It is not only the birds that migrate to warmer areas, every time the cold reaches the place where they have a nest. A study has now confirmed that insects join the birds and also move away from the cold, rather than dying at low temperatures, as was thought to be the case.
Insects are part of our life, it is a reality, in the summer they are an assiduous presence, especially for our skin, in the winter, they are practically nonexistent. Many of them hibernate, while others were thought to die in the low temperatures. But this is not the reality that new studies reveal, like birds, it seems that insects also migrate in colder times, to the hottest parts of the planet.
According to the newspaper El Español, Jason Chapman, an ecologist at the University of Exeter, in the United Kingdom, “many species migrate, and some of them are extremely abundant and important.” Chapman, had already studied seasonal migrations of some nocturnal species, yet very little was known about insect migrations in large numbers, and the new data presented reveals surprising numbers.
There are not tens or hundreds, insect migrations have been recorded in tons. Nearly 3,200 tons of insects move to southern England, where the ecologist and his team of researchers have been studying insect migration for 10 years.
The numbers are so significant that, in comparison, researchers conclude that the migrations of insects are seven times the weight equivalent to the 30 million birds that each autumn leave the UK for Africa.
It was through radars that they were able to carry out this research. The Spanish newspaper said that the research team led by Chapman, has put into operation networks of devices with radars to be able to detect the insects.
During the study, it was also found that the wind can be a great ally for insects at the time of travel. Although they choose hot days with little wind, the fact is that when the wind blows in the direction favorable to the place of migration, the larger insects take advantage of the blizzard to make the trip.
Another relevant and curious fact taken from the study is the fact that generation changes in the interval of migrations. The insects that travel are no longer the same ones that make the next migration. They are always the children of the last to migrate.
The way the insects are guided was also clarified by Jason Chapman. According to the researcher, “insects have a genetic program that dictates the preferential migratory direction”, which is reversed at certain times of the year, is north-south or south-north.
Their “compasses” are also a tool widely used by insects. Those who make the day trip use the sun to orient themselves, as for the nocturnal, the researchers do not know yet, how they manage to orient themselves.