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Insects exhibition on at Kampala Sheraton Hotel

by Editorial Team
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By Titus Kakembo                                    

Take a glance anywhere, you’ll find one of the dozens of those six-legged creatures – insects. Uganda is endowed with a diversity of species that include the edible ensenene (grasshoppers,) enswa (white ants) besides bees, flies, beetles, mosquitos and many more.

According to Tekaaki Usui, a Japanese who has spent three years stalking them in every national park in Uganda, Beetles are the most biodiverse group of creatures.

“There are more than 380, 000 species spread the world over,” says Tekaaki. “Looks like God has a special interest in them. No other insects are endowed with such diversity or their lifestyle. It is so hard to have them go extinct like rhinos in Uganda once did.”

True to Tekaaki all insects possess a body composed of three segments comprising of the head, thorax and abdomen which are encased in an exoskeleton.

“The other characteristic they share is having a pair of antenna, compound eyes and three pairs of jointed legs,” recounts Tekaaki. “I have insects in Uganda and Japan. It is from that basic body structure that emerges all sorts of amazing behaviours and abilities.”

Tekaaka Usui and his family traveling through out Uganda to see insects in their habitat. Photo by Titus Kakembo

The only place Tekaaki has not seen insects in his travels has been in the ocean. He wonders why they have failed to colonize that part of the world.

Celebrating his hobby Tekaaki is having an exhibition of his photographic collections at Sheraton Hotel Kampala from July 13-July 23.

“Now I know insects do not breathe through their mouths,” said Tekaaki in an interview with Kampala Sun. “They inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide through holes called spiracles in their exoskeletons.”

These holes typically line insects’ thoraxes and abdomens. Also bizarre: Insect respiratory systems are not patched into the animals’ circulatory systems, as they are in humans, where the lungs exchange gases with the bloodstream.

While munching nsenene or termites, diners ought to take note that insects have a cardiovascular-like network of tubes, called a tracheal system, which delivers oxygen and ferries away carbon dioxide from each cell in the animals’ bodies.

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