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. Gilbert Wright 

State Museum 

of Illinois No. 8 


No. 1. Story of Illinois : Indian and Pioneer, by V. S. Eifert. 

No. 2. Mammals of Illinois Today and Yesterday, by V. S. Eifert. 

No. 3. Exploring for Mushrooms, by V. S. Eifert. 

No. 4. Flowers that Bloom in the Spring, by V. S. Eifert. 

No. 5. Invitation to Birds, by V. S. Eifert. 

No. 6. Man's Venture in Culture, by Thome Deuel. 

No. 7. The Past Speaks to You, by Ann Livesay. 

No. 8. Common Illinois Insects, by A. Gilbert Wright. 

Address all enquiries to the MUSEUM DIRECTOR, 
ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM, Spbtngfield, Illinois 




Adlai E. Stevenson, Governor 

Noble J. Puffer, Director - Thorxe Deuel, Museum Director 




And Wh>' They Are Interesting 

A. Gilbert AVright 

Photographs hy the author 
except where otherwise noted 

Springfield, Illinois 

[Printed by authority of tlie State of Illinois.] 

A WORLD AT YOUR DOORSTEP people seem to know little about insects, even about the few 
kinds that are everyday pests. The reasons for this are rather hard 
to explain, considering that these animals are so numerous and generally 
so near at hand. School instruction about them is often meager and 
nearly always the injurious kinds are stressed unduly. It is to the larger 
universities that one must go to get an elementary course in entomolog}% 
the science of insect life. Our aim is to encourage a more widespread 
and balanced interest in insects, and briefly introduce the interesting 
ways of some of the common ones. 

There are good grounds for extending one's knowledge in this direc- 
tion. These Story of Illinois book- 
lets are issued in order to promote a 
keener awareness of the environment 
in \\-hich we live. Insects make up a 
sizeable part of the living non- 
human environment. Three-fourths 
or more of all the kinds of animals on 
earth are insects. There are more 
than ten thousand kinds in Illinois 
to say nothing of the numbers of in- 
dividual insects, the species popula- 
tions. Insects also have a direct and 
indirect bearing on our lives. Some 
are fiends causing untold loss in dol- 
lars every year. Countless others are 
positive assets, making us richer 
or healthier, even enabling us to 
exist. Many kinds are probably neu- 
tral, as far as man's world is con- 
cerned. But even these are no less 
worth knowing about. Almost every 
person has a desire to know some- 
thing about natural historv and en- 
joys some direct personal contact 
Avith nature. It is here that insects 
play a rewarding role. They can be 
made to reveal something of the 
mysteries of existence, the complex 
relationships between living things, 
as well as provide delight for the eye, 
like the colorful wings of a butterfly. 
1^ ^ "N^ ilH ^'^^ expedition for insect dis- 

■h ^ ^^..-^- —-^ ^ H faJ ^^^ covery can start in your owai yard. 
PHf^B^"^^ .-— — "^ ^ bird-seeker extends the range of 

his sight with glasses made for the 

.-.,, , „ .„ . , . . purpose. A pocket magnifier of 6 

Milkweed Bug {Oncopeltus fasctatus) f J-. .'■ ,, . -, -i m ■ ^ i„„o'? 

Showy member of the Chinch-bug to 14 power IS the ideal bird-glass 

family that lives on milkweeds. (P^x) for insect students. A cheap lens 

♦l^/^x means image in picture is one and one-half times actual size. 


is much better than none at all, 
but one of the doublets or trip- 
lets is recommended. The well- 
known net is essential if one 
wants to collect for keeps. Also 
a killing jar which can be a 
pickle-bottle with tight fitting 
lid. A small wad of cotton 
should be fastened to the lid 
and soaked with cleaning fluid 
(carbon tetrachloride). Turn 
over boards, look under bark, 
visit the beds of wild and cul- 
tivated flowers. 

The close tie-in that al- 
ways exists between the plant 
and animal worlds is wonder- 
fidly displayed by insects. 
Everyone knows that animals 
depend on plants for food. 
(Platers of other animals de- 
vour plant-eaters primarily.) 
It is among the plant-eating 
insects that most intimate and 
complex relationships are 
maintained between these two great kingdoms of living organisms. This 
point will again come up when bees and pollenization are discussed. The 
frequent use of specific food plants, called hosts, is well illustrated by the 
milkweed bug, whose young, called nymphs, feed exclusively on plants of 
the milkweed family. One may find these black and orange insects on 
any of several kinds of milkweed from J une to October. 

The great consumers of green foliage are the caterpillars. Some 
caterpillars feed on practically every kind of growing plant. They are 
the young or lar\ae of moths and butterflies and are as varied as the 
adults. A large group are known as measuring worms, inch worms, or 

Measuring worm ( Species unknown ) 
Walks with loop, becomes a moth (Family 
Geometridae) . White specks are eggs of 
wasp parasite. (4x) 

Saddle - back Caterpillar 
(Sibine stimulea) is pro- 
tected bv poisonous setae. 

loopers. They are generally small and are peculiar in that they have no 
legs under their middle so that they are unable to crawl in the usual 
caterpillar manner. They move about by a series of loopings, arching the 
body high and then stretching out and moving forward. A particularly 
interesting feature is their habit of imitating twigs. They "go stiff" 
holding their fore-part outstreched and motionless. 

As already said, caterpillars and other insects are often restricted to 
one or more specific kinds of food. The young or larvae are assured this 
certain food supply by the female parent in the laying of her eggs. This 
is well shown by the Dung Beetle, or Tumble-bug and the Cicada-killer 
Wasp. In both examples the egg is buried in the ground where the grub 
will be relatively safe and unmolested during its growth and later trans- 
formation to adult. 

