This giant hairy scorpion was photographed in the Mojave Desert in California.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Corel Photography
Desert Insects and Arachnids
You can find insects almost anywhere in the world. So it should be of no surprise that there are plenty of insects in the desert. One of the most common and destructive pests is the locust. A locust is a special type of grasshopper. They travel from place to place, eating all the plants they find. Locusts can destroy many crops in a single day.
Not all desert insects are bad, though. The yucca moth is very important to the yucca plant, because it helps pollinate it. The darkling beetle has a hard, white, wing case that reflects the Sun's energy. This allows the bug to look for food during the day.
There are also several species of ants in the desert. The harvester ants gather seeds and store them for use during the dry season. And the honeypot ants have a very weird habit. Some members of the colony eat large amounts of sugar, so much that their adomens get too large for them to move! The rest of the colony feeds off this sugar.
There are also arachnids in the desert. Spiders are the most notable arachnids, but scorpions also belong in this group. Some species of scorpions have poison in their sharp tails. They sting their predators and their prey with the piercing tip.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
Deserts are full of interesting questions. How can anything survive in a place with hardly any water? Why is it so dry to begin with? You can find at least one desert on every continent except Europe....more
This picture of the Earth surface was taken from high above the planet in the International Space Station. In this view from above, we can see that there are lots of different things that cover the Earth....more
Like the other creatures of the desert, birds come up with interesting ways to survive in the harsh climate. The sandgrouse has special feathers that soak up water. It can then carry the water to its...more
You can find insects almost anywhere in the world. So it should be of no surprise that there are plenty of insects in the desert. One of the most common and destructive pests is the locust. A locust is...more
There are several species of mammals in the desert. They range in size from a few inches to several feet in length. Like other desert wildlife, mammals have to find ways to stay cool and drink plenty...more
Biomes are large regions of the world with similar plants, animals, and other living things that are adapted to the climate and other conditions. Explore the links below to learn more about different biomes....more
The temperate forest biome is found in regions where winters are cold and summers are warm. Regions with this climate are common in the mid-latitudes, far from both the equator and the poles. Tropical...more