Know Ohio: Creepy crawlers in our state

AS YOU KNOW, HALLOWEEN IS ON THE HORIZON – AND, HERE AT NEWSDEPTH, WE DECIDED THE BEST WAY TO CELEBRATE IS TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME OF OHIO’S CREEPY CRAWLERS. UP NEXT, KNOW OHIO’S MARY FECTEAU BUGS OUT.

SOMETHING CREEPY IS CRAWLING AROUND THE STATE… EEK WAS THAT A SPIDER?! I’LL HAVE TO SEND NEWSCAT TO INVESTIGATE. MEANWHILE, I’D LIKE TO TELL YOU ABOUT A FEW OF THE HUNDREDS OF SPECIES OF BUGS THAT ARE FLYING, CRAWLING, SLITHERING AND HOPPING AROUND THE BUCKEYE STATE. ONE IN PARTICULAR EVEN SEEMS TO RISE FROM THE DEAD. MAYBE OVER THE SUMMER YOU HEARD THIS SOUND? [CICADAS NAT SOUND].

IT WAS THE RETURN OF THE CICADAS. THESE LARGE WINGED INSECTS ARE BEST KNOWN FOR THEIR LOUD BUZZING NOISES AND FOR THEIR UNUSUAL LIFE CYCLES. WHEN YOUNG CICADAS, CALLED NYMPHS, HATCH FROM EGGS LAID ON TREES, THEY CRAWL INTO THE GROUND AND ATTACH TO TREE ROOTS. THEY FEED ON THE LIQUID OF THE ROOTS FOR SEVERAL YEARS. IN OHIO, USUALLY FOR 13 OR 17 YEARS.

THEN THEY REAPPEAR ABOVE GROUND. HERE THEY SHED THEIR BABY SKIN TO BECOME ADULTS. YOU MIGHT STILL BE ABLE TO FIND A COUPLE CICADA SHELLS CLINGING TO TREES NOW. ONCE THEIR ADULT SKIN AND WINGS HARDEN THEY SET ABOUT TO FIND THEIR BUG LOVES. THE ADULT MALE BUGS MAKE VERY LOUD BUZZING AND CLICKING NOISES THAT CAN BE DEAFENING WHEN THE BUGS SWARM TOGETHER. OF COURSE THEY’RE TRYING TO FIND A LADY CICADA TO REPRODUCE WITH. SO MANY EMERGE AT THE SAME TIME THAT OFTEN PEOPLE ARE AFRAID THERE IS A PLAGUE. BUT THE INSECTS ARE TYPICALLY HARMLESS TO HUMANS.

A BUG THAT SEEMS A LITTLE FRIENDLIER IS THE STATE’S INSECT – THE LADYBUG. THAT’S JUST IT’S NICKNAME THOUGH. ITS FULL NAME IS THE LADYBIRD BEATLE. PRETTY FANCY HUH? THE INSECT WAS CHOSEN IN 1975 BY OHIO LAWMAKERS TO REPRESENT THE STATE. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE SYMBOLIC OF THE PEOPLE OF OHIO — FRIENDLY AND PROUD, BUT ALSO HARD WORKING AND HARDY.

AND HERE’S ONE LAST BUG EYED BEAUTY… THE STAGMOMANTIS CAROLINA… NO NOT RELATED TO THE DINOSUARS. THE PRAYING MANTIS IS NAMED AFTER IT’S THE WAY THEY HOLD THEIR LARGE FRONT LEGS. THESE LEGS HAVE SHARP TOOTH LIKE SPIKES ON THEM THAT ALLOW THE BUGS TO CLAMP DOWN ON PREY. FARMERS LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE GOOD AT KEEPING INSECTS AWAY FROM THEIR CROPS. THE PRAYING MANTIS IS EVEN ABLE TO TURN ITS HEAD FROM SIDE TO SIDE. SOME SPECIES CAN GROW UP TO FIVE INCHES LONG! AND OH YEAH THEY ARE SAID TO BE LUCKY, SO IF YOU SPOT A PRAYING MANTIS YOU JUST MIGHT BE BLESSED.

Instructional Links

Web Article:  Ohio History Central--Ohio's State Insect--Ladybug http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Ohio%27s_State_Insect_-_Ladybug

Web Article/Video:  State Symbols USA--Ladybug http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/ohio/state-insect/la...

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