Tumble-bug (Canthon 
vigilans). The food 
provision for the 
Tumble-bug larva is 
a ball of cow dung, 
while for the Cicada- 
killer grub fresh meat 
has been supplied in 
the form of a living 
but paralyzed cicada, 
see below. 

Cicada-killer (Sphecius speciosus) paralyzes cicada with sting, drags it to 
underground burrow and buries it with an. egg. (2x) 

If the life habits of insects are diverse, no less so are their body 
structures. The Saddle-back is a beautiful little caterpillar with green 
^'saddle-cloth'" and purplish brown '^saddle". In contrast to the color 
camouflaged looper, it is a dazzling eye-catcher, whose many spike-like 
poisonous hairs are its armor. 

Mole Cricket (Gryllo- 
talpa hexadactyla) Fore 
legs. mole-like. are 
used in burrowing un- 
der ground. (4x) 

It is at once apparent that the Mole Cricket (first cousin of true 
crickets) is excellently equipped for a life in the soil. The shortened 
front legs are remarkably adapted for digging, the head streamlined, eyes 
small, and the 2nd and 3rd pairs of legs are fitted for pushing the body 
fonvard in underground tunnels. 

The mouth parts of insects are worth noting for it is in the feeding 
equipment that insects show their greatest variations. Probably no 
structures in the entire animal kingdom better show "adaptive radiation'", 
the specialized development in different directions of originally similar 

Feeding apparatus of Grasshopper differs greatly from that of Honey Bee. Among 
insects the mouth structure shows greatest diversity and is always related to food 
habits. Note hairs on eyes and face of bee that are of use in collecting pollen. (8x) 

Silverfish {Thermobia domestica) This wingless household pest is one of the 
most primitive members of Class Insecta. (6x) 


People may be so bewildered by the diversity and number of insects 
that they are discouraged from trying to learn anything about them. It 
would be confusing indeed if the systematic zoologists had not done a 
great deal to put the animal house in order. As it now stands, almost 
any particular insect can be easily "pigeon-holed'' into one of the larger 
insect divisions or groupings, such as Family or Order. Surprising 
progress can be made in getting to know insects by learning about these 
groups to which they belong. 

A Latin name may seem useless but it always tells the specific kind 
of insect and it also tells the next larger group to which that insect be- 
longs, called the Genus. The genus name always comes first, then the 
name for the species. The still larger groupings into which insects are 
classified, such as Family and Order, are not revealed by the scientific 

Before looking further at the kinds of insects it should be noted how 
insects may be distinguished from the hosts of other little creatures that 
hop and crawl. The key to this is the distinctive body divisions of an 
insect, the head, thorax or midsection, and the abdomen. No other ani- 
mals have such a clean-cut separation of the body regions. On most 
adult insect heads there are two large shiny many-faceted eyes, a pair of 
antennae or feelers, and three simple eyes, called ocelli. The thorax 
usually carries two pairs of wings and six legs. The abdomen has 
simple ring-like joints that end in the mating or egg-laying devices. 

Insects are the most numerous of the invertebrates, the animals 
without a backbone. Insects belong to a branch of animals (Phylum) 
called Arthropods. This phylum contains, along with insects, the cray- 
fishes, crabs, scorpions, spiders and thousand legged worms. These are 
placed in separate Classes of which the largest is Class Insecta. 

All the orders and families of insects have evolved from one an- 
other in many directions. Those living in the world today have descended 
from a line of ancestors that extends backward in time over 300 million 
years. In Coal - Age deposits of Illinois and in other rock formations 
"elsewhere many ancestral forms of present day insects have been dis- 
covered as fossils. With the help of such petrified remains and through 
a close study of living insects it has been possible for scientists to 
determine the general trend of insect evolution. The living varieties 
may be grouped together in such a way as to demonstrate something 
of the various steps througJi which the main line of progress in de- 
velopment has been made. The most primitive insects are small and 
wingless and have no transformations from larva to adult (metamor- 
phosis) as described in a later section. A common example of this insect 
type is the Silverfish or Firebrat (called Silver fish because of the shiny 
fish-like scales, Firebrat because of its frequenting of fire places.) Their 

Nest of Mount-builder Ant. {Formica exsectoidcs) The highest level of care for 
young and most complex social behavior among invertebrates is attained by ants, 

bees and wasps. Order Hymenoptera. 


living habits are simple with no complicated relationships with plants^ 
no provisions for care of young by the parent. At the other end of the 
line of insect evolution one finds the social bees and wasps with their 
remarkable complexity of structure and living habits. The Mound build- 
er Ant that may be found in rural areas in Illinois is an especially inter- 
esting social insect. Its huge nests are sometimes grouped in colonies 
of ten or fifteen hills (actual insect villages) numbering many millions 
of individual ants that maintain their homes for the life time of a man or 

There are some 25 or 30 Orders in the insect Class. It will suffice 
here to indicate only those that include the more common varieties. 

Butterflies and Moths, and the butterfly-like Skippers, make up the 
large group known as the Order Lepidoptera. The word means scaly 
wings. Whoever has handled them has had the dust from their wings 
on his fingers. This powder consists of countless tiny shingle-like scales 
that when magnified show patterns of ridges and fluted edges. Young 
Lepidoptera are caterpillars, many of which are highly injurious to crops. 
A destructive household pest is the caterpillar of the clothes moth. Adult 
members of the order have sucking mouthparts, consisting of tubular 
'•tongue" or proboscis for sucking nectar. The larvae (caterpillars) have 
chewing mouthparts. 

