Did you know there are over a million different species of insects on planet Earth? Not surprisingly then, with so many different types of weird looking creepy crawlies, some of them are pretty strange looking. If you think you can handle that, we welcome you to venture into our list of 10 weirdest looking insects from around the world.
Picture six spindly legs, wings like a locust and a twig emerging in place of a neck, covered in bumpy globes…Yes, that is the Brazilian treehopper, one of the weirdest bugs that look too strange to be true. Scientists still don’t know what the sphere ornamentation is actually for, but they do know that treehoppers feed off the sap from plant stems.
Tailed Emperor Butterfly Caterpillar
If you ever find yourself on the east coast of Australia between March and April, inspecting an Illawarra Flame Tree, and you happen to see a small dragon, don’t be alarmed…it’s probably just a tailed emperor butterfly caterpillar. There’s nothing looks abnormal if you only see its body; however, its armour-plated head covered in horns is extremely weird, even scary looking, which secures it a place in our weirdest bugs list.
Hello Kitty Caterpillar.
This is actually the caterpillar form of the Chinese Bush Brown Butterfly (Mycalesis gotama), but that face is familiar all over the world as Hello Kitty. As you can probably imagine, these cute caterpillars are quite the hit in Japan, the caterpillars’ native region. We don’t know much more about this insect, except that they are totally cute.
Elvis Presley Shield Bug
A photographer was left “all shook up” after spotting the face of Elvis on the back of a bug. With markings on its back resembling human eyes, nose, mouth, and a pompadour hairdo, the unusual stink bug bears an uncanny resemblance to the King of rock ‘n’ roll. Photographer Darlyne Murawski from Massachusetts, US spotted the Pentatomoidea bug, also known as a giant shield bug, by chance.
Darlyne was on a photographic assignment with National Geographic in the Khao Chong Forest Reserve in southern Thailand when she came across the unusual creature sitting on a leaf. The bug has previously been spotted in the forests of Singapore, where it was likened to the Sesame Street character Bert.
Look! It’s a hummingbird! No, a bug! No, a hummingbird… It’s probably Hemaris thysbe, the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth or Common Clearwing (wingspan 38-50 mm), which so closely resembles a hummingbird when feeding that many people never really notice that it’s a moth hovering over the flowers. The diurnal nature of many of these moths (most moths are nocturnal) and its similarities to the hummingbird in size, foraging behavior, and feeding structures often makes it one of the most common cases of mistaken identity in nature. The Hemaris thysbe moth feeds through a proboscis, a long, straw-like tube kept curled under the head when not in use. Its range includes Alaska and the Northwest Territories south through British Columbia to Oregon, east through the Great Plains and the Great Lakes area to Maine and Newfoundland, and south to Florida and Texas. Central Texas residents know that its range incorporates the Texas Hill Country, especially in the spring.
Caterpillars are more vulnerable to predators than during their later butterfly stage, so many have developed scary appearances for protection. This green alien is a native of the Philippines and seems to have taken the fake eye spots to an extreme, making its “face” quite large and scary. Normally, a caterpillar’s face is much smaller, and not on the second abdominal segment.
Deilephila elpenor, known as the Elephant Hawk-moth, is a large moth of the Sphingidae family. The species is found throughout Britain and Ireland. The larva is about 75 millimetres (3.0 in) long and is green and brown in color. When startled, the caterpillar draws its trunk into its foremost body segment. This posture resembles a snake with a large head and four large eye-like patches. Caterpillars are preyed upon by birds, but these shy away (at least for some time) from caterpillars in “snake” pose. It is not known whether the birds believe that the caterpillar actually resembles a snake, or whether they are frightened by the sudden change of a familiar prey item into an unusual and boldly-patterned shape.
Another “great” example of weird insects is the creepily named assassin bug, which is famous for its attack style as well as its weird looks. Various species of assassin bugs are found throughout the world with differing colouring to match their native camouflage. But all follow the same kill method – stab their prey with a specialized mouth tube and then inject it with a toxin that turns their insides to mush. This insect then attaches the entire corpse to its back. Not just one or two at a time, mind you—these bugs can be found lugging around massive piles of their foes.
While this insect looks like the result of some bizarre genetic experiment that spliced a scorprion stinger onto a wasp, that “stinger” is actually something much more innocuous: the fly’s genitals.Nevertheless, it makes for a bizarre looking creature. Scorpionflies, or mecoptera, can be found all over the world, and have been around since the Mesozoic age. In fact, they’re believed to have been the forerunners of most of our modern moths and butterflies, collectively grouped in the Lepidoptera order.
A native to the continent of Africa, these weird insects don’t grow quite as big as their ancient namesake; but for a bug, they’re pretty big! Growing up to 4 inches in length, the goliath beetle is a big fan of protein and in captivity enjoys delicacies such as cat or dog chow, and in some cases, even baby food!
Donald Trump Caterpillar
You can see the resemblance, can’t you? This is a Megalopyge opercularis, or flannel moth caterpillar. It was spotted by photographer Jeff Cremer and biologist Phil Torres in the Peruvian rainforest. They look furry, and will become a fluffy moth as well, but don’t touch it! Its “fur” is made up of venomous spines that can cause painful swelling that lasts for days.