We thought that insects and spiders deserved a special mention because they are very important to the world.
But we seem to forget about them or at least undervalue them.
We think that insects and spiders need more WOWs and heaps less “Ooh yucks”.
Te aitanga a pepeke includes all small creatures including insects, spiders, centipedes, frogs, lizards and others. In Māori mythology Whiro sent an army of small creatures to kill Tane as he climbed up to the heavens to get three sacred baskets of knowledge. Tane used the wind to keep the small creatures away. After getting the baskets Tane made his way back down so Whiro sent thousands of beetles to stop him but Tane beat them too. After this Tane took all the insects and other small animals back to his home in the forest.
Te aitanga a pepeke are important because they
• Keep the balance of nature by keeping pest animals and plants in check
• Pollinate fruits, flowers and vegetables.
• Are primary and secondary decomposers which means they clean up and break down waste from animals, plants and other materials.
• Stop the food web from breaking down.
Besides there are more insects in the world than any other animal. In New Zealand there are estimated to be 20,000 insect and 2,000 spider species. Ninety percent of these are found nowhere else.