Grasshoppers, crickets, roaches, and their relatives constitute the 
Order Orthoptera (word means straight-wings). These all have biting 
mouthparts, and are primarily eaters of green leaves or grass. In con- 
trast to the Lepidoptera, the young of this order look like the adults; 
maturity is reached through gradual growth and periodical shedding of 
the skin. Giant roach-like ancestors of modern species lived in Illinois 
Coal Age forests. AValking Sticks are the largest members of this Order. 
Cicadas, plant lice, leaf hoppers and tree hoppers are members of the 
Order Homoptera. All of these insects live on plants, sucking the sap 
through beaks which are always placed low on the underside of the head. 
They are sometimes confused with the Order Hemiptera (true bugs) that 
includes the stink bugs, squash bugs, bedbugs, wheel-bugs and water 
scorpions. These all have beaks and sucking mouthparts but the beak 
protrudes more conspicuously from the front of the head than in the 
order Homoptera. 

The largest of all the insect orders is the Coleoptera, the beetles. 
More than a third of all insects are beetles, and it has been estimated that 
one fourth of all the kinds of living animals are members of this one 
order. Beetles are easily recognized because of their tough shiny backs, the 
elytra or wing covers, actually the thickened front pairs of wings. The 
hind wings are delicate and membranous like the wings of a wasp. Beetles 
have biting or chewing mouth parts. Young beetles are called grubs and 
differ as much from adults in appearance as do caterpillars. 

Bees, wasps and ants, and their less well known relatives, the gall 
and parasitic wasps, form the order Hymenoptera, the insects with mem- 
brane-like wings. This order contains the most advanced of the inver- 
tebrates when it comes to intelligence and complex behavior. Only one 
other order, the Termites, Order Isoptera. can compare with this group 
in social organization. 


Except in primitive forms, like Silverfish, a series of changes occur 
which alter the appearance and habits of insects during their lifetime. 
This process of reaching maturity through distinct or separate stages is 
called metamorphosis and is illustrated here by four examples. Immature 
insects sometimes show a specialized fitness for a way of life that is quite 
different from parents or ancestors. Special adaptations of this kind in 
larvae illustrate sidewise evolution or caenogenesis. 

1. The Cicada. In cicadas, grasshoppers and several other orders the 
changes taking place before maturity is reached are gradual. The young 
that emerges from the egg shows resemblance to the adult except the 
wings are missing. Young cicadas differ more from adults than do grass- 
hoppers because cicada nymphs show more "sideways evolution". The 
young live in a much different environment than do the adults and have 
become especially adapted to it. (Young and adult grasshoppers eat the 
same food and may be found together in the same fields and pastures.) 

The fore legs of the cicada nymph, as may be seen on page 10 are 
enormously enlarged, resembling somewhat those of the mole cricket, and 
are similarly fitted for digging earth during the long period that is spent 
underground before maturity is reached. During the growth of the cicada 
nymph the skin is shed from time to time. Short wing pads appear and 
these enlarge before the final transformation to the adult, when full sized 
clear wings appear and the underground dweller becomes a flying insect. 

When the cicada nymphs emerge from the soil, after a short pause 
at or near the surface (resting stage) they proceed at night to move fur- 
ther in an upward direction. They scramble up the nearest tree or weed 
stem, the shell splits open along the back and the winged adult emerges. 
Within a very few days mating has taken place, the eggs are laid on 
branches of fruit or woodland trees, the grubs hatch and drop to the 
ground, begin to dig into the soil and a new life cycle has begun. How 
long cicada nymphs stay in the soil has been learned only with difficulty. 
It would seem that the common cicada nymph is undergi'ound for four 
years before it becomes adult. For most cicada species the time is still 

The most famous member of the Cicada Family is no doubt the 
Periodical Cicada, incorrectly called the seventeen year locust. The dra- 
matic and noisy appearance of swarms of this species after long intervals 
has aroused the curiosity and wonder of mankind as long as there have 
been men on this continent. The reddish brown insect is slightly smaller 
than the common green and black harvest fly. Its life-story is similar 
but lasts much longer — 17 years in northern states, 13 years in the south- 
ern part of the country. Xot all the country's periodical cicadas appear 
the same year but some appear every year since there are at least twenty 
different broods and each brood has its 0"\vn schedule for maturing. In 
Illinois both the 17 year and the 13 year races occur and the broods may 
overlap so that swarms may emerge in two or three successive years, in 
some localities. 

Damage is sometimes done to fruit trees because of the way the fe- 
male lays her eggs. Slit-like cuts are made on twigs by the knife-like 


Nymph of common cicada (Tibiccn linnei) These immature insects live under- 
ground, suck juices from roots of forest and fruit trees. (4x) 

egg-laying apparatus (ovipositor) and into each cut fourteen to twenty 
eggs are deposited. A single twig may have four or five to fifteen or 
twenty egg-nests; these are sometimes broken off by the wind so that a 

Common Cicada or Harvestfly (Tibicen linnei) Males only produce the familiar 

song heard in mid-summer. (2x) 


Periodical Cicada { Magicicada septendecim) . Both 
the 13 year and the 17 year varieties of this insect 
are found in Illinois. It was formerly contended 
by superstitious folk that the infrequent appear- 
ance of swarms of these insects portended war. 
a belief confirmed by the reddish "W" on the 
wings! (life size) 

Skin shed when nymph of com- 
mon cicada emerged from soil 
after period of 4 years (time var- 
ies with different species). (2x) 

heavily infested tree will l)e made to look unsightly. Damage to trees by 
nymphs is considered of no importance. 

2. The Monarch or Milkweed Butterfly. All butterflies and moths 
(Order Lepidoptera ) go through a transformation known as com])lete 
metamorphosis. There is no resemblance, whatsoever, between the young, 
called a larva, and the adult, known as an imago. The larva might be 
considered a sort of food getting machine whose activity permits devel op- 

Two or three week old Monarch larva pre- 
paring to form chrysalis. (IJ^x) 

"Little green house with nails 

of gold" holds pupa for about 

12 days. (Ij^x) 




ment of the egg producing and distributing adult. Between these two dif- 
ferent active life-stages there is a quiet or pupal stage when there is a gen- 
eral breaking down and reorganization of living tissues. In this, the 
pupal stage, there are wing pads present but there are no signs of wings 
in the larva. This type of transformation is also typical of beetles, of 
wasps and their kind, flies, as well as the Order Neuroptera which con- 
tains the ant lion and the highly speciaized Siphonaptera (fleas). 

