If you like insects, we propose a global tour of the most beautiful and curious.
We do not know if you are one of those who consider insects as their favorite animal, but whether or not there are a lot of amazing creatures within this class of invertebrates, including some of the most-hated and probably feared by most, such as cockroaches, mosquitoes or earwigs. Fortunately, not all insect species are unattractive to look at. Today we are here to, within that more than one million species of insects described; show you those really nice, interesting that can even inspire tenderness, thanks to the fantastic biodiversity of Mother Nature: butterflies, mantids, dragonflies, grasshoppers…
Among the most striking features of some insects, we will find that some are able to live more than 50 years (the queen ant has an overwhelming life expectancy of about 28 years and the end reigns almost twice) and others, just live a few hours (cockroaches, for example, only live 1 year, but leave as a legacy many thousands of young…) There are also those who may not eat for a long time or those who are capable of living in such inhospitable areas as Antarctica.
Undoubtedly, butterflies are the insects most familiar and accepted by humans. There are around 17,500 species of butterflies in the world and they are the only group of insects that have scales to cover their wings. In fact, the colorful colors of the wings of the butterflies come from these small scales of color. It is called ‘structural color’, where the scales form small grooves that reflect light.
This was attested by a study conducted by scientists at Yale University (USA) that revealed the mystery of how the bright colors of the wings of some species of butterflies are produced. Their results were published in the journal PNAS, and they explain that colors are the product of subtle wing structures that refract sunlight as a prism. These small repetitive structures, called gyroids, are located in the wing scales and have a shape similar to a corkscrew. The gyroids bend and reflect light to create the color of the wings that fascinates humans so much.
Acraga coa is a curious moth that we can find in Mexico (for example in Cancun), Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. Even today, biologists are not sure why these insect species are so colorful, but they suspect that it is a defense mechanism to avoid predators, as with so many other species. However, the strangest quality of this kind of caterpillar jewel is the transformation. When the larvae emerge from their chrysalises as moths, their crystal bodies turn furry and show a vibrant orange.
The blue dragonfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) can reach a length of 32 to 35mm although it is common throughout Europe (except in Iceland), we can find it even in central Asia.
The eyes of the dragonflies are the largest and also the most accurate of all insects on the planet; they can see 360º of their environment without turning their heads.
Conservation status according to IUCN: minor concern.
The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is a species of mantis native to Asia. It is the largest mantis species that exists, and can reach 11 centimeters in length. Like most mantids, he practices cannibalism and mantis has been observed eating even monarch butterflies after discarding the entrails (toxic).
Endemic to Madagascar, l a twilight moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus) is a flying moth famous for its striking coloration. Very popular among collectors, this moth is considered one of the most impressive and attractive insects on the planet.
The painted rainbow grasshopper (Dactylotum bicolor) is a curious species of arthropod that can be found in North America. As its name advances, it has a great variety of colors distributed throughout its body such as blue, red, black, yellow or orange. The females measure about 35 millimeters and the males a little less.
Conservation status according to IUCN: not threatened.
Mantis flower of India
The mantis flower of India (Creobroter pictipennis), also known as mantis florida, is a species of praying mantis native to Asia. The males grow around 38 mm and the females are a little larger, more robust and wide, with wings that extend a little beyond the end of the abdomen. The most curious thing about this mantis is a whitish or yellowish spot that has a face shape, ideal to scare away predators.
It could be said that it is the rarest insect on the planet. The Bocydium globulare lives in the trees of the Brazilian jungles and although its appearance surprises us, it only measures 4 mm. One of the characteristics that most attract the attention of this insect is the morphology of its head that rises vertically with 4 balls as protagonists, as if it were a curious sculpture. The shape of your head helps you to blend in with the environment.
Pink Maple Butterfly
We now encounter the pink maple butterfly (Dryocampa rubicunda). Known for its vibrant pink and yellow colors and its diffuse-looking antennae, it is a magnificent insect visually. This species, native of North America, is nocturnal. They are very small, as the males barely reach 32-44 millimeters and the females have a wingspan of 40-50 millimeters. In order to fly, your wings have to pump fluid. Another of its curiosities is that they feed on maple, especially red maple, silver maple and sugar maple.
Long-horned beetle from Thailand
The long-horned beetle of Thailand (calloplophora sollii) belongs to a genus of beetles from Asia, where most are large and quite colorful, and are usually sought after by beetle collectors.
Monarch butterfly caterpillar
The caterpillar of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of the most beautiful creatures. Its transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is incredible, making this type of butterfly, which is already one of the most beautiful in the world, an unusual specimen, as its larva phase is almost more fascinating. The brightly colored caterpillar traverses five different major stages of growth and after each, silent.
Golden turtle beetle
The golden turtle beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata) is a species of arthropod native to the Americas. Consume foliage of vines, bells and sweet potatoes. It is of variable color, usually reddish brown with black spots and a golden color often metallic, which gives it the nickname of ‘golden insect’.
The sack caterpillar (Psychidae) belongs to the family of butterflies and moths and is found throughout the world. The worm moths have a transparent one-inch wingspan, feathered antennae and are black and very hairy. However, female moths of the worm are wingless, legless and yellow-white. The most curious quality of this species is its habit of building protective boxes to hide, hence its name. These exclusive covers are made with silk and environmental materials including sand, earth, lichen or plants. These bags vary in size depending on the species and can grow from less than 1 centimeter to 15 centimeters.
The moon butterfly (Actias luna), as it could not be otherwise, is a nocturnal butterfly. It can be found in most of North America, including Greenland and the mountains of Mexico (and even in Nova Scotia, Canada) and is one of the largest in the United States: it has a wingspan of up to 114 mm and a curious lime green color, ideal to go unnoticed.
The orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia. As we can see, it is characterized by a brilliant coloration and a structure finely adapted for camouflage, imitating parts of the orchid flower. You can change its color between pink and brown, depending on the color of the background. In this case, we have a beautiful fuchsia pink mantis.
The ladybug (Coccinellidae) is a species of insect that we can find in practically the whole world. It is a pretty little beetle easily recognizable by its black spots on its wing covers. Most ladybugs are red, but they can also be yellow or orange. More than 6,000 species of ladybugs have been discovered and described. Is it your favorite insect?
The panda ant (Euspinolia militaris) lives in the sclerophyllous forests of the Coquimbo region of Chile. The funny thing is that neither is an ant nor is a panda, but since it presents just those colors and resembles an ant, the name was impossible to avoid. It is a kind of wasp, but without wings. It belongs to the mutilidae family, insects known as velvet ants because of the hair that covers its body. However, do not be fooled by its friendly appearance: it has a powerful sting to catch its prey.