Tuesday, April 11, 2017

5 of the Most Beautiful Bugs on the Planet

Some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth are living right under our noses. I’d like to take a moment and share with you all some of the most beautiful bugs on the planet. You won’t believe what you see!

Jewel Beetle – Chrysochroa fulgens

All hail the glorious Jewel beetle (Chrysochroa fulgens)! This species is native to Thailand, sporting a stunning technicolor dream coat with a golden yellow waistband. They grow to a maximum length of 40mm but you can bet your butt that every mm is packed with a pretty punch!

Flower Beetle – Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni

These opalescent Flower beetles (Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni) look like they’ve been crafted out of stardust and galaxies, rather than insect… stuff. Found in the afrotropical region, which includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo, they are popular as “pet insects” because of their breathtaking iridescent green, red or purple colors, depending on subspecies. They are also easy to breed, highly fertile and their development is relatively fast (for a beetle).

Rainbow Shield Bug – Calidea dregii

I have a theory about what you’ll find at the end of a rainbow… but only if you’re in Mozambique, Tanzania, and/or Cameroon, that is. These Rainbow Shield Bugs (Calidea dregii) look like tiny pieces of the rainbow that have broken off! They’re absolutely dazzling with their kaleidoscope of colors. However, they’re actually considered a pest to the area, as they feed on Jatropha plants. In 2007 Goldman Sachs cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production and the Rainbow Shield Bugs are affecting biofuel projects utilizing the plant.

Picasso Bug – Sphaerocoris annulus

Apparently Picasso used other materials besides canvas to do his work: this is a Picasso Bug which is a species of Shield-backed Bug (Sphaerocoris annulus) and its ornate exterior looks as if it had been painted by the master artist himself.

According to the tumblr blog rhamphotheca, “These beautifully patterned true bugs (order Hemiptera, family Scutelleridae) are found throughout much of sub-saharan and northeastern Africa. They feed on the nectar and internal juices of a wide variety of plants with their sucking and piercing proboscis (straw like mouth part). Eggs are deposited on the under sides of leaves. The young nymphs spend most of their time in flowers feeding, and they take a little under 2 months to molt and grow into adults (when they will become more generalized feeders).” You can find them from South Africa, Ethiopia, to Cameroon.

Frog-legged Leaf Beetle – Sagra buqueti

Last but certainly not least on our list of most beautiful beetles is the Frog-legged Leaf Beetle (Sagra buqueti). The common name comes from the male’s characteristic strong hind legs that are almost frog-like in appearance. Females, on the other hand, are smaller and have comparatively much smaller legs. You can see the difference between the two in the last photo (above) which shows the smaller female on the left and the larger male on the right.

These beetles look like they are formed out of the shiniest, most spectacular wrapping paper on the planet. That’s why they top off our list of 5 of the most beautiful beetles on the planet.

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