The diversity of insects on this planet is astonishing and should be a source of continual wonder for us all. It can only be hope that these incredible creatures can be left to survive and continue their species for many millennia to come. Of course they do everything we do - sometimes with much more aplomb! You may think this is mother nature at is rawest or a kind of bug porn! Choose for yourself, but ready or not - here we go!
A pair of Migrant Hawkers mates, the fantastic coloring of their bodies coordinating so well with each other. Found in
The appropriately named Assassin Bug which looks as if it would give any Ninja a run for its money! They feed mainly off other insects but have been known to have a go at other species, including birds and, oh, us! Found in tropical regions, they are making inroads in to Europe and
These Cicada Parasite bugs may look as if they belong to different species but it is quite usual for male and female insects to be startlingly different from one another. The larger one is the female and the brown one doing the work is the male. Found in the
The sex of the Southern Green Stink Bug, however, is almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Fortunately they have no problem with recognizing each other. They are so called because, yes, their smell can only be described as malodorous. Classified as a pest, these bugs attack many important food crops and are thought to have originated in
The much-maligned mosquito has many different species all over the world. Noted for their slender body and long legs they are the Size Zero of the insect world. As a vector agent they carry parasites and diseases from person to person and so are not the most popular insect on the planet. Blissfully unaware of their reputation among the higher mammals, this pair carries on the circle of life quite blithely.
The Lady Bug or as it is known in the
Caddis flies are closely related to moths and butterflies and as such mate in a very similar way with each partner facing away from the other. Their larvae are, however, aquatic and can live in extremely cold climates. Their cocoons are spun from silk, just like butterflies. They emerge en masse to ensure that a male and female can find each other easily. Anglers take advantage of this by matching their flies to whatever species is emerging on the day they are fishing.
The gorgeous Queen Butterfly (living in South and
Two rotting bananas do it on a lead. This awesomely ugly creature is known as Lixus angustatus but we would call it a weevil. They are also, unsurprisingly, known as Snout Beetles and look as if they are some long lost relative of the Ant Eater. There is such an abundance of Weevil species and diversity that their classification is in a constant state of flux but you are most likely to meet one at home if you open a bag of flour! A good job that home baking is on the decline, then!
The incredibly elegant creature pictured above is the Ischnura elegans or the Blue-Tailed Damselfly and is found over much of the European continent. As its English name suggests, it has a large amount of blue coloring. Its eighth segment, however, is entirely blue and it is this which gives this insect its stunning look. The female has diversified in color and can come in pale green, violet and pink.
The Robber Fly, which not many people find terribly attractive, has some fun in the sun. They can be recognized by their furry moustache and each has a group of three primitive eyes nestling between the larger two compound ones. It injects its victims through its proboscis and the enzyme it produces liquefies it victim. The resulting mush can then be sucked through the proboscis.
Another pair of Stink Bugs gets busy with the job nature intended. Although they are known to occasionally eat other insects, they mostly suck the sap from plants by piercing them with sharp mouth parts. Stink Bugs (from the Hemiptera order) use their stink to warn off predators. The stink is an aldehyde, which is similar to a pheromone (chemically at least).
The European Praying Mantis is one of the more popular insects because of its alien appearance. The female is renowned for eating the male after mating. This is certainly true – and the male knows it. Little known is the fact that many males manage to make a quick getaway after they have secured continuance of their genetic material!
The Praying Mantis is the Kama Sutra Kid of the insect world. Whole books could be written about the positions in which they are found in coitus!
Always beware the little guys! Ambush bugs are usually about twelve millimeters in length but they take on prey which is significantly larger than they are! They are found mostly in tropical Asia and
These Anacua tortoise beetles are so named because of their superficial resemblance to the tortoise. However, unlike a tortoise, what you can see here is not a carapace or shell. It is known as an elytron and is a hardened forewing. It is a protective cover for the delicate hind wings which are used for flying. In some species the fore and hind wings have become fused, which renders the beetle flightless.
A pair of Shield Bugs – which is another name for the Stink Bug family. What is exceptional about this species is the orange and black strip of danger signals it has at the base of its ‘shield’. How often does mankind unwittingly imitate the insect world?
The Desert Forktail, found in the
What selection of insects would be complete without the inclusion of the Grasshopper? This image manages to be beautiful, scary and creepy all at the same time.