I have always been fascinated by insects. They are simply everywhere; if an area is too cold, you will have insects that have adapted over time, survived and have developed their own characteristics to live there. If it’s too hot, you will have completely different types of insects that have evolved at specific places. Freezing, hot, humid, dry, you name it, weather conditions and temperature simply aren’t enough to get rid of insects.
A lot of female species lay thousands of eggs per day; so all you really need is a very small population that can survive at some place for a short time, and you will have a new set of insects living there and reproducing for a long time to come.
With so many of them out there, some insects really stand out of the crowd. These are some of the most unique insects of the world. Whether it is for their looks, their use, the way they are or the way they act, each of one of these insects has a set of traits that makes them unique.
The Most Beautiful Insect
Winner: Sunset Moth from Madagascar
The wings of this insect actually don’t have any pigmentation! The colors that you are seeing are actually refraction of the light from micro-ribbon in the wings. This moth is actually active during the day, while most moths of the same family are active during the night. They are native to Madagascar and South America and their wings change color shifting from blue to gold-green and then to other shade of yellow as you change your viewing angle. As you may have imagined, this butterfly is very wanted by collectors.
Most Dangerous Ant
Winner: Black Bulldog Ant of Australia
Considering we all have seen ants and they are probably known for being totally inoffensive, this one not so much. It has been known to literally kill humans. They are dark brown and have black abdomen. They are the most primitive of all ants and are very aggressive. They are 1 inch in length and can go up to 2 inches in some case. As their name implies, they are found only in Australia and on top of being aggressive, they are very fast.
Fastest Flying Insect
Winner: Horse Fly
It’s fastest recorded speed has been up to 90 MPH. Not only is this insect very fast, but it also has great control and maneuvers in the air. It can turn and change directions at lightning speeds. Even though they go very fast, they don’t rely on these speeds hoping to just get lucky getting a prey, they know in advance their destination and what they will be doing. They also have huge eyes; so huge they are some of the biggest of all insects, and their vision cover almost a 360 degree angle!
Winner: Goliath Beetle
Not only heavy, but also huge as you can notice. They come from the family of scarab beetles; the family of scarab beetles have over 30,000 species and scientists think there are as much that haven’t been discovered yet. The first specie appeared over 300 million years ago, and it’s the ability to adapt to the environment that these beetles have been around for so long. The Goliath Beetle likes to eat dead plant and measure 2 to 4-1/3 inches and weigh 3 to 3-1/2 oz. They play an important part in the ecosystem as a decomposer in the environment.
These are the very tiny flies that gather in groups and fly in no real directions. They can pass through very fine opening when doors or windows are shut. They live primarily where there are water sources. Only the females bite and suck out blood; it is to get proteins to develop their eggs.
Winner: Giant Stick Insect
Yes, that thing is an insect! A giant stick insect measure 163 mm, and if counting when their legs are outstretched, they measure 295mm, almost a whole foot! And in some cases, they can even reach 20 inches. There are over 3000 species of stick insects found, and some of them even have wings and fly. Can you imagine something of this size flying in your living room. It is actually still a challenge to certain people as to how they can fly with such a big weight and small wings; great aerodynamics is the explanation.
Winner: Brevisana brevis
This specie of cicadas can be heard for over one quarter of a mile away. It is a real wonder of nature of how something so small can be so powerful to our ears. At close range, the noise can reach 120 dB. A comparative example would be a night in a discotheque, where the music usually reaches 100 dB.
Winner: Thorn Bug
The size and color of this insect varies a lot, but usually, the adult thorn bug is about 0.5 inches high and of color green. They are found in South and Central America, Mexico, and southern Florida. This specie was almost unknown until almost 1950.
Longest Living Insect
Winner: Queen of Termites
The Queen of Termites has been known to live as long as 50 years. They have been on earth for over 200 million years. Termites eat dead wood and by themselves alone, cause more damages to homes than fire and storms. The queen lays between 5,000 to 7,000 eggs a day; that’s a lot of eggs for someone who can also live so long. Speaking of lifespan, there are, on the other hand, mayflies that can live as much as only an hour.
Winner: Desert Locus
While the above termites do a lot of damage to homes, it is nothing compared to the destructiveness of the Desert Locus. They each eat about the equivalent mass of the weight of their body. They eat almost every sort of crop and vegetation: leaves, flowers, rice, fruits, vegetables, seeds, palms…you name it. 2003-2005 was one of the worst period for West Africa with the desert locus. The desert locus had invaded over 20 countries, the cost of fighting them were over $400 million and the estimated damages to the harvest were over $2.5 billion.