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Ecology

Tettigoniidae family: Here is what you need to know

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There is a family of insects that is referred to as katydids or bush crickets. Formerly, they had the name “long-horned grasshoppers.” This family that belongs to the suborder named Ensifera is the sole existing family in the Tettigonioidea family. Over 6,400 species of this family are documented

The members of this family of insects are largely nocturnal and are characterized by their noisy mating calls. Some members are also characterized by their camouflage and mimicry.

The name of the family is Tettigoniidae and the origin of the name is the genus Tettigonia. The Latin meaning of tettigonia is leafhopper.

The distribution of the Tettigoniidae family

The members of this family are present on in all continents barring Antarctica. A greater part of them resides in the world’s tropical regions. An instance is “Amazon basin rain forest” that houses over 2000 species of this family. Nevertheless, the members of the family also reside in the cold, dry temperate areas. Some 255 species are present in North America.

About their diet

Though this family mostly have flowers, bark, leaves, and seeds numerous species are entirely predatory. They eat snails, other insects, and even petite vertebrates that include lizards and snakes. The commercial crop cultivators consider some species to be pests and they spray for limiting the growth of the species. As the species usually some in low densities are usually low they rarely cause much economic loss.

A close look of the insect’s head and mouthparts lets you determine the sort of food that they have.

How do they communicate?

The males of the Tettigoniidae family feature sound-making organs on the posterior angles of the front wings. The females of a few species have the capacity of stridulation. After the males shrill the females respond with a chirp. The males make this sound for dating the females. They make this sound by rubbing two of their parts. This process is named stridulation. The two parts are

  • The file with tough ridges
  • The plectrum

The stridulation of many species has a tempo that the ambient temperature dictates. Thus, a quite precise temperature reading is possible from the times that they chirp in a specific duration.

How do they capture their prey?

Several species of Tettigoniidae family have spines on diverse sections of their bodies and they function in diverse ways. A case in point is the Listroscelinae. Their limb spines are present on their bodies’ ventral surfaces. They work such that they capture their prey for making a short-term cage over their mouthparts. These spines are somewhat flexible though blunt.

How do they defend themselves against predators?

As the species go for a breather at a time of the day, they take up a diurnal roosting stance for optimizing its hidden qualities. This stance hoodwinks predators into believing that they’re either dead or simply a leaf of the plant.

Various species have vivid coloration, apical black spots on the inside planes of the tegmina, and hind wings of bright color. When disturbed they open their wings and use their coloration to hoodwinking predators into believing the spots to be eyes. This feature combines with the coloring that mimics leaves to blend them with their backdrops.

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Ecology

Eco-Friendly Practices to Incorporate Into Your Lifestyle

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Like air, water, and land pollution worsen living conditions for every living being on this planet, we must switch to healthy habits before it’s too late. Here is a list of some eco-friendly practices that will improve the quality of your life as well as prove beneficial for the environment:

Conserve water

Water is one of the most valuable resources without which life on earth would not be possible, we cannot afford to waste water carelessly. There are so many people who do not have access to clean drinking water. Simple changes like turning off the tap while brushing the teeth, taking the shower for bathing instead of a bathtub, and spending less time showering can make a huge difference. If all of us join hands in conserving the resources nature has gifted us, life will be easier for our future generations.

Respect food

As per survey reports, thousands of humans die of hunger every single day. So, wasting food is like stealing it from them who are poor. So, avoid buying excess food and then throwing them away. Also, always serve smaller portions to kids and repurpose leftovers. These clever tricks will also help you save a lot of money every month.

Reduce dependency on your car

With growing concerns regarding air pollution, reliance on private vehicles for the performance of daily activities is not doing any good for the environment. Instead of taking your car out ten times a day, plan in advance and try to complete multiple tasks at one time. Moreover, cycling or taking a walk will also benefit several organs of your body, strengthening your immune system. But, if you have no choice other than driving, the least you can do is add a good fuel catalyst like Green Plus to the vehicle. This will not just better fuel combustion but also enhance fuel efficiency and lessen harmful emissions.

Plant trees

Planting trees is perhaps one of the best eco-friendly practices. We all know that trees provide a natural habitat for wild animals, reduce soil erosion, give us food and shade, bring rain, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Make planting trees a habit and plant at least 10 trees every year. Witnessing saplings grow into big trees before your eyes will deepen your connection with nature.

Use natural products for home cleaning

Keeping your home clean is a must to make sure that family members remain healthy. But, do you know that most of the cleaning ingredients available in the market contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals do a great job in removing stains, making the floors, sinks or tiles appear as good as new. But, you should not bring home these toxic products. Instead, rely on homemade or natural cleaning ingredients to remove dirt without having to use harmful materials.

