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「【TED】是誰偷吃了後花園的菜?教你簡單區分各種昆蟲」- A Simple Way to Tell Insects Apart


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A whiplike straw. Powerful, crushing blades. A pointed, piercing tube.
鞭子般的吸管。破壞力強大的鋒刃。尖銳的管子。

There are nearly a million known insect species in the world, but most have one of just five common types of mouthparts. And that's extremely useful to scientists because when they encounter an unfamiliar insect in the wild, they can learn a lot about it just by examining how it eats.
世界上已知的昆蟲接近一百萬種,但昆蟲口器大致上只分作五種。這對科學家相當管用,因為一旦在野外碰上不熟悉的昆蟲,只要觀察牠們如何進食就能得知不少訊息。

Scientific classification, or taxonomy, is used to organize all living things into seven levels: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The features of an insect's mouthparts can help identify which order it belongs to while also providing clues about how it evolved and what it feeds on.
科學分類,即分類學,將所有生物分成七個階層:界、門、綱、目、科、屬、種。昆蟲口器不只能區分昆蟲所屬的目,也能透露昆蟲的演化過程和取食習性。

The chewing mouthpart is the most common. It's also the most primitive—all other mouthparts are thought to have started out looking like this one before evolving into something different.
最常見的是咀嚼式口器。這是最原始的口器類型--一般認為是昆蟲口器演化成其他類型前的前身。

It features a pair of jaws called mandibles with toothed inner edges that cut up and crush solid foods, like leaves or other insects. You can find this mouthpart on ants from the Hymenoptera order, grasshoppers and crickets of the Orthoptera order, dragonflies of the Odonata order, and beetles of the Coleoptera order.
咀嚼式口器有對大顎,內側邊緣呈鋸齒狀,可以切開、磨碎固體食物,像樹葉或其他昆蟲。咀嚼式口器的昆蟲有像是膜翅目的螞蟻、直翅目的蚱蜢和蟋蟀、蜻蛉目的蜻蜓,和鞘翅目的甲蟲。

The piercing-sucking mouthpart consists of a long, tube-like structure called a beak. This beak can pierce plant or animal tissue to suck up liquids like sap or blood. It can also secrete saliva with digestive enzymes that liquefy food for easier sucking.
刺吸式口器有一個長管構造,稱作「喙」。昆蟲用喙刺穿植物或動物的組織,來吸取樹汁或血液等液體。喙也能分泌含消化酶的唾液來液化食物、幫助吸食。

Insects in the Hemiptera order have piercing-sucking mouthparts and include bed bugs, cicadas, aphids, and leafhoppers.
半翅目的昆蟲具有刺吸式口器,包括臭蟲、蟬、蚜蟲和和葉蟬等。

The siphoning mouthpart, a friendlier version of the piercing and sucking beak, also consists of a long, tube-like structure called a proboscis that works like a straw to suck up nectar from flowers.
虹吸式口器是刺吸式的喙的溫和版,同樣有一個長管構造,稱作「吻管」,可以像吸管一樣吸食花蜜。

Insects of the Lepidoptera order, butterflies and moths, keep their proboscises rolled up tightly beneath their heads when they're not feeding and unfurl them when they come across some sweet nectar.
鱗翅目的蝴蝶和蛾,不取食的時候會將吻管緊緊捲起、收在頭部下方,遇到甜美花蜜時再展開。

With the sponging mouthpart, there's yet another tube, this time ending in two spongy lobes that contain many finer tubes called pseudotracheae. The pseudotracheae secrete enzyme-filled saliva and soak up fluids and dissolved foods by capillary action.
舐吮式口器也有一個管狀構造,末端有兩個類似海綿構造的口盤,上頭遍布許多稱作「假氣管」的微小管子。假氣管分泌富含酶的唾液,並藉由毛細作用吸收液體 、溶解食物。

House flies, fruit flies, and the other non-biting members of the Diptera order are the only insects that use this technique. But, there's a catch. Biting flies within Diptera, like mosquitoes, horse flies, and deer flies, have a piercing-sucking mouthpart instead of the sponging mouthpart.
家蠅、果蠅,和雙翅目中不叮咬的昆蟲才會用這種方式取食。但有個小細節。雙翅目中會叮咬的昆蟲,像蚊子、馬蠅和鹿蠅,牠們的口器是刺吸式而非舐吮式。

And finally, the chewing-lapping mouthpart is a combination of mandibles and a proboscis with a tongue-like structure at its tip for lapping up nectar. On this type of mouthpart, the mandibles themselves are not actually used for eating. For bees and wasps, members of the Hymenoptera order, they serve instead as tools for pollen-collecting and wax-molding.
最後,咀吸式口器包含大顎和頂端具舌狀構造的吻管,可以用來舔食花蜜。在這種口器中,大顎的用途不是用來取食。對蜜蜂和土蜂這些膜翅目的昆蟲來說,大顎是採集花粉、塑造蜂蠟的工具。

Of course, in nature, there are always exceptions to the rules. The juvenile stages of some insects, for example, have completely different kinds of mouths than their adult versions, like caterpillars, which use chewing mouthparts to devour leaves before metamorphosing into butterflies and moths, with siphoning mouthparts.
當然,自然界總是存在例外。例如有些昆蟲在幼蟲階段的口器跟成蟲階段完全不同,像是毛毛蟲原先是用咀嚼式口器吞食樹葉,但蛻變成蝴蝶或蛾之後,口器也成了虹吸式。

Still, mouthpart identification can, for the most part, help scientists and you categorize insects. So, why not break out a magnifying lens and learn a little more about who's nibbling your vegetable garden, biting your arm, or just flying by your ear.
不過,一般來說,辨識口器能協助科學家和你將昆蟲歸類。那麼,何不現在就拿出放大鏡,看看究竟是誰在你家菜園四處啃咬、叮咬你的手臂、或單純從你耳邊飛過?

  • 「通常、一般來說」- For The Most Part

    Still, mouthpart identification can, for the most part, help scientists and you categorize insects.
    不過,一般來說,辨識口器能協助科學家和你將昆蟲歸類。

  • 「拿出」- Break Out

    So, why not break out a magnifying lens and learn a little more about who's nibbling your vegetable garden, biting your arm, or just flying by your ear.
    那麼,何不現在就拿出放大鏡,看看究竟是誰在你家菜園四處啃咬、叮咬你的手臂、或單純從你耳邊飛過?

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