Insects have flourished on earth for more than 300 million years. Through morphological, physiological, biochemical, and reproductive adaptations, they have adjusted to changes in the environment and are the world’s most thriving biome. Insects are important components of the biosphere and of high ecological value, with insect biodiversity being used as indicators in ecological monitoring. Entomological research is not only related to modern life sciences, material science, forensic medicine, bionics, and environmental conservation but also closely linked to human survival and economic development. Moreover, some insects are beautiful and worth our appreciation.

In this special exhibition, fascinating aspects of insects are presented through stamps, including their successful adaptation to changes in global environments and the relationships between insects and humans. Insect-themed stamps show the highlights of the insect world, condensing human knowledge of insects and reflecting on the interaction between humans and insects. While appreciating this collection of postage stamps, you will also embark on a journey of knowledge. We welcome you to explore the magical world of insects!

Successful Adaptation

Insects have successfully adapted to environmental changes due to their large numbers of species. In addition, they are small in size and have strong reproductive ability. Some have evolved wings to fly while others have evolved a hard exoskeleton of chitin that protects internal tissues and organs. Moreover, the evolution of complete metamorphosis has led to better adaptability to some environmental changes. This unit introduces special adaptations of insects to environmental changes.

Spinning Silk to Make Cocoons

Among insects of the order Lepidoptera, the larvae of some species produce silk for cocoons. Silk-secreting insects include the larvae of the domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, and the family Saturniidae. Sericulture is the practice of raising silkworms to obtain silk. This unit introduces silk-secreting insects featured on postage stamps, the history of the silk industry, the life cycle of the silkworm, and silk processing.

All About Bees

The majority of insects are solitary. Once larvae have hatched, they live independently. However, among the more than one million insect species, there are some that are social, coexisting in colonies. In such colonies, there are different castes and clear division of labor, helping to maintain the colonies and to increase numbers through reproduction. Social insects include bees, ants, and termites. This unit introduces bees and other social insects found on postage stamps.

The Human-Mosquito War

There is a very close relationship between mosquitoes and people. Mosquitoes not only feed on the blood of humans, but also transmit diseases. Malaria was once one of the major diseases transmitted by mosquitoes that severely threatened human health and survival. In this unit, we will introduce the mosquito, the transmission of malaria by mosquito and the protracted war between humans and mosquitoes.

Coexistence of humans and insects

Among more than one million species of insects, many directly feed on crops grown by humans, resulting in large economic losses. In the past, pest control made use of one or several types of measures to increase the mortality rate of insects. Not much consideration was given to the destruction of ecosystems or the impact on the environment by various pesticides. In this unit, the major pest species featured on postage stamps are introduced, as well as integrated pest management, protection of biodiversity, and harmonious coexistence of humans and insects.

National Museum of Natural Science

Jun. 24, 2020

 Feb. 21, 2021

The 3rd  Exhibition Gallery