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Top 10 Most Beautiful Insects in the World

Eric is a biology teacher, an animal lover, and an animal blogger.

Insects are invertebrates or animals without a backbone. They belong to the phylum arthropod (which means having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages). They have a head, thorax (the midsection of their body), abdomen, a pair of antennae, and three pairs of legs. These creatures are the most abundant animals on Earth. They comprise 75% of all animal species that scientists have named and described. You can find these creatures almost anywhere in the world.

There are many nasty creatures within this class of invertebrates, including some of the world’s most hated, feared, and repel vermin, such as: locusts, cockroaches, flies, wasps, etc. Most of us hate them because they look creepy, bite, or cause diseases. Fortunately, not every insect species are so disgusting and unpleasant to look at. Actually, there are also many beautiful and colorful bugs.

Here are the top 10 most beautiful insects in the world.

1. Picasso Bug

These bugs look as if they have been individually hand-painted by Pablo Picasso himself. Their green-patterned shells are nothing less than a work of art. Unlike most other bugs and beetles, their carapace that covers the wings is one piece. The beautifully colored insects feed primarily upon the juices of a variety of plants. This species is present in tropical and subtropical Africa.

Picasso Bug

Picasso Bug

2. Spiny Flower Mantis

The body of the adult form of this species of praying mantis is white with orange and green stripes. It has spiny structures on the underside of its abdomen, giving it its name. It has wings, with a black and yellow "swirl" on them, mimicking an eye. When threatened, the spiny flower mantis will spread its wings upward to reveal the two "eyes" in order to scare its enemy off. The length of this creature is between 2.5 cm to 5 cm (1–2 inches).

When they’re first born, they are mostly black and look like ants. These tiny insects are native to Southern and Eastern Africa.

Adult Spiny Flower Mantis

Adult Spiny Flower Mantis

3. Panda Ant

While the coloration of these insects is beautiful and resembles the coat of China’s giant panda bear, it serves a much more important function: as warning coloration to predators. It is, in fact, not an ant at all but a wasp. The female of the species is wingless, which is why it is often confused with ants. The sting of this wasp is incredibly painful, giving it the nickname of “cow killer." These insects usually live in the sand in dry, tropical areas like the desert in Chile.

Female Panda Ant

Female Panda Ant

4. Spotted Tortoiseshell Beetle

They are golden brown beetle measuring 6–8 mm with black spots on their elytra. They have a rounded body and a similar size to the ladybird. Their body is domed, with somewhat flatter areas along the edges. They look somewhat like tiny tortoises with a translucent carapace. When disturbed, they can press themselves close to the leaf surface with all appendages safely protected underneath, somewhat in the manner a tortoise can withdraw into its shell.

The larvae display the habit of carrying their fecal material and cast skins, forming a "shield or umbrella" that deters predation. These insects are widely distributed in North America.

Adult Spotted Tortoiseshell Beetle

Adult Spotted Tortoiseshell Beetle

5. Acraga Hamata Moth Caterpillar

It looks like a nudibranch (the reason why it is also called slug caterpillar) that's made out of glass or sweet gummy candy. It is comprised of a semi-translucent, jelly-like substance, making it one of the coolest looking animals. The orange color of the spiny protuberances in contrast to the virtually transparent body serves as a warning to would-be predators, since it is slightly toxic.

These insects live in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama.

Larva of Acraga Hamata Moth

Larva of Acraga Hamata Moth

6. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

The newly hatched larvae of this caterpillar are black, and their coloration is due to small black hair growing all over their body. Fully grown caterpillars are typically yellowish-green in color and possess yellow, red, and blue tubercles, surrounded by black spines. They eat the leaves of many trees and shrubs.

The adult form is North America’s largest native moth. It has a wingspan of 160 mm (6 inches). It will not live long (about two weeks), because it cannot eat and has no digestive system. Its purposes are to mate and lay eggs.

Fully Grown Caterpillar of Cecropia Moth

Fully Grown Caterpillar of Cecropia Moth

7. Achrioptera Fallax

Stick insects are known for their camouflage. This species has eggs go unnoticed, because they look like seeds—and nymphs are small, brown, and resemble sticks. The nymphs will eventually develop into the electric blue or turquoise male or will become the much larger brown female. Both the male and female have red, tiny, flightless wings relative to their long bodies. They flash it to predators to startle them off. These insects are native to Madagascar.

Male Achrioptera Fallax

Male Achrioptera Fallax

8. Palawan Birdwing Butterfly

Endemic to the Philippines, it is a large, vividly colored butterfly species. The wings of males are mainly black. Each forewing has seven tooth-shaped, electric-green markings, while there is a relatively large electric-green patch on the hindwings. The thorax is black with red hair. The wings of females are browner with prominent white flashes at the tips of the forewings and at the base of the hindwings.

It is one of only two species in its genus, the other being the more widespread Rajah Brooke's birdwing, where the male has larger green markings on the hindwings. Unfortunately, its appealing appearance has caused this butterfly to be endangered as over-collection is a major threat to it.

Male Palawan Birdwing Butterfly

Male Palawan Birdwing Butterfly

9. Painted Trilobite Cockroach

They are also known as wood cockroaches, bark cockroaches, and flat cockroaches. They are flat, oval-shaped, diurnal roaches that appear to have armor. They are named after trilobites due to the females looking like the extinct, unrelated, aquatic species.

All species of this kind of cockroach are native to Australia. They spend most of their time under leaf litter or under logs. They live in small colonies and can communicate with each other using scent. You can pet them because they are not considered pests.

Female Painted Trilobite Cockroach

Female Painted Trilobite Cockroach

10. Orchid Mantis

These beautiful looking mantises grow up to 7 cm long. They get their name because they look like a flower. They are pink and white with lobes on their legs that look like petals. They latch onto branches and sway back and forth, imitating the currents of the wind. They use their camouflage to hide so that they can ambush their prey. Their color can change from pink to brown in order to mimic its surroundings.

Orchid Mantis

Orchid Mantis

Insects are beneficial. They are crucial components of many ecosystems, where they perform many important functions. They aerate the soil, pollinate blossoms, control insect and plant pests, feed on dead animals and fallen trees, and recycle nutrients back into the soil. We need to appreciate their purposes. Don't hate them.

© 2020 Eric Caunca

Comments

Rose McCoy from West Virginia on August 22, 2020:

Wow, what a cool article! Keep it up!

Benz Aquino on July 11, 2020:

Panda Ant is my favorite.

Monty Ortega on June 02, 2020:

Very informative. ☺

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