|Costa Rica Spiders and Insects|
|Written by Travel Department|
|Sunday, 17 January 2010 15:02|
What makes Costa Rica so special is its species density (number of species per unit area). Costa Rica possesses about 5% of the total world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity extends into the insect world. There are more than 800,000 species of insects on earth. Costa Rica is home to more than 34,000 of these, while many thousands more await identification.
Many of Costa Rica’s insects go largely unnoticed by passers-by. Grasshoppers, beetles, termites, flies, ants, wasps, bees, moths, butterflies…. The list goes on and on. Visitors usually do not encounter massive swarms of insects, nor are they aware of the many insects surrounding them at every minute of the day. Most of the insects found in Costa Rica are harmless, yet can be annoying or quite frightening due to their size or numbers. There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 species of flies, of which only 900 or so have been recorded in scientific literature. There are more than 1000 species of butterflies (5% of the world’s population), thousands of species of ants including leaf cutters, army, bullet and fire ants, and an estimated 20,000 species of beetles. Visitors usually do not encounter massive swarms of insects, nor are they aware of the many insects surrounding them at every minute of the day. Most of the insects found in Costa Rica are harmless, yet can be annoying or quite frightening due to their size or numbers.
The first time you see army ants marching through the forest or the giant golden-orb spider sitting quietly in her nest, you might be startled, but you will quickly learn that these insects do not harm you when left alone and that there are many interesting things to learn by observing them, especially when you look closely.
Of course, there are a host of unfriendly bugs that also exist in Costa Rica. Chiggers, wasps, bees, ticks, mosquitoes, and the famous “no-see-ums.” All of these common insects can inflict irritating bites on humans. Responsible use of insect repellent (spraying or applying it away from others who might not want to inhale its fumes as you apply it) or lightweight, long sleeve shirts and pants can help eliminate most of these types of bites.
As you travel through Costa Rica, remember that all these insects belong here and just because they might cross your path when you least expect it, it is not okay to kill them. Trying to handle insects can lead to painful stings and is not recommended. Respect the wonderful, amazing world of insects and they will honor you by not bothering you either.
|Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2010 12:28|