How come scientists say 95% of the world's animals are in the rainforests? Well, most of the world's animals are insects, and most insects are found in rainforest. In fact, insect species outnumber all the other animals put together. There are far too many kinds of insects to even begin describing them, but some of the more important groups are butterflies and moths, beetles, ants, wasps and bees, termites, grasshoppers and katydids, cicadas, mantids, stick insects, etc., etc., etc.! Insects and other invertebrates are essential to maintaining the integrity of the rainforest ecosystem. If they were all suddenly taken away, the rainforest would die in a few months. Insects pollinate flowers, help seeds germinate, turn over soil, eat dead things and are food for other animals not to mention providing endless hours of fun and fascination for entomologists (scientists who study insects).
Click below for invertebrate photos and natural history information:
BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS
Arthropods are all around us, life-giving, and we have never taken their measure.
E. O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life, 1992