Orange-brown monarchs are handsome summer insects that occur 
from Southern Canada soutliward to South America. In Illinois these 
butterflies arrive from the south in May, produce three or occasionally 
four generations during the following five months and in the fall migrate 
to the Gulf States. Occasionally scattered individuals will hibernate 
here as adults. The flocks that gather in autumn before migrating swarm 
in great numbers on the twigs and branches of trees and bushes. The 
southern flight has been observed at tree top level in Springfield, in Octo- 
ber. In the South the adults may remain active in the warmer sections, 
although winter hibernation is usual. Oddly enough the spring return 
to the north is never in flocks or aggregations but is an individual mean- 
dering activity. 

The monarch appears about the time the milkweed first emerges 
from the ground; females lay their eggs on the tiny plants of any one 
of several kinds of milkweed, placing a few eggs only on a single isolated 
plant. Upon emerging from the egg the black banded greenish-yellow 
caterpillar with two pairs of fleshy "horns" or filaments (feelers) pro- 
ceed at once to consume leaves of its food plant. It grows rapidly and 
as it grows it molts periodically. In a week or two it has attained a 
length of about two inches and is ready for the chrysalis or pupal stage. 
The change from caterpillar to chrysalis is made in half an hour. 

A twig, fence rail, or other support, is sought by the nervous appear- 
ing larva that seems to know its time is getting short. The rear tip is 
fastened by an attachment web spun of silk so as to permit the body to 
swing downward. The banded skin is then moulted while the whitish 
grub-like pupa jerks and twirls and sways in the wind. A greenish liquid 
flows over the entire body. In an hour or two the jewel-like chrysalis 
has hardened. 

It has been noticed that only the newly emerged adults feed on the 
nectar of flowers. When feeding the wings are tightly closed over the 
back, although males will suddenly open their wings and close them 
again. After three or four days monarch butterflies cease feeding and 
begin to wander about, mating and laying their eggs. 

3. The Cecropia Moth. Moths and butterflies belong to the same Order, 
Lepidoptera; they are similar in appearance and their life histories, in 
general, are much alike. But there are important differences between 
them. Moths are thicker bodied, their antennae are feathery, and most of 
them fly about at night. Butterflies have slender bodies, have knobbed 
antennae and fly in the daytime. The Chrysalis of the Monarch is 
typical of butterflies while with the moth the pupa or resting stage is 
generally spent in a silk lined cocoon. Many moth larvae burrow into the 
gi'ound and make their pupal cell in the earth. 


Adult Monarch (Dan- 
aus plexippus) overwin- 
ters in far South, grad- 
ually returns to Illinois 
in early summer. ( ^ x) 

Swarm of Monarchs ready to migrate to Southern States. 

taken in Chicago. 

Chicago Tribune photo, 


Cecropia caterpillar, feeds on maple. 
Monarch Caterpillar on leaf of food plant apple, elm and 5 other trees and 
(Milkweed). (3x) shrubs. (Ux) 

A. Cecropia cocoon is a tough, water-proof, two layered case of silk 
bound tightly to a twig and made inconspicuous by leaf fragments stuck 
on the outside. In this capsule the helpless pupa spends the winter, 
emerging in May or June as an adult. 

Cecropia cocoon opened 
to show pupa a few 
weeks before emergence, 
(life size.) The silk is 
produced from glands 
under the skin that 
open on the upper lip. 
It is distributed all 
around the caterpillar 
and then inside the 
cocoon by zig-zag mo- 
tions of the head. 


Male Cccropia Moth (Samia cecropia) dries its newly expanded wings before first 

flight. (Life size) 

Of all kinds of moth cocoons the most elaborately constructed are 
those of the Giant Silkworms, Family Saturniidae. The largest member 
of this Family in Illinois (or in the TJ. S.) is the Cecropia Moth, shown 
here with the cocoon from which it had emerged a few minutes before the 
photograph was taken. 

Moths of the giant silkworm family have degenerate mouth parts 
that are of no actual use. Adults never eat during the week or 10 
days of their existence since they are concerned only Avdth mating and 
the production of eggs. The sex attraction and nuptial flights of the 
males in this group are especially noteworthy. The feather-like feelers 
are much enlarged in the males and function as organs of smell. With 
these sensitive organs the presence of a cecropia female moth as much as 
three miles away may be detected when the wind is favorable. The mat- 
ing flights of this species occur just before da^vn when a single female 
mav attract several dozen or even a hundred males. Experiments were 
conducted near St. Louis by Phil and Xellie Rau in an effort to determine 
the sensitivity of this and other Saturniid species. Male Cecropias reach- 
ed the female Avith one half of each antenna off, or with one entirely 
removed, but none arrived when both feelers were missing. 


Ant lion larva (Myrmelion) enlarged to show flat sand-shovel head and 
powerful jaws. (lOx) The bite is poisonous and liquifies the muscles and 
internal parts of the prey so that they can be siphoned out through grooves 
on the underside of the mandibles. 

4. The Ant Lion. The food-getting manner of this animal is nnique 
and provides another interesting example of '"sideways evolution" in the 
larva, as mentioned in discussing the nymph of the cicada. Crater con- 
struction and capture of prey by ant lions may sometimes be observed 
in the daytime, although the insects are usually more active at night. 

Two-inch crater in dry 
sand made by ant lion for 
trapping insects. (Actual 
size.) At the apex or 
bottom of the completed 
cone the larva buries it- 
self, all but the bead and 
pincer-like jaws which lie 
exposed and ready for 
seizing a meal. The meal 
is an ant or other insect 
or small spider that 
chances to come sliding 
down the loose walls of 
the crater. 


