Insects

Insects are vital to the natural ecosystem because of their key position in the food web – they are a primary food source for various other animals, they pollinate various plants and flowers and also help with the recycling and decomposition of nutrients in the earth. Interestingly, the species of insects in the world outnumber all the other animals out together. In the Grand Teton region as well; there are more than 10,000 species of insects commonly found which includes several different types of beetles, bees, butterflies, moths and much more.

Fascinating creatures as they are, insects are responsible for a series of other natural processes such as pollination. Dazzling and brightly colored flowers like Lupine, Calypso Orchid, Yellow bells and sunflowers attract certain inspect species like butterflies and bees for pollen transfer. Lupine, for example, has a very complex petal structure and only bees are the right size to open, hatch and pollinate the flower and carry the pollen to other lupines for reproduction. Plants with fragrant scents and alluring colors are almost always pollinated with the help of these insects that are attracted to them.

Aside from pollination, insects also provide energy and nutrition to other insects, reptiles like lizards and snakes, fishes and most species of birds like jays, ducks, woodpeckers, sparrows and wrens. Even bears feed on ants, moths and beetles during fall season. Dead insects fertilize the earth with much needed nutrients and energy. Beetles tunnel and chew through the earth mixing up the soil in the process which decomposes nutrients and breaks down plant and wood material that is essential for productive growth and nutrition.