Insects of the Rainforest & Jungle

Updated: Sep 14

There are numerous species of insects found in rainforests and jungles around the globe. Insects have a critical role as primary and secondary decomposers. Without insects to help break down and dispose of garbage, dead animals and plants would build up in our environment, making things quite messy. Often overlooked, insects' importance in the food system is critical. Here is a closer look at many of these fascinating creatures.


spotted lantern fly

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LANTERNFLY

This strange insect comes from an erroneous idea that their heads were bioluminescent, which has proven to be wrong. Although it's unclear why it has such a weird, bulbous head, the lanternfly belongs to the Fulgoridae family. Some entomologists believe it's to deter predators by resembling a lizard or snake's head. If it doesn't work, the lanternfly can expand its wings, revealing two enormous circular patterns that resemble jaguar or ocelot eyes.


If all else fails, the lanternfly can use more direct means, such as squirting a foul-smelling substance into the attacker's face. Probably a good idea to give a close up of these guys a miss!



BULLET ANTS

The bullet ant, the most deadly insect for humans on this list, also has the distinction of having the most excruciating insect bite globally. According to some people, Bullet Ants' reputation is from its bite, compared to the anguish of being shot. After the gigantic hunting ant, it is also the world's second-largest ant species.




The searing pain of their bites and stings can last up to 24 hours, and these ants are particularly aggressive towards humans and will fiercely defend their nests. The Satere Mawe tribe of the Brazilian Amazon has a strange masculinity ritual. Boys must wear gloves filled with these ants for five minutes and withstand the excruciatingly painful bites before they can be considered true warriors. No, thank you!


BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY

BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY

The Blue Morpho's wingspan ranges from 5 to 8 inches, making it one of the world's most giant butterflies (12.5 to 20 cm).


The tiny scales on the backs of their wings reflect light, giving them a vibrant, iridescent blue colour.



When the morpho's wings are closed, the underside of its wings is a dull brown colour with many eyespots, offering concealment against predators such as birds and insects.

The contrasting bright blue and drab brown colours flicker when the blue morpho flies, giving the impression that the morpho appears and departs.


DRAGONFLY CLOSEUP

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DRAGONFLIES

Most dragonflies' wings are held away from and perpendicular to the body when at rest. Dragonflies can fly in all directions, including sideways, backwards, forwards, spinning, and hovering. Dragonflies are among the world's fastest flying insects, moving through the air at incredible speeds. They may fly for hours at a time and have been known to travel up to 30 kilometres, but they mainly patrol a specific region hunting for insects to eat.


Despite their predatory nature, dragonflies are preyed upon by birds, lizards, frogs, spiders, fish, water bugs, and even other giant dragonflies.


Christmas Beetle

CHRISTMAS BEETLES

Christmas beetles feature bright colours, and the adults emerge around the holidays. White and C-shaped larvae are similar to flower chafers and stag beetles. Christmas beetles can be found in woodlands and forests in Australia's southern and eastern parts.


As grassy woodland areas are used up for housing, the total number of Christmas beetles reported has decreased over the previous 30 years.


 

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