STATES CHRONICLE – Thousands of flying bugs migrate during this time of the year, invading the sky. A new study which was recently published in Science magazine has established that every year over three trillions of flying bugs is migrating, flying across south-central England. Jason Chapman, who is an entomologist at the University of Exeter, claimed that there is no other place in the world where insects invade the sky in such huge numbers, even if England is cold during this time of the year.
Until now, the migration of insects was ignored by scientists who were mainly interested in migrating birds, like the Arctic tern. They may also focus on the migration of mammals like the wildebeests of Serengeti. Chapman argued that it is a shame that insects were not studied until now as they were supposed to be examined by specialists.
He also noted that insects’ migration could go in two different directions. It either brings a significant amount of benefits or it may cause severe problems. If we were to look at the marmalade hoverfly, we would notice that the orange and black bug is an abundant migrant, responsible for many phenomena. This insect pollinates crops and feeds on aphids. It usually spends its winter in the Mediterranean, while during spring it comes to England.
Chapman together with his colleagues has spent approximately ten years monitoring the migration of flying bugs like the hoverfly. To develop an accurate study, scientists have used specialized equipment. One of the tools was a radar with narrow beams meant to spot the big bugs which flew overhead. Smaller insects needed to be sampled through the use of nets.
Chapman pointed out that this equipment allowed them to discover which insect can fly the highest, using air currents to travel faster. Those particular species of insects are the ones known as long-range migrants. These insects usually fly at great speeds, being able to travel hundreds of kilometers in just one flight, without needing any stops.
What is more, besides the excessive number of flying insects, scientists have found that the greatest part of these migrations occurs during the daytime. However, the northward insects’ migration which takes place in the spring tended to invalidate the southward bugs’ migration happening during fall.
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