Avoid using pesticides on your plants

Home gardening is a great way of utilizing your leisure time along with adding fresh foods to your regular diet. But, if you spray chemicals or pesticides on your plants, you are feeding harmful chemicals to your family members. Instead, use the food wastes to make natural fertilizers for your plants.

Practice recycling

Recycling means transforming waste materials into usable materials again. We should practice more and more recycling of products for the sake of the environment. Recycling decreases our dependence on new raw ingredients and lessens the amount of garbage.

Travel at least once a year- In order to connect with nature

you have to spend quality time in the lap of nature, far from the madding crowd of the big cities. So, you should plan at least one trip every year and spend some quality time with your dear ones in a picturesque hill-station or an exotic beach destination. Also, by traveling we do not mean spending your time in an expensive hotel room and putting on more weight. Instead, go out, swim in the ocean, breathe in the fresh mountain air and discover unknown trails and hidden streams.

Conclusion

Incorporating the above-mentioned eco-friendly practices into your normal routine will help you live a more earth-friendly and much greener life. There is no end to such healthy habits that you can teach your children so that they grow up to be sensitive, eco-friendly human beings.

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Ecology

Ecological Balance: The Importance of Prioritising Environmental Equilibrium

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“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” – Rachel Carson

The human impact on the natural world, and; consequently, the ecological balance has reached unparalleled levels. Humankind is present on all seven continents, including Antarctica. And, according to Klaus Rodhe, the editor of the book, “The Balance of Nature and Human Impact“, “almost all ecosystems have been modified by human activities through habitat loss and fragmentation, overexploitation, pollution, and invasive species.”

Additionally, 2013 statistics show that more than 35% of the world’s surface area, excluding the seas, was used for urban settlements and agriculture, humans utilised over 50% of the available freshwater, 70% of marine fish have already been overexploited, and 50% of the worlds coral reefs have been destroyed or are in the process of being destroyed.

Finally, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions had already been associated with climate change associated with global warming in 2013. Unfortunately, 2019 statistics show “global carbon emissions… [were] …expected to hit an all-time high.

Additionally, scientists predicted that by the end of 2019, industrial emissions from the “burning of fossil fuels… [would] …pump an estimated 36.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” And the cumulative carbon emissions from all human enterprises, including agriculture and land use, will likely top out at circa 43.1 billion tons.

Clearly, something needs to be done to prevent the total destruction of the earth by human activities. Not only is the radical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions more of a priority than ever before, but humankind must make an effort to reduce its carbon footprint as a matter of urgency.

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Reducing humankind’s negative impact on the natural order or environment

As highlighted above, it is fundamentally vital to reduce the human impact of the environment. And this can be achieved by considering the concept of ecological balance, as well as ways of restoring the ecosystem’s natural order, balance, and stability.

Before we look at ways to restore the environment’s natural order, let’s look at a succinct definition of the phrase “ecological balance.”

According to scvswap, the term “ecological balance” is described as the “equilibrium between living organisms such as human being, plants, and animals as well as their environment.

A reasonable question to ask is: “Why is maintaining the global ecosystem’s natural order so important?”

By way of answering this question, it is essential to note that the survival of all of the world’s species is dependent on the ecological balance. 

There are many different ecosystems or types of ecosystems in the world. Each ecosystem is typically created as a pyramid structure. And all of the individual levels are needed to balance the ecosystem or keep the environment’s natural order.

Otherwise, if this balance is thrown out of kilter because of the destruction of one of the elements of the ecosystem, the pyramid-structure will collapse. And all of the other levels on top of the missing level run the risk of dying out. Additionally, the animals like rodents in the level below could spiral out of control and become pests because their predators have died out.

The well-balanced ecosystem: A case study

An example of a well-balanced ecological pyramid is found on the Great Plains of Eastern Africa. The annual Wildebeest migration between the Mara Plains and Serengeti is seasonal.

According to Siyabona, circa two million animals migrate across the plains in search of food and water.

If the land that the animals migrate across is closed off due to agricultural activities, then they wouldn’t be able to find food so would die off. Also, drought conditions caused by global warming would reduce their numbers substantially.

Both of these scenarios would not only reduce the numbers of wildebeest, but it would impact predators like crocodiles, lions, hyenas, and jackals negatively. Even the birds that eat carrion would be adversely affected as there will be no food for them.

While this sounds like a random event that occurs twice a year, it’s a vital part of a delicate ecological balance. And, this ecological pyramid found in the Great Plains of East Africa can be explained as follows.

Succinctly stated, it consists of grass, trees, and plants at the bottom, insects like dung beetles higher up, and then second from the top are the herbivores like the Wildebeest, Zebra, and Gazelle. Finally, the predators like the lion are at the pinnacle of this ecological pyramid.

