It’s A Bug’s Life In Panama!

The Panamanian jungle not only holds host to many birds and species of animal not found anywhere else in the world, but it also is home to over 2500 species of different insects and bugs.

There has recently been a census completed of insects in the Panamanian rainforest by a group of scientists from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.


Arthropods are a group of bugs of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. Before now these insects were inaccessible to catalogue until recent developments which have allowed scientists to go in and catalogue even the smallest of creatures.

Taking an area of 23.1 square miles, scientists took two years to collect each different type of bug found. They started categorising; sorting and sampling the regions of bug life. Researcher’s collected almost 130,000 arthropods from more than 6,000 species from a section of forest in Panama There are currently now an estimated 25,000 different species of bug living in the Panamanian jungle.


After two years of collecting, finding and sorting the bug life, it took more than eight years to process all the findings for every single species found. Over 100 scientists were involved in the cataloguing and the processing of all of the bug life.


These bugs are important for the pollination, early decomposition, consumption of leaves in the forest, providing nutrients in soil, and regeneration of the forest. Critical for our own human survival these bugs are a natural beauty to behold for the forest and are used as a key element to help keep it thriving with wildlife.

The conclusion met was the fact that there are more arthropod species in the jungle than that of Mammals, and animals are outweighed at 312 to 1. Declaring victory after a nine-year effort, biologists have found 6,144 species of arthropods — insects, spiders and crustaceans, which are water critters (a bit like crabs).

 

 

Go to the WhyFiles for more information on the scientist’s findings and to discover more about the bugs found.