Buzzzzing with Royal Botanical Gardens

Yesterday, we met Karin from the Royal Botanical Gardens, in Burlington, Ontario through a video conference about insects. This is what we have learned.

All Insects:

~ have three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen) **see our song video about the body parts of insects

~ have 6 legs

~ are cold blooded

~ have 2 antennae

~ have an exoskeleton


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Where do insects live?

~ in winter, some may live in the mud

~ everywhere in the world, except where it’s really cold

~ when it’s winter, butterflies go to Mexico (or somewhere warm)

~ some live in trees

~ some live in water

~ some live under rocks

~ some live in dirt

~ some live in plants

** how the insect moves and what it eats, determines where it lives


How do insects breathe?

~ some insects breathe out of their butts (the dragonfly baby that lives in the water)

~ those insects that live on land breathe out of holes on the side of their abdomen

 How many different families of insects are there?

~ there are 9 or 10 different insect families

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What is the difference between and butterfly and a moth?

~ they have different antennas

~ butterflies have straight

~ moths have feathery antenna

~ moths are hairy

~ moths fly at night


Are spiders insects?

~ spiders are not insects because they have 8 legs, not 6 and spiders only have 2 parts of their body and spiders do not have antenna

~ spiders are actually arachnids

What is the difference between bugs and insects?

~ bugs are one of the families of insects

~ bugs have that special mouth part that helps to eat

Are rolly pollies insects?

~ not insects but they are related

~ they don’t have 3 body parts (they have segments)

~ more than 6 legs

~ do not have antenna

Fun Facts:

~ catepillars chew side to side rather than up and down with their mouth

~ at the Royal Botanical Gardens, they let ladybugs out to eat other bugs to protect the plants

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~ they estimate that there are 10 000 000 different types of insects

~ we only know 1 million of these insects

~ beetles are the largest family of insects

Further Questions:

What are walking sticks? (Ryan)

Why are the beetles the biggest family of insects? (Erica)

How many insects are in the world? (Josiah)

Why do some insects sit on poop? (Tyson)

Do you guys save insects (like rescuing them)? (Maricela)





One thought on “Buzzzzing with Royal Botanical Gardens”

  1. Hello Ms. King’s class,
    I so enjoyed sharing with you may fascination with insects. I am glad that you enjoyed the presentation and came up with more questions.

    What are walking sticks? (Ryan)
    Walking sticks or stick insects are long and thin and their exoskeleton looks very much like an stick or a twig; excellent camouflage. They are often found on trees or bushes being very still – just like a stick. There are nearly 3000 different species around the world. Only one species is native to Canada – northern walking stick – and it is found in southern Ontario (oak savannah’s like at Pinery Provincial Park) and Quebec.

    Why are the beetles the biggest family of insects? (Erica)
    They are also the biggest family of animals in the world, not just insects. They also inhabit a wide variety of both land and water habitats all over the world. They have adapted to a lot of different conditions and so have been very successful. their bodies are also very well protected by strong outer covering – elytra, which when closed protects their bodies really well. This would enable them to be survive different situations that might kill other insects.

    How many insects are in the world? (Josiah)
    We have to look at what we know and what we can estimate based on that to determine the number… So, there are approximately 900,000 known insects. Some people say that is not what there really is. Some people estimate that there are 2 – 30 million different species of insects – we just haven’t found them yet. If we look at the total individual insects… get ready for this number…10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) in the world – compared to 7.3 billion (7.3,000,000,000) people in the world. (

    Why do some insects sit on poop? (Tyson)
    Good question… it’s warm so it helps them warm up their bodies; it attracts other insects so if you are looking for a mate it might help you find one; it’s actually nutritious since the animal (herbivore or carnivore) has done a lot of the work in its stomach already; it’s a place to lay eggs (again warm, moist and food for larvae); some insects like flies, taste with their feet so the only way they are going to find food is to sit on it.

    Do you guys save insects (like rescuing them)? (Maricela)
    We do. If we find an insect, we’ll do one of two things. First, we’ll see if we can’t put it in a place that is suitable for it to find food and be protected – try to return it if possible. Second, we will take it in and try to look after it. We’ll sometimes do that for caterpillars that we find. The insects that I showed you went back to the marsh the next day – a much better place for them than in my container.

    I hope this helps… enjoy your insect explorations this summer. They are amazing animals!


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