Threaten Sign    


Conflicts Between Insects Adults and Larvae

Eucalypt Shield Bugs, adult and nymph  

The mission of adults - to mate and to distribute.

1. Note to be eaten,
2. To find or being found by mates
3. To lay eggs

Wings is an important organ for adults to find mate, and for distribution. Then later insects find that their wings can help their young on finding food as well.

The mission of insect larvae - to grow and become an adult.

1. to find food,
- to locate food by visual, smell or touch,
- need sensor such as eyes, antenna
- move to the food and eat it,
- need legs (wings seems too expensive for sole purpose)
- or wait for the food come in,
- build trap for prey.
- unless your are burn next to the food
2. not to be eaten,
- hide
- in protected area,
- camouflage,
- not good for eating

There is the trend of insect evolution that the parents to reduce the difficulty of larvae in finding food. 

Since most of the insect parents are winged. That will be more efficiency for the parents to find food than the larvae.

Grasshoppers, cockroaches, Mantids, Stick Insects - Parents lay eggs in protected environment, larvae have to find foods
themselves. They have eyes, legs, mouth parts same as their parents. We can notice that those insects do not use their wings as good as the other insects.

Beetles, butterflies, moths,
- Parents lay eggs on food sources. Larvae no need to find food. They have very limited functional eyes, antenna. Their moving capacity is also limited. They do not need energy to spend on those expensive organs. The do have very good month parts which fit with the food sources. The larvae do have some sort of defence mechanism. Parent use their wings to find mates, to disturbute and to look for host plants for next generation. Parent use their wings better and invest more on their wings.

Flies, Some parasite wasps
- Parents lay eggs inside food source with protected environment. Larvae no need to find food nor to protect themselves. The food are from the host. Protection are from the host as well. They have no eyes, no legs, reduce mouth parts, no protection mechanism, even no body shape and colour. All are the most simple inexpensive form - . Beside look for mate, Parents use their wings to gather foods for their young. Parent invest heavily on their wings.

Bees, ants, social wasps
- Parents and/or sisters feed and look after the larvae. The Larvae also took the most simplest and inexpensive format. Beside look for mate, Parents use their wings to gather foods for their young. Parent invest heavily on their wings.

Exceptional case - True Bugs and Dragonflies

True Bugs and Dragonflies are not fitted in this trend. Bugs invented their puck and sucking mouth part. They have their won ways of evolution. 

Bug parents and larvae sometimes completed with each others on food.

Dragonflies and other flesh water insects have their own ways of evolution too. Adults and larvae are living in two different world. They do not complete with each other and they cannot help each other. 

How an insect looks like is dictated by the environment.

Once a species evolutes a special function organ, they will diversified. 

The environment can be looked as a survival space with a number of survival niche. Living things try to explore those niche.

That also explain why some caterpillars, saw fly larvae and beetle larvae look similar. 

Conflict and co-operation between adults and larvae

In evolution, same species of insect adults and larvae try to avoid the conflict and enhance the co-operation. Since the need for adults and larva are quite different. The major conflicts are the living space and food source. If their mouth parts are different, then they can have different food source to avoid the conflict. 

Grasshoppers etc., both adults and larvae have the same food source,  to avoid the conflict by living in different period in a year.

Adults' wings and Larvae body

The Evolution of one thing leads to the others. Insects wings is so useful that it changed the life style of their larvae. The larvae's task of looking for food, bits by bits, shifted to their adults. Because they have wings, they can do it with higher efficiency. Fly, moth and butterfly lay their eggs on the larvae food source. Wasp, bees and ants find the food for their young.

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Last updated: November 04, 2006.