The inconspicuous eggs (not il- 
lustrated) are laid by the adult in 
or on the ground. In about two 
weeks they hatch into little woolly 
larvae that are particularly suited 
to living in loose dry soil or sand. 
Soon after emerging from the egg 
the pit-making larvae (not all ant 
lions dig pits) begin construction of 
their pit-falls. The entire body acts 
as a sort of plow as the lai'va crawls 
backwards, its usual mode of mov- 
ing about. The pointed abdomen 
turns a broad furrow while frequent 
jerks of the flat head flip sand 
grains from the depression. Follow- 
ing a circular or spiral path the ant 
lion's pit-fall is completed in a mat- 
ter of minutes when the animal is 
hungry. If objects too large to be 
flipped by the head are encountered 
they are tunneled under, loaded on 
the back and heaved from the edge 
of the pit. Escape from this trap by 
the victim is made more difficult by 
a hail of sand tossed up by the jerk- 
ing head of the 'lion". Once the 
spiked jaws are able to grasp the 
prey, the meal is assured. 

Cocoons of s3nd and silk 
hold pupa before transforma- 
tion to adult. (Actual size) 

Ant lion adult (Myrmelion) . A grace- 
ful insect with lacy wings. (Life size) 


A serious pest to crop 

plants, the White Grub 

is larva of June Beetle 

(species unknown) 


White grubs eat the 

roots of corn and other 

cultivated crops. The 

8 pores (spiracles) 

open into the air tubes 



Insects as the great menace to mankind have been given such pub- 
licity in recent decades that now nearly everyone thinks of these animals 
primarily as man's enemies. Of course it would be wrong to ignore the 
crop damage by insects in this gi-eat agricultural area of central United 
States. The harm done by insects to human possessions, like clothing, 
buildings, stored items of all sorts, and their impairment of health 
through the spread of disease is also a serious matter. However, in fig- 
uring up the losses inflicted by the various injurious kinds it should 
never be forgotten that other kinds of insects are highly important for 
man's very existence. If it is true that under certain conditions as much 
as 20 per"^cent of a eroj) is lost to ehinch-bugs or grasshoppers, etc., it is 
also true that without certain other insects there would have been no crop 
whatsoever. An entomologist once proposed that damage done by harm- 
ful insects should be counted as a commission for the vastly greater 
amount of service rendered by the beneficial varieties. 

Often the trouble with insects begins with man himself. Some of the 
most destructive insect pests were imported from foreign countries with- 
out bringing their natural insect enemies along with them — enemies that 
would have kept a limit to their increase. Poor control of insects is 
frequently due to ignorance of the life habits of the trouble-maker. It 
is now apparent that to be effective the measures taken for control of 
harmful insects must be based on an understanding of their life histories, 
phvsiologv and anatomy. 

The carpet beetle is considered the worst pest of fabrics and stored 
clothing. Only the grubs do damage and these may require as much as 
three years to complete their giowth. 


Hairy grub of Carpet Beetle ( Anthre- 
nus scrophulariae) cats woolen fabrics. 
This European insect first became a 
pest in U. S. in 1874. Pin-head sized 
adult beetle feeds on the pollen of 
flowers. (3 Ox; 

Archenemv of mankind among insects, 
grasshoppers have caused serious crop 
damage from ancient to modern times. 
Differential ■'hopper" i Melanopus difter- 
?ntialis) . is one of largest harmful species 
in State. ( Life size i 

Cockroaches are probably the most unpopular of all insect pests since 
they contaminate food and produce an unpleasant odor. The natural 
home of all roaches is in or near the tropics. The five or si.x common 
species vrould probably not be pests if their northward range had not been 
extended bv heated houses and other buildings. 

Oriental Cockroach 
I Blatta orientalis) 
originallv came 
from Asia. now 
abundant in every 
country. Egg cap- 
sule ( ootheca i pro- 
trudes from the ab- 
domen. I Life size.) 


Wheel-bug (Arilus cristatus) Sucks juices from caterpillars and other insects 

with its poisonous beak. (2x) 


While mankind is engaged in waging continual war with certain 
insect pests other insect species serve him ably as allies. In fact, the 
insect friends of man do more than he could ever do himself in keeping 
the harmful kinds under control. The insect destroyers of insects are 
either predators or parasites. Predators, like the Mantis and the 
Wheel Bug, catch and devour their prey. The Wheel bug stalks its vic- 
tims, while the Mantids will chase and seize grasshoppers and other 
insects in mid-air. 

Praying Mantis (Stagomantis Carolina) feeds entirely on other insects, 
is harmless to man, and should not be killed. (Slightly over life size) 


Saddle-back {Sibine stimulea) destroyed 
by parasites. Millions of destructive 
caterpillars are victims of parasitic wasps 
whose larvae grow inside body and 
emerge to spin cocoons. (3x) 

Parasites differ from the preda- 
tors in that they enter the body of 
the victim, called the host, feeding 
on blood or tissues until full grown. 
By this time the host is dead or 
nearly so, and the parasite trans- 
forms to adult which mates and lays 
its Qgg on another victim. The long 
"sting" ou the body of the Long- 
tailed Megarhyssa is actually an egg 
laying organ (ovipositor) used in 
inserting the eggs in the burrows of 
a pestiferous insect, the elm and 
maple borer (pigeon tremex). After 
hatching from the egg the parasitic 
larva crawls along the burrow until 
it finds the wood-boring larva, its 

Long-tailed Megarhyssa {Megarhyssa 

lunator) . Belongs to large family of 

wasps that kill insect enemies of man. 

