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What are the Different Types of Endangered Insects?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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Thousands of insects are endangered of becoming extinct due to habitat loss caused by humans, use of pesticides, or other factors most often caused by people. Entire genera of butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects that were once common are considered endangered by governments around the world. Certain types of beetles and moths are not exempt from potential extinction. Species within any of these groups can die off within decades or centuries, which is a short time compared to the millions of years some of them have been wandering the Earth.

One group of insects that contains endangered insects is called damselflies, and can often be recognized as looking similar to dragonflies except for minor differences in their wing posturing. The primary reason why some damselflies are endangered is due to habitat loss. For example, the species Chlorocypha molindica and Chlorocypha schmidti are endangered due to loss of rivers and forests in certain parts of Africa. Not only damselflies in Africa are threatened by this problem, however, as a reduction in healthy rivers in the Philippines is also threatening Rhinocypha hageni.

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A family that contains many endangered insects is Gomphidae, also known as clubtail dragonflies. These species are most commonly threatened by habitat loss, and this problem is not localized in a specific region of the world. For example, Epigomphus camelus is threatened by the loss of healthy rivers and forests in Costa Rica, while Epigomphus clavatus is suffering from a similar problem in Guatemala. More than 25 species in the Gomphidae family are endangered to some degree, and the locations that they are threatened in range from the United States to Ethiopia.

The family of butterflies called Lycaenidae includes more than 10 butterflies that are considered endangered insects. These species vary widely in location, including places such as Spain and Australia. The typical reasons for theses species being threatened include ecosystem disruption because of other species being threatened and habitat loss. For example, Paralucia spinifera, commonly known as bathurst copper, is threatened for reasons such as invasive weeds and human development of land.

Some experts believe that a significant number of endangered insects have already gone or will go extinct before discovery by humans. As for species that have already been discovered, there are more species of insects than other types of creatures, such as mammals. The ability to track so many types of insects is limited by their numbers.

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