The insect world is such a mixture of the terrifying, beautiful and weird. Nature evolves all kinds of ways for insects to survive and sometimes that method of survival means that a bug looks particularly strange.
Below is a list of some of the odder insects from around the world. They fall into many categories, but they all have one thing in common – they’re odd.
Our list of odd pests is below. Scroll through them all, or click on a link below and be taken right to their entry in the article!
And our list of spiders:
Goliath Beetle – one of the largest insects in the world, the Goliath Beetle is more than just big, they are also rather beautiful. They are indigenous to Africa, where sometimes they are kept as pets by children. They also come in a variety of colors from the brown to white and black to just white.
Photo by Peter Halasz. Image via Melbourne Museum.
Lord Howe Island Stick Insect or Tree Lobster – considered the rarest insect in the world, the huge Lord Howe Island Stick insect lived for centuries in only one place – Lord Howe Island, a small island near Australia. However, a shipwreck on that island deposited a number of black rats that nearly wiped out the Stick Insect population. For years they were thought gone, until an expedition to nearby Ball’s Pyramid found a small but thriving community. There is now an effort underway to return them to Lord Howe Island. These insects are harmless to people, but will grow up to 5 inches in length and weigh as much as 25 grams.
Scorpionfly – it looks like something out of a fever dream or nightmare, perhaps from the mind of a horror novel writer, but the fact is that the Scorpionfly exists, and is generally not a danger to people. It looks like a fly, wasp and scorpion somehow managed to breed and create this hybrid, but really it’s just a close relative of your average fly, in fact very close to mayflies, and may have been an early ancestor of moths and butterflies. They are small to medium in size and see that curving tail that resembles a scorpion’s stinger? Well, that’s actually only seen on the males, is part of their abdomen, and that tip is their, um, reproductive organ.
The Lantern Bug - look at that bug and its very long snout. Actually that is part of its mouth and it uses that to get at tree sap. The Lantern Bug got its name because an urban myth said that this long snout would glow at night. This story was presented by local natives and picked up by explorers who took them at their word and the legend has continued. In fact, it does not glow, but they are still colorful.
Extatosoma Tiaratum – also known as the Giant Prickly Stick Insect or Spiny Leaf Insect. A type of stick insect native to Australia these bugs can grow as big as eight inches long, has a thick body, and, as you can see, is covered with spines and other extensions. All of that extra body stuff is meant to act as camouflage. This insect will land on a tree and wave those body parts around and sway in the breeze to look like the leaves on the tree. They are also strong flyers in case they do end up disturbed they can easily fly away.
Flag-footed Bug – this insect looks like it has flags or leaves attached to its rear legs. That’s to act as a diversion, particularly for birds who might like to eat this kind of insect. While it sits on flowers to get food, a bird might want to take one as a snack, however, if the Leaf-footed Bug detects danger those flags on its feet start to wave around. A bird would then most likely head toward the non-essential parts of its body and avoid its center mass.
Red-veined Darter (Red Dragonfly) – odd and beautiful, the red-veined darter is a native of the British Isles and northwestern Europe. The males are the ones that have a red abdomen and red veins in their wings. Females look very similar, but their abdomens tend to be yellow rather than red.
Colorado Potato Beetle – another one that looks odd, but is also beautiful. This insect goes through a colorful life cycle and their eggs are orange, the larvae are usually reddish-brown, as adults they become yellow and orange with stripes down its sides. This is considered a real pest because infestations can destroy potato crops, plus they also like tomatoes and eggplants.
Acorn Weevil – not only do acorn weevils look a bit like acorns, they prefer acorns for breeding purposes. A female will bore a tiny hole in an acorn and lay eggs inside. When the legless grubs hatch they bore more holes to get out to then grow to adulthood in the soil.
Stag Beetle – the Stag Beetle got its name from those fierce-looking pincers on the front of its face that sort of resemble the antlers of a stag. They are found in many places around the world and might be in your garden right now. The males use those terrific jaws to fight each other for dominance and in order to attract mates. They are generally docile and will not bite humans, but if you mess around with one those pincers can be used for defense and they pack quite a wallop. They have a specially designed head with jaws that are attached like hinges to allow them to close those pincers tight and they won’t let go!
The Oddest Non-Insect Arthropods on the Planet…
Contrary to popular belief, spiders are not insects. Spiders are non-insect arthropods. The world is full of a wide spectrum of eye-catching spiders so we thought we’d share a few of our favorite eight-legged oddballs.
Spiny-backed Orb Weaver – this spider is another one that looks odd, and yet sort of beautiful. They look a bit like crabs and can reach up to 30mm in size. They are covered with those colorful spikes on the back and abdomen. Although orb-weavers have been known to bite humans, their bite is considered harmless. You can find orb-weavers in gardens and heavy vegetation. They prefer to stay hidden and away from people.
Green Jumping Spider – these guys are not only emerald green, but they have unique faces. The one to the left is the male and you can see how the side of its face is covered with hairs that go to a tufted point at the top of the head. Females are a little bigger and also green, but their face is covered with a red and white mask.
Ant-mimicking Spider – look at that insect. Is that an ant or a spider? Well, if you noticed the entry name then you already know. It’s a type of spider that has features that resemble ants. This is done to hunt ants, in some species, or to escape from predators. You can generally tell the difference if you look closely as spiders have more legs than ants (spiders have eight, ants six) and spiders, even ones mimicking ants, behave differently than ants.
Of course, if you have any infestation of insects that are causing problems for you, you can schedule an inspection and call with one of our expert Technicians.