Monarch butterfly has bright orange wings to warn of its horrible-tasting, poisonous flesh.
Lots of minibeasts pretend to be what they are not, to fool other creatures. The scorpionfly has a sting that makes it look like a scorpion but the sting is harmless. It is just there to put other creatures off attacking it! Many minibeasts mimic bees and wasps, like the bee-fly and the hoverfly. Neither of these have real stings but they still manage to fool other creatures! The Peacock butterfly has patterns that look like eyes on its wings to fool predators like birds.