Creepy crawlies

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 May, 2007, 12:00am

Hong Kong has some fascinating insect life. Encompassing 6784 different species, our territory is home to 110 types of dragonfly, 235 species of ant, 17 species of praying mantis, 31 species of cockroach, six species of flea, 78 species of mosquito and 124 species of grasshopper.

While insects might make your skin crawl, they are not just scary pests, but very useful creatures. Insects aerate the soil, help flowering plants pollinate, and tidy up by breaking down organic waste.

They also give us honey, wax and silk.


Write the letter of the caption next to the appropriate picture.




a. Bees help plants pollinate and give us honey

b. Silkworms power our silk industry

c. Praying mantis clear gardens of beetles andother pests


Long and elegant, with a snazzy yellow body markings, the Spangled Shadow-emerald dragonfly exists only in Hong Kong.

This little creature may only be 3cm long, but it is rated one of the fastest and most agile insects in the world. In addition, its bulging eyes give it excellent all-round vision. To its prey, the mosquito, the dragonfly is a real terror.

To see this resident for yourself, visit Sha Lo Tung where many of Hong Kong's dragonflies make their home. Look for this ferocious predator hovering over the edges of ponds and streams.

C You see these all the time on our stamps, but can you identify these creatures?

a. Lantern Fly

b. Spangled Shadow-emerald dragonfly

c. Common Birdwing butterfly

d. Red-cap Tortoise Beetle






Unjumble these insect names:

1. dfaongrly

2. ccohkoarc

3. egrpsahsopr

4. ioqmuost

5. utybletrf

6. etermti


Insect Talk

1. To have butterflies in your stomach means...

2. To make a beeline for means...

3. To bug someone means...

4. To have ants in your pants means...

a. to annoy someone.

b. to be nervous.

c. to hurry directly to.

d. to be fidgety or restless.

Did You Know?

Most of us think of Hong Kong as a city stuffed with apartment blocks, shopping malls, and roads.

But did you know that of the territory's 1104 square kilometres, less than 25 per cent is developed?

Most undeveloped land is hilly or on small islands but this doesn't mean everything else will eventually be built over. In order to keep Hong Kong green, 40 per cent of our land area has been designated as 'country park'. And that means plenty of room for Hong Kong's insects!

Discover more about the amazing world of insects by visiting Insects On The Web at

Answers: A. 1. c, 2. a, 3. b; C. 1. d, 2. c, 3. a, 4. b; D. 1. dragonfly, 2. cockroach, 3. grasshopper, 4. mosquito, 5. butterfly, 6. termite; E. 1. b, 2. c, 3. a, 4. d