(life size) 

A great number of caterpillars 
of moths, including pests like the 
army worm, the white-marked Tus- 
sock moth, and the tent caterpillar 
are destroyed by the parasitic larvae 
of smaller wasps belonging to the 

family Ichneumonidae. There are still other wasp families, the Chalcidae 
and the Braconidae whose members parasitize caterpillars and other in- 
sects. The cocoons (not eggs) shown on the Saddle-back caterpillar are 
typical of silken Braconid cocoons so commonly seen on tomato worms. 

It is a fact worth noting that the number of young parasites may 
be much greater than the number of eggs actually laid, since many em- 
Ibryos are developed from a single egg (polyemhryony) . 


Brood comb from hive of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) 

In Illinois the honey produced every year by our one domesticated 
insect (Apis mellifera) is valued at over a million dollars. In addition 
a quarter million pounds of beeswax worth a hundred thousand dollars 
are also manufactured l)y these insects. Important as is this honey and 
wax for our use and welfare, their value is small when compared to 
the importance of honey bees, and countless other insects, in the cross 
pollinizing of plants. About 85 percent of all flowering plants, including 
most agricultural crops, require insect pollination for their existence. 
Without insects as pollinators there would be no crops, no gardens, vege- 
tables or flowers, no fruits, no shrubs, no tobacco, and little of the plant 
growth that enriches our landscape. 

Pollen basket (corbicula) on hind 
leg of Honey Bee into which pollen 
is packed for transporting to hive, 
where it is fed to young as bee-bread. 




Flowering plants and pollen collecting insects like Bum- 
blebee (Bombus) are closely dependent on each other for 
their existence, (life size) 

So close has been the interrelations between insects and flowering 
plants that evidence of mutual dependence may be seen in the structure 
of both organisms. The showy blossoms and sweet fragrance of plants 
is for the attraction of insects and not for the delight of human senses. 
Nectar seeking insects cannot obtain nectar without picking up pollen 
grains as well, which are then carried on to the next flower, assuring the 
plant's reproduction. Bees show the most extensive specialized structures 
in relation to flowers. The mouth, as already shown, is lengthened for 
sucking up nectar. The body is clothed with countless hairs, even the 
eyes, so that the whole animal is literally a device for brushing up pol- 
len. Bee larvae feed on bee-bread made from pollen and honey and a 
device for the transporting of quantities of pollen may be found on the 
hind legs of workers. Into this pollen basket (corbicula) is packed the 
grains that are combed from the body by combs and scrapers on the feet. 

More might be said about insects as human benefactors. Many 
insects live in the soil in tremendous numbers (65 millions per acre). 
The majority of these contribute to the enrichment of the soil through 
their exertions, interchange of soil particles, burrows allowing better 
drainage, and their dead bodies. As scavengers insects perform a useful 
service, removing as they do the quantities of dead and decaying animal 
and plant remains. They are an exceedingly important link in the food 
chain that maintains a balance in nature. They form far more than 
half the food supply for birds, fresh-water fishes, reptiles, amphibians 
and small mammals. 







ri,-'"Kr#rriw-iV'^%«»««;;.;r;'*-*»Si(-«j>;--'.,;^ V - '^^=*?*,< 

.3T ;^ . ^ ^ :\< jT :;_,rf 



Photo by Charles Hodge 

Family: Papilionidae 
Expanse: 2i/^ to 3 inches 

1. Zebra Swallowtail {Papilio marceJlus) 

The light bands crossing the wings are greenish white. The cater- 
pillar feeds on leaves of the pawpaw. The early spring form appears 
in late March or early April. A slightly larger late spring form 
appears the middle of April ^hile the still larger simimer form 
appears early in June. Insects with variations in markings in dif- 
ferent seasons or sexes are referred to as being polymorphic. 

Family: Nymphalidae 
Expanses: IVi to 1% in. 

2. Pearl Crescent {Phyciodes tharos) 

Orange and black markings on upper side. On the under side the 
forewing has a network of brown lines. The caterpillar feeds on 
wild asters, hibernates in the fall and resumes feeding in the spring 
until about the middle of May when it pupates. First brood of 
adults appears in late May. A second brood appears in July. 

Family: Papilionidae 
Expanses: 2% to 3^/4 in. 

3. Black Swallowtail (Papilio ajax) 

Wings are velvety black with yellow spots. Sometimes called par- 
snip butterfly since caterpillars feed on wild parsnip, carrots etc. 
Overwinters in chrysalis stage. Flight is rapid but irregular and 
generally near the ground. Two or three broods appear during the 

Family: Pieridae 
Expanse: 2i/^ in. 

4. Southern Dogface (Zerene caesonia) 

Wings are lemon-yellow bordered with black. Abundant in south- 
ern part of State, as it occurs commonly in Southeastern and South- 
western TJ. S. 

Family: Papilionidae 
Expanse: 3 to 5 inches 

5. Tiger Swallowtail {Papilio glaucus) 

Chiefly yellow with black stripes and borders with yellow spots. 
Females are dimorphic, (they appear in two distinct patterns of 
color) one of which is similar to the yellow male, the other almost 
entirely black. Larva feeds on poplar, ash, cherry and other trees. 

Family: Nymphalidae 
Expanse: 2 to 2^4, inches 

6. lied Admiral {Vanessa atalanta) 

Wings are brownish-black with a bright orange band across each 
front wing. Underside has a network of fine white lines on a gray 
background, with several eye spots on hind wings. Found all over 
North America, Europe, Xorthem Asia and Africa. 

(Continued on page 30) 





Photo by Charles Hodge 

Family: Citheroniidae 
Expanse: 4 to 5V^ inches 

1. The Imperial Moth {Eades impcrlalis) 

Sulphur yellow, banded and speckled with ])ur])lish-brown. Larvae 
are 3 inches long when full grown and feed on a great variety of 
forest trees. They go into the ground to jiupate and do not make 

Family: Sphingidae 
Expanse: 11/2 to 1% inches 

2. Bumblebee Hawkmoth or Clearwing {Hnemorrhagia diffinis) 
Belongs to a group of hawkmotlis in which the middle portion of 
the wings are" transparent. The body is yellowish, banded with 
black. The larva feeds on the bush honeysuckle and the snow-berry. 

