Scientists estimate that 30% of the animal biomass in the Amazon basin is made up of ants.

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Gumleaf Katydid Gumleaf Katydid feeding on a cockroach
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Bugs live just about everywhere! Some can survive searing heat, and others freezing cold, and they dominate just about every landscape on Earth.

On Land

About 97% of known insects live on land. Most species occur in the tropical and temperate regions, but they can be found anywhere from sea level to high up in the Himalayan Mountains. They live in a greater variety of habitats than any other group of animals: rainforests, deserts, woodlands, wetlands, caves, grasslands and our own backyards. Bugs have even been found in the Antarctic.

The warm and wet environments of rainforests support an abundance of bug life. Forest floors teem with still uncounted species of insects. The relative stability of these habitats, developed over millions of years, has enabled insect species to find their own specific niches in the environment.

In Freshwater

Bugs live in ponds, lakes, streams and rivers and even in small amounts of water, such as in tree holes. Some bugs spend almost their entire lives in the water, leaving only to fly from one pond to another, or to pupate.

Most aquatic bugs, like the diving beetle, have to continually return to the surface of the water to breathe. Other insects have gills and can extract oxygen from the water. The gills of stoneflies and mayflies enable them to live at the bottom of streams, where they cling to rocks and other objects using tiny claws. Some species of stoneflies can live at depths of almost 100 metres.

Many insect larvae live underwater then take to the air as adults. Dragonflies lay their eggs on waterweeds by the edge of streams. The eggs are surrounded by jelly and form sticky masses on plants for several days. After the eggs have hatched, the larvae may remain underwater from two to four years. During this time they moult up to 15 times. When they are big enough, the wingless larvae crawl up plant stems out of the water. They then split their larval skin for the last time to emerge as beautiful winged adults—but with only about six weeks left to live.

In the Sea

A few species of insects live in marine tidepools and 5 species, the ocean striders, live exclusively on the surface of the ocean. Crustaceans such as crabs, prawns and crayfish dominate the oceans, rather than insects. They swam the seas long before insects evolved.

 mayflies  Dragonflies
 Scorpions  Crabs
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Stag Beetle, link to large image Stag Beetle

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Desert Scorpion, link to large image Desert Scorpion

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Mayfly nymph , link to large image Mayfly nymph
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