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Do insects get sunburnt? © Getty Images

Do insects get sunburnt?

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Insects that live out in the open have evolved built-in defences against the sun, but others can really feel the burn.

Asked by: Sean Harkins, by email


Insects that live in the open have dark exoskeletons with melanin in them to block UV rays. But this is no use for insects that live in water or underground or are nocturnal. They have paler, thinner skins that are easily damaged by the Sun. They don’t just burn, they are rapidly paralysed and die!


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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