Family: Saturniidae 
Expanse: 4 to 5 inches 

3. Polyphemus Moth (TeJea poh/phemus) 

A brownish or yellowish moth with trnnsparent spots on wing. The 
larva feeds on oak, butternut, elm, maple, apple and other trees. It 
is a light green color with a vertical yellow or white line on each 
segment of the abdomen. The cocoon is usually enclosed in a leaf. 

Family: Citheroniidae 
Expanse: 2 to 2l^ inches 

4. Honey-locust Moth (Adelocepliala bicolor) 

Upper side of fore-wings and under side of hind wings are yellowish 
brown with black. The under side of the fore wings and upper side 
of hind wings are pink. Larva feeds on honey-locust and Kentucky 

Family: Saturniidae 
Expanse: 3% to 4^4: inches 

5. Luna Moth {Tropaea hma) 

Wings are light green in color, marked by brownish ringed trans- 
parent spots. Generally found only in woodland areas. Larva feeds 
on liickory, walnut and other forest trees. 

Family: Arctiidae 
Expanse: 2 inches 

6. Acrea Moth (Estigmene acraea) 

The caterpillars of this moth, called woolly-bears, are hairy yellowish- 
brown insect pests that feed on garden and crop plants. The adults 
are dimorphic, males have hind wings yellow above and below while 
both wings are white in female. Abdomen of both sexes are yellow, 
marked with black spots. 

Family: Saturniidae 
Expanse: 21/2 to 3 inches 

7. lo Moth (Automeris io) 

Ground color of adult is purplish yello^^^ Tlie eye spots on the 
hind wings are blue and black. 

(Continued on page 31) 





Illustrations show beetles life size. 

Family: Silphidae 

1. The Carrion Beetle (Silplia americana) 

As scavengers these and other carrion eaters are of genuine service 
although their mode of existence may seem repulsive. 

Family: Silphidae 

2. The Burying Beetle {Necrophorus 

These insects bury carrion, such as small dead mammals and birds, 
by digging away the soil from below. The eggs are then laid by the 
female near the hidden food supply which will be consumed by the 
grub when it hatches. 

Family: Scarabaeidae 

3. May-Beetle or June-bug (Lachnosterna fugosa) 

These are the beetles that come buzzing around porch or street 
lights at night. The adults may do damage to trees hy consuming 
the leaves while the larvae are often pests to crop plants and gar- 
den vegetables. 

Family: Ceram.bycidae 
-1. The Straight-bodied Prionid (Orthosoma brunneum) 

Larvae of members of this family are wood borers that often do great 
damage to trees. Prionid larva infests pine. 

Family: Scarabaeidae 

5. The Spotted Pelidnota {Pelidnota punctata) 

These beetles commonly live on grape vines. The larva li\es among 
decaying roots and stumps of various trees. 

Family: Dytiscidae 

6. Diving Beetle {Dytiscus fasciventris) 

Diving Beetles attack and devour other aquatic insects as well as 
snails, salamanders, tadpoles and small fishes. They breathe at the 
surface and carry air down with them under the wing covers near 
the breathing pores (spiracles). 

Family: Carabidae 

7. The Searcher (Calosoma scrutator) 

This bright green ground-beetle belongs to a genus known as cater- 
pillar hunters and is considered especially l>eneficial because of its 
destruction of hairy tent caterpillars. 

Family: Elateridae 

8. Eyed Elater or Click Beetle {Almis oculatus) 

Largest click beetle in Illinois. So called because when placed on 
its back it will flip into the air with a clicking sound. The click 
is caused by a projection on underside of the thorax that snaps into 
a socket. Larvae of click beetles are called wire-worms. There are 
many kinds. Some are beneficial as scavengers (consuming dead 
trees) while others are destructive to crops, particularly corn, small 
grains, potatoes and other vegetables. 

(Continued on page 30) 


Family: Scarabaeidae 
9. Hermit Flower Beetle {Osmoderma eremicola) 

Deep mahogany brown and highly polished. Larva feed on decay- 
ing wood while adults feed on pollen. This is one of our largest 


Family: Passalidae 

10. Horned Passalus [Passalus cornutus) 

Adults and lavae are found in rotten logs. Both make a faint rasp- 
ing sound and it is believed that parents and offspring communicate 
with one another, and are social beetles. Adults prechew the wood 
for the larvae. 

Family: Lucanidae 

11. Stag Beetle {Pscudolucanus capreohis) 

Mandibles of male are sometimes branched like antlers. Males also 
fight stag-like for females. Often attracted by light but usually live 
in woodland areas. Larvae resemble white grubs of June-Beetles, 
and are found in trunks and roots of old decaying trees. 

Family: Scarabaeidae 

12. Tumble-bug or Dung Beetle (Pinotus oaroUnus) 

One of the largest of our scarab beetles. Its earth boring habits are 
similar to Canthon laevis mentioned on page three. 

(BUTTERFLIES — Continued from page 25) 

Family: Pieridae 
- Expanse: 1% to 2 inches 

7. & 8. Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme) 

This bright insect sometimes swarms by the thousands in open fields. 
Alfalfa is a preferred food plant. The male (7) is readily distinguish- 
ed from female (8) by the solid black wing borders which in female 
are spotted. There are several color phases including an albino or 
white phase of the female which is very common. 

Family: Nymphalidae 
Expanse: 3 to 4 inches 

9. Great Spangled Fritillary {Argynnis cyhele) 

The underside, with the conspicuous silver spots, is illustrated. Above 

it is cinnamon-brown with darker areas at the wing bases and 

marked with black. The larvae feed on violets. 

