Insects are arthropods. LIke many other types of arthropods,
insects have a hard shell and jointed legs. In fact, arthro-pod
means jointed-leg. insects have six jointed legs, which puts them
in class by themselves – the class Insecta. Worldwide
nearly one million species of insects are known to exist.
The insects you will read about here all live in and around the
vernal pools of Mather Field. Probably hundreds more species of
insects live there but nobody has documented their presence to
share with others. There is so much yet to be discovered.
So, what are you waiting for! Grab an insect net and a jar
to meet hundreds of new friends, each with three pairs of jointed
For 2 billion years, bacteria were the only creatures on Earth.
Long before the dinosaurs, a special type of bacteria slowly
increased the level of oxygen in the Earth’s air to 20 percent.
Without this oxygen other plants and animals could not have
evolved, including us.
For Splash students, a “Tadpole Shrimp” is an endangered species
that lives in vernal pools. For rice farmers, a “Tadpole Shrimp”
is a common pest that destroys their rice fields. A rice farmer
would think you were crazy wanting to save “Tadpole Shrimp” from
With scientific names, there’s no room for confusion: the
rice pest is Triops longicaudatus and the endangered
species is Lepidurus packardi. Even a scientists who
speak different languages can understand one another when they
all use the Latin name!