Of all the insects on the planet, it’s estimated that only 5-10% have been described by science.  Unlike vertebrates that rely on muscles, the body of insects is powered by hydraulics (liquid forced through tiny orifices).  Grasshoppers, often considered garden pests, can be quite stunning and provide important food for birds.  Native mantises tend to be brilliant, natural pest control.  If you have a garden and wish to introduce mantids, please ensure the species you’re introducing is native, otherwise it could spell disaster for the ecosystem (the widely introduced Chinese mantis, capable to killing hummingbirds, being a prime example).  All insects have an irreplaceable role in the mechanics of this wonderful planet that we call home!  Despite their (generally) small size, insects collectively make up approximately half of the animal biomass on our planet, so this album is only the tiniest glimpse into their incredible diversity.