There is a huge variety of species within the animal kingdom, and not all have the same type of diet. However, many mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arachnids, and even insects share the insectivorous diet.
In this Green Ecologist article we will talk about those beings that feed on insects exclusively or almost exclusively, the insectivorous animals. Find out here its main characteristics, the list of examples and other curiosities, such as other types of insectivorous living beings and the regions of the world in which it is common to eat insects.
The term insectivore or entomophagus refers to any living being that feeds on invertebrates, mainly from insects, but also from arachnids, snails and worms. Insects are tiny animals belonging to the phylum of arthropods, commonly recognized by having two antennae, two pairs of wings, and three pairs of legs.
Insects are very numerous, being present in almost all the ecosystems of the planet, and they play a fundamental role in the food chain. They are the food base of many animals, basically insectivores, but they are also part of the supplementary diet of many other animals.
Some species have eating habits different from those properly insectivorous, such as frugivores or granivores, for example, but they look to insects for the animal protein they need at certain times of their life, such as in the breeding season. Other species adapt to the insectivorous diet only in certain periods of their life, as is the case of some reptiles at birth, which feed on insects only during their first months of life.
The main characteristics of insectivorous animals are as follows:
Here we leave a list of insectivorous animals separated by the different types of animals (birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians, fish and insects):
As surprising as it may seem, there are some plants that base their diet on insects and other invertebrates. The insectivorous plants, also called carnivorous plants, use special techniques to attract their prey and later devour them.
These mechanisms can be active, like movements; semi-active, with slight movements; or passive, such as smells, colors, shapes or sugars that attract insects. Once ingested, plants use special mechanisms that facilitate the digestion process.
In addition to feeding on flies, spiders, ants, worms and other invertebrates, plants can also occasionally feed on small vertebrates, such as lizards or small mice, hence they are also known as carnivores. Whatever the "victim", the plant assimilates the main nutrients it needs to live on this food source.
Next, we leave you a list with some of those insectivorous plants.
In this other article we give you information on How carnivorous plants feed.
Entomophagy is known as the consumption of insects and arachnids by humans. Although in certain parts of the world this may sound like poverty or a shortage of other foods, the truth is that entomophagy is practiced in more places than we think, and not precisely because of the lack of other food, but because it tastes very popular.
In addition, not only its flavor attracts more and more interested in the gastronomy with insects, but also its high protein content and high quality nutrients. All this has caused that some insects are highly valued for human consumption in many parts of the planet, as is the case of the fly roe in Mexico.
Next, we present a list of countries where entomophagy is common and the types of insects that are most consumed.
If you want to read more articles similar to Insectivorous animals: what are they and list of examples, we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category.