Trillions of Insects Flying Overhead

Categories: Insects
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Did you know insects are moving in a vast congested highway over our heads?

A few months ago a report in the journal Science documented a study of insects that fly over a region in south-central England. Using a special radar and balloon-supported aerial netting system, they trapped airborne insects over a 10 year period.

They calculated that an astounding 3.5 trillion insects weighing 3,200 tons migrate annually over the region! No one had expected numbers this high. The insects generally flew north in the spring and then south in the fall.

By the way, the effort to better understand the movement of insects in the sky has been going on for some time now. When Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic in 1933, his plane was fitted with sticky glass slides to trap insects.

The all-time record for an insect caught at the highest altitude is a termite captured in 1961 at 19,000 feet.