March 02, 2011

Entomology: How Insects Eat

We have embarked on an Entomology study through 4H.

There are 4 basic ways insects can eat.

  1. chewing
  2. siphoning
  3. piercing and sucking
  4. sponging


This way is simple.  It’s how we eat.  We move our mouth to cut and tear our food.  This is also how grasshoppers eat.


This is relative to sucking through a straw. Butterflies eat this way.

Piercing and Sucking

This way of eating is similar to a needle or syringe. There is a breaking of the surface and an insertion of the siphoning tube.  Mosquitos eat this way.


This way of eating takes after its name.  It is a way of absorbing or taking in food without the use of a siphon tube or chewing.  Houseflies can only take in liquid so they often regurgitate their food.


  1. Wonderful, I'll remember these videos for when we go back to insects again.

  2. We've raised caterpillars from eggs we found in our garden. A great experience and one our entire family enjoyed. I thought you might like to see this video I took of a caterpillar chomping his way through a parsley leaf. Rather amazing! The video is in real time. ~~Rhonda :)

  3. Thanks Rhonda. I'll take a look :)


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