Pictures: The Most Beautiful Insects in the World

peacock-butterflyIn the beauty contest that is life, insects sometimes get a bad rap. Mental images of hairy, many-legged creatures likely first creep into one’s mind when the word “insect” comes up in conversation. When insects like termites and bed bugs invade our homes or businesses they become destructive and therefore are classified pests. However, the vast majority of insects in the world do not damage our homes or spread disease. In fact, many insects could even be considered quite beautiful.

The wings of a butterfly or the vibrant colors of a honey bee can certainly be appreciated right along with the rest of nature’s creations. At current count there is an estimated 900,000 some different insect species in the world and new species are being discovered every year. Whether it is insects right here in the United States or in one of the planet’s exotic locales, many insect species are a true delight to behold. Below we’ve highlighted 4 insects as especially beautiful and included images for your view enjoyment.

Frog-legged leaf beetle (Sagra buqueti)

Frog-legged leaf beetle

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons – Sarefo

When compared to the frog-legged leaf beetle native to Thailand and Malaysia, other insects are likely green with envy. This shimmering specimen features frog-like legs and a metallic green color with flecks of gold and red mixed in.  As one would expect, their long, powerful legs make them excellent climbers. See them in action in the below YouTube video.


Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)

Peacock Butterfly

The Peacock Butterfly’s four large eyspots on its wings act as anti-predatory defense mechanisms.

It’s easy to forget that butterflies are insects as they are often used as symbols of beauty. To choose one species of butterfly as the most beautiful, the peacock butterfly would certainly be in the running for the title. A testament to the butterfly’s beauty, the insect’s scientific classification, Inachis io,  draws its name from the Greek mythology character, Io, who was a lover of Zeus himself. The peackcock butterfly often inhabits woodland areas and is common in European countries like Ireland, Britain and Asian countries including Japan. Watch the species emerge from its cocoon in the below clip.

White-lined Moth (Hyles lineata)

White Lined Moth

Adult White-lined moths fly most often at dawn and dusk.

Often confused with the hummingbird moth for its likeness to the fast-winged bird, the White-lined moth can be found throughout North America and Central America. The insect pollinates a range of plants, such as grapevines, elms. evening primrose and more. The brightly-colored moth is in season from February through November. Watch this video to see the insect up-close.

Australian Coastal Peacock Spider (Maratus speciosus)

Last but certainly not least, the insanely-colored Australian Peacock Spider became in Internet sensation this year (thanks in part by the video above). The peacock-colored jumping spider was captured in this video by cinematographer Jurgen Otto and can be found in metropolitan Perth. The video displays the serious dance moves this spider species possesses as the male attempts to woo the female.

To learn more about amazing insects, read this blog post about the world’s largest spiders.

Is there another insect species you feel should make this list? Share your thoughts below in the comments! 

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