From creepy crawlies to those that buzz and fly, insects are all around.
These invertebrates with exoskeletons represent the most diverse group of animals on the planet - it's estimated there are up to 10 million different species. From pollinating crops to breaking down waste, insects play important roles in ecosystems and provide valuable services, also to humans.
While we've been holed up during various lockdowns throughout 2020, new generations of locusts have been breeding. Heavy rains created ideal conditions for the insect, which is having a field day. Locusts can eat their weight in vegetation — and in arid regions of East Africa, this can devastate the land.
In many parts of Africa, insects such as termites and grasshoppers are an important source of protein in people's diets. But in South Africa, edible bugs are facing increasing threats due to changes in their environment. Now, scientists are racing to log the DNA barcode of these insect species before they disappear.