THE impacts of bushfires on insects are less visible than the impacts on animals like koalas. Many of Australia’s insects are not well studied or don’t have scientific names. This means we cannot know the full extent of the bushfire impacts on insects.
Escaping and repopulating
Some insect species can fly away from slow moving fire fronts, if they are at the adult, winged stage of their life cycle. Insects such as immature cicadas and Christmas beetles can survive fires buried beneath the ground. However, their adult winged stages occur in summer, which means they can only survive by flying away from the fire.
Other species can repopulate burnt areas from unburnt areas after the vegetation recovers. The current Australian bushfires fires are so extensive that this may slow the recovery process.
Insects at risk
Bushfires have more devastating impacts on immobile or slow-moving insects. Many insects