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Ecology

Top Eco Tourist Destinations in India

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https://pixabay.com/photos/boats-rowing-boats-vilsalpsee-2241476/

India is blessed with natural landscape and biodiversity. Apart from being a haven for natural beauty and wonder, it also has some of the best eco-friendly locations in the world. In this article, we will look at the importance of ecotourism, the best eco-tourism destinations in India, as well as how to be an eco-friendly tourist.

Importance of Ecotourism

The problem with tourism, in general, is that it brings together a lot of people in one area. That often brings with it trash and messes that have an altogether harmful impact on the environment. That’s especially true if the destination is one that is close to nature. A lot of non-biodegradable trash is not only unsightly; it also can harm the environment in the long run. When you talk about ecotourism, it isn’t just about communing with nature, it’s also about ensuring that nature is well protected while enjoying tourism.
Ecotourism matters because it allows people to move beyond just beholding and appreciating nature and actually take part in the crucial role of preserving it. There are many aspects that come into play in eco-tourism destinations in India. It begins with the awareness of the need. This prompts actions that aid in the conservation of a natural space which, in turn, guides the activities of those who are visiting as well as their attitudes towards the environment as a whole. When there is a strong participation of all involved, then a site is protected for future enjoyment and benefit. Good thing there are more and more ecotourism activities in India that promote environmental protection and healthy tourism.

Most Eco-Friendly Destinations in India

With that in mind, it’s actually nice to know that a naturally blessed and culturally rich nation like India is becoming even more responsible in terms of ecotourism. These are among the best sites you can visit that not only preserve nature but showcase it as well in all its glory.

Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khangchendzonga_National_Park#/media/File:Abhishek532_SamitiReflections.jpg

Credit by: Wikipedia

Located in Northeastern India, this national park accounts for close to 30 percent of the total land area in the region. It has the distinction of also being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to beautiful and breathtaking landscapes that include ice glaciers, clean lakes, cool flowing rivers, wide valleys, expansive plains, and deep caves. These, in turn, are home to beautiful mammalian species like blue sheep, red pandas, musk deer, and the elusive snow leopard. Trekking is a must should you opt to visit this site.

Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/destinations/15-places-to-visit-in-the-beautiful-valleys-of-lahaul-spiti/gs49505730.cms

Credit By: timesofindia

Lahaul Spiti is actually a very difficult area for locals to eke out a living in. What has sustained the region is sustainable tourism. That has included adventure treks like those through the Pin Parvati Pass, challenging bike trails into the Himalayan mountains, and even deep meditation at the many centers there. What makes LahaulSpiti unique is the conscious drive towards preservation: they consistently request visitors to embrace environmental awareness above all else.

Khonoma Village, Nagaland

https://footloosedev.com/khonoma-village-pictures/

Credit By: footloosedev

This 700-year-old village features the beautiful Hornbill Festival and is home to indigenous people in the area. In fact, the Angamis tribe is a forerunner in ensuring that the natural resources are carefully managed in the area and has been strong in the promotion of biodiversity and wildlife preservation in the region. Be that as it may, the villagers are very welcoming of visitors who are encouraged to participate in their daily lives and rich culture—all the better to truly immerse in the wonder of the Indian people.

Thenmala, Kerala

https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g2289030-d3336873-Reviews-Thenmala_Dam-Thenmala_Kollam_District_Kerala.html

Credit By: Tripadvisor

With the distinction of being the first among eco-tourism destinations in India, Thenmala has over 10 distinct eco-tourism spots within its vicinity. There are many things that you can enjoy here: from boat rides in the cool clean waters all the way to adventure activities like rock climbing and mountain biking. If you want, you could even stay in their beautiful tree huts located in the woods of Thenmala. It’s really one of the best ways to commune with and experience nature in all its beautiful glory.

How to Be an Eco-friendly Traveller

If you aren’t going to be an eco-friendly tourist in these beautiful areas, then you might be causing more harm than good by visiting. The first thing is to be aware of who you are and what impact you might have in the long run. That’s why it has to begin with keeping your hands off the natural wonders that you see. Any damage that you cause might have far-reaching consequences. A lot of these areas offer guides on how to behave throughout the travel, and it is very important that you follow them very carefully.

The next thing is to adjust your behaviors accordingly. One of the worst things tourists do is to fling their trash everywhere. Make sure you bring an eco-sustainable bag with you to place all the little trash that you might accumulate along the way. Avoid the use of plastics and bring a refillable bottle to minimize plastic usage. Lastly, be conscious of how you interact with the natural world around you.

India has more natural wonders to offer. Ensuring that they stay beautiful falls on not just in the hands of the caretakers of the regions but also lies in the tourists who visit the Ecotourism placesBeing an eco-friendly tourist and preserving ecotourism is easy as long as you consciously develop the desire to protect nature the best way possible.

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