Family: Nymphalidae 
Expanse: 214 inches 

10. The Question Mark {Polygonia interrogationis) 

Sometimes called the Violet-tipped Anglewing. Upper side is 
bright orange with dark cinnamon brown on outer part of wings and 
spotted with black on inner areas. Underside is brown, with a sil- 
ver crescent-shaped spot and a round dot that resembles a question 
mark. Adults hibernate and appear at first sign of spring. First 
generation appears in July while the second overwintering genera- 
tion comes out late in August. 


Family: Nymphalidae 
Expanse: 2% to 3 inches 
11. The Viceroy {Basilarchia archipptts) 

Ground color is bright brownish red, with prominent black veins. 
Differs noticeably from its close relatives, most of which are dark, 
and shows striking resemblance to the Monarch, which it is said to 
mimic. Even its method of flight is more like that of Monarch than 
other members of genus to which it belongs. Larva feeds on willow^ 
poplar, aspen and cottonwood. 

(MOTHS — Continued from page 27) 

Family: Sphingidae 
Expanse: 4 to 5 inches 

8. Tomato Sphynx (Protoparce quinquemacidata) 

The larva of this moth is the tomato worm, which feeds on leaves 

of the tobacco and potato as well as the tomato. It is greenish with 

a series of stripes running length-wise on each side. The pupa 

buried in the soil is naked and has a tongue case resembling the 

handle of a pitcher. The moth is of various shades of gray marked 

with black. Spots on the sides of the abdomen are yellow, bordered 

with black. 

Family: Noctuidae 
Expanse: 3 to 3^2 inches 

9. The Poplar Underwing (Catocola amatrix) 

The Underwing moths are striking in appearance when the wings 
are fully expanded but otherwise inconspicuous, since the fore-wings 
are dull gray marked with zigzag lines. They are seldom seen ex- 
cept by collectors, since they fly only at night. At rest on a tree 
trunk the moths are practically invisible. The larvae feed on leaves 
of forest trees. 


A great many books have been written about insects and it would be 
impossible to"^ give anything like a summary of all those most useful. 
A number of well illustrated accounts, available in most public or school 
libraries, are here listed. 

For young hoys and girls. 

The Boy's Book of Insects, by E. W. Teale, published by Blakiston 

Company, Philadelphia, Pa., 1943. 
Insect Life, by E. W. Teale, published by the Boy Scouts of America, 

New York, 1944. 
The Insect Parade, by Bertha M. Parker, published by Eow Peterson 

and Co., Evanston, Illinois. (Also other insect booklets by the same 

author and publisher). 
Insect Adventures, by J. H. Fabre, published by Dodd, Mead and Co.,. 

New York, 1929 ; also other insect books by same author, 
4-H Club Insect Manual, by M. P. Jones, published by the U. S. Dept. 

of Agriculture, Misc. Publication no. 318, 1943. 


Good reading about insects in general for older hoys and girls and 

Insects in Your Life, by C. H. Curran, published by Sheridan House, 

New York, 1951. 
A Lot of Insects, Entomology in a Suburban Garden, by F. E. Lutz, 

published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1941. 

New Horizons, by E. W. Teale, published by Dodd, Mead and Company, 
New York, 1942. 

Insects, Their Ways and Means of Living, by E. E. Snodgrass, pub- 
lished by Smithsonian Institution Series, New York. 

Eees, their Vision, Chemical Senses, and Language, by Karl von Frisch, 
Cornell University Press, 1950. 

The Ways of a Mud Dauber, by George D. Shafer, Stanford University 
Press, Stanford, California, 1949. 

JBooTcs that will aid in oollecting and naming insects. 

How to Know the Insects, by H. E. Jaques, published by Wm. C. Brown 
Company, Dubuque, Iowa, 1947, 

How to Know the Immature Insects, by H. F. Chu, published by Wm. 
C. Brown Company, Dubuque, Iowa, 1949. 

The Insect Guide, by Ealph B. Swain, published by Doubleday & Co., 
Inc., Garden City, New York, 1948. 

Fieldbook of Insects, by F. E. Lutz, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, 
New York, 1935. 

The Butterfly Book, The Moth Book, by W. J. Holland, published by 
Doubleday, New York, 1914 (plates in the 1914 editions are supe- 
rior to those in later editions.) 

How to Know the Butterflies, by J. H. and A. B. Comstock, published 
by Comstock Publishing Co., Ithaca, New York, 1936. 

Butterflies, by R. W. Macy and H. H. Shepard, published by The Uni- 
versity of Minnesota Press, 1941. 

How to Collect and Preserve Insects, by H. H. Eoss, published by the 
Illinois Natural History Survey, Urbana, 111., 1944. 

On Controlling Insect Pests. 

202 Common Household Pests of North America, by H. Hartnack, pub- 
lished by Hartnack Publishing Co., Chicago, 111., 1939. 

The Gardener's Bug Book, by C. Wescott, published by American Guild 
and Doubleday and Co., Garden City, N. Y., 1946. 

Destructive and Useful Insects, by C. L. Metcalf and W. P. Flint, pub- 
lished by McGraw Hill, New York, 3rd edition, 1951. 

Many bulletins and leaflets of the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. 


Hon, Vincent Y. Dallman, Chairman 
Editor, Illinois State Register, Springfield 

H. J. VanCleave, Ph.D. 
University of Illinois, Urbana 

Fay-Coopee Cole, Ph.D. 
University of Chicago, Chicago 

Hon. Eobt. H. Beckee, Outdoor Editor 
Chicago Tribune, Chicago 

M. M. Leighton, Ph.D., Chief 
State Geological Survey, Urbana 


507IL61ST C006 


8 1951