Record-Breaking Bugs

Average reading time is about 5 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  The record for the fastest flying insect is that of a male horsefly. Horseflies mate in a surprising way—the male catches the female midair and they both drop to the ground while mating. One entomologist reports that he was able to get a male horsefly to chase a plastic pellet from his air rifle. Amazingly, the fly caught and dropped to the ground with the pellet, which was going at least 90 miles an hour!

Another notable insect is the small, dull-colored moth called the dark sword-grass or black cutworm moth. With a wingspan of just five centimeters, this moth usually has airspeeds of five to eight mph, but when riding the winds of a cold front it has been known to sustain ground speeds of up to 70 mph.

The fastest moving land insects are Australian tiger beetles. These beetles, named after tigers because of their impressive jaws and hunting style, are incredibly fast relative to their body size. One species of this beetle, the Cicindela hudsoni, has the fastest absolute speed for a land insect—a whopping 5.57 mph, or 120 body lengths per second. In human terms, that would be nearly 520 mph—or the cruising speed of a jet! But another species of Australian tiger beetle, the Cicindela eburneola, has the fastest relative land speed—these beetles can move 171 body lengths per second, or 4.16 mph. This would be equivalent to a 6-foot-tall human running nearly 720 mph. In other words, a human running the corresponding speed of these beetles would almost break the sound barrier!

While these record-breaking bugs are certainly speedy, God really holds the speed record. In the Psalms, David often prayed for God to answer him “speedily”—sometimes because he was in danger, but also when he wanted God’s “tender mercies” for his “former iniquities” (Psalm 79:8). When it comes to forgiving a repentant sinner, we can be sure that the following promise holds true: “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Psalms 143:7

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