10 Weirdest Looking Insects
1The Darth Vader Ant
While hanging around in the canopy waiting for mosquitoes to bite him (for research purposes rather than the fun of it), he brushed several dozen ants from him and noticed something odd.
Instead of falling randomly away from the tree, the ants formed a mini cascade and landed right back on the bark. Intrigued, he then painted the hind legs of some ants with white nail polish (perhaps part of the usual insect ecologist's kit?). It was discovered that the ants approached the tree backwards, hit it, and then hung on for dear life. While most ants were successful, some would fall down the tree a little farther. A few would plummet down to the earth.
Odder still is the ant's ability to make a 180-degree turn while gliding through the air! This trick helps the ants stay in their lofty home, as they always do their best to glide back to the tree on which they live.
2Hello Kitty Caterpillar
We don't know much more about this insect, except that they are totally cute.
3Elvis Presley Shield Bug
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.
4Donald Trump Caterpillar
5Wattle Cup Caterpillar
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.
8Darth Maul Bug
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.
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