Those Small Living Creatures: How Long Do They Last?

Posted on March 12, 2012 in Environment, PhotoNama

By Saurabh Sahni:

Like human beings and animals, small insects and flies also have a limited life cycle. To talk about wasps, caterpillars, flies, etc., the one thing common in them, apart from their small size is their small lifespan. Even though there is no threat of these insects and flies getting extinguished, most of these only last from a few days to a couple of months and some lasting for a few years.  Following is an illustration of a few insects, with pictures clicked by the author himself:

Land Snail Sticking to a Tree

There are 3 types of snails — land snail, freshwater snail and sea snail. All 3 species have different lifespans. In open, the Achatinidae and Helix, both being different types of land snails, live for approximately 5 to 7 years and 2 to 3 years respectively. However, in captivity, they live a longer life which varies from 10 to 15 years. Usually, they die due to predators or parasites.

A Fly in the Wild

The life span of a fly largely depends on the temperature that it lives in and what it feeds on. For instance, at 29 degree Celsius, their lifespan lasts for a minimum of 25 days and a maximum of 34 days. At 25 degree Celsius, their lifespan rises, varying between 60 to 92 days approximately. In short, lower the temperature, lesser their life span.

Big Ant After the Rain

Ants don’t live for long. At the maximum, their lifespan lasts for 45 to 60 days. Till date, there are about 10,000 species of an ant that have been found. Ants work in colonies with each colony having a minimum of 1 queen heading them.

A Bee on a Flower

There are two categories of bees- the queen bee and the drone bee. While the queen bee is the female bee, drone bees are the male species. There is a vast difference in the lifespan of both. A queen bee can live up to as much as 5 years, whereas the maximum lifespan of a drone is 50 days. Most of the bees are workers and majority of them are females. On an average, worker bees live for 1 to 4 months.

Centipede on a Leaf

Just like most other insects, a centipede’s lifespan also varies depending upon the temperature and moisture conditions. A centipede living in captivity can survive up to as much as 7 years, whereas a house centipede has an approximate lifespan of 5 years. On an average, lifespan of a centipede can be counted as 6 years.

Wasp on a Zipper

The lifespan of a wasp greatly depends upon its role in the society. For instance, the female species of a wasp live for a year approximately, whereas the workers, or better known as sterile females, live for no more than 22 days. The male species live for about six weeks.


These short-lived wonders will continue to exist along with us, in a number of varieties, which compensates for the years that they miss out on, and we humans have.