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By the Numbers – Insects

Edition Jun 23, 2016
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Numerical facts about Costa Rica


The number of insect species in Costa Rica


That’s right. There are an estimated 750,000 species of creepy crawlers living in Costa Rica, which puts the country’s human population in perspective. In fact, there are close to 20,000 different types of spiders alone, including the banana spider, said to be the most poisonous spider on earth.

But think of it as a good thing. Some of the same factors that make Costa Rica one of the most special places on earth for humans make it even more special to thousands of ant species, hundreds of bee species, 52 different kinds of hummingbirds and 10% of the global butterfly population. In fact, there are at least 220 species of fluttering butterflies to be found in Corcovado National Park alone.

The reason that Costa Rica is home to such a formidable number of species is that the country possesses more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity, with a landmass of only 52,100 km², or just .03% of the earth’s surface. Approximately 25% of the country is comprised of protected forests and reserves, in more than 100 protected areas. Additionally, Costa Rica’s marine territory is more than 10 times the size of its land area, unveiling another treasure trove of life that includes 25 different species of whales and dolphins.

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