The world is full of natural wonders, and that extends to the insect kingdom. Scientists are constantly discovering new species that were previously unknown to the world. Below is a list of five strange and downright wacky bugs that you’ve probably never heard of.
1. Panda Ant
First discovered in 1938, the Panda Ant actually isn’t an ant at all – it’s a wasp! This fuzzy black and white critter hails from Chile, and is related to the Red Velvet Ant, a species of wingless wasps, (which is also known as the “Cow Killer”, as it’s sting is so poisonous it is said to debilitate cows.) The Panda Ant is aptly named due to its black-and-white markings, which resemble that of a panda bear.
2. Thorn Bug
Officially known as the Umbonia Spinosa, this critter is native to Southern Florida, where it’s a pest to ornamentals and fruit trees. These bugs form in dense clusters around twigs, branches, and small tree trunks during periods of heavy infestation. The thorn bug is believed to be a relative of cicadas, and while it is unusual to look at, it is also stunning. This insect uses its beak to pierce plant stems in order to feed on the sap. There are four species that are known to exist. You can spot a thorn bug by its green or yellow color and reddish lines or brown markings, as well as by the prominent pronotal horn on the males.
3. Hummingbird Hawk-Moth
Also commonly known as a “hummingmoth,” this insect resembles a hummingbird both in appearance and mannerisms. Not only does it have a long proboscis, it also hovers and makes a humming noise similar to that of a hummingbird. It also feeds on flowers like a hummingbird. This critter should not be mistaken with the hummingbird moths found in North America, although they are from the same family and are similar.
4. Poodle Moth
The Venezuelan Poodle Moth is a fairly new species of moths discovered in 2009 by Dr. Arthur Anker. It’s a funny looking, fuzzy little critter found in Venezuela. This white, furry creature is a neotropical ornamental moth, although not much is known about it or its behavior.
5. Giant Isopod
The Giant Isopod is like a ginormous roly poly or pill bug that dwells in the bottom of the sea. With large compound eyes and an average length that’s between 7.5 inches and 14 inches, and a maximum weight and length of 3.7 lbs and 30 inches, this giant crustacean is nothing to scoff at. Much like their smaller counterparts, the Giant Isopod has the ability to roll up into a ball so only it’s harder, outer shell is exposed, which provides protection from predators trying to attack their more vulnerable underside. Although the Giant Isopod may appear to be frightening, they really are just a giant roly poly! The Giant Isopod is even considered a delicacy in some cultures – meaning, yes, you can eat it!
There are virtually tons of unusual creatures in the insect kingdom; these are but a few of them. The world is indeed a strange place, with proof being all around us in the form of strange yet fascinating creatures, such as these weird bugs.
About the author: Chris is writer for Fox Pest Control, a Connecticut based pest control company.