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Fascinating Insects Part 2

Part 2 of your journey into the unknown and awesome.

Fascinating Flies

Bombastic Beetles

The Headlight Beetle has two glowing spots on its back. The underside of its abdomen also lights up when it flies. Headlight Beetle larvae live on the outside of termite mounds. The larva uses its glowing light to attract insects, which they catch and eat.

The Railroad Worm is a glow-in-the-dark beetle. Only the female and the larvae glow. The adult female looks almost identical to the larva stage, which happens in other insects as well. This is called a larviform female: when the adult female maintains the appearance of the larva stage. Read this article to learn more about the life cycle of the Railroad Worm.

Click here to see entomologist Gil Wizen discuss some cool ladybugs and their mimics. A mimic is an animal that makes itself look like another animal on purpose. The Prosoplecta cockroach and the Paraplectana spider mimic the ladybug. Predators avoid eating ladybugs because ladybugs contain toxic chemicals. By making predators think they are a ladybug, the cockroach and the spider avoid being eaten.

More Bombastic Beets

The Dermestid Beetle is used by museums to prepare animal skeletons. This beetle is very efficient at removing the meat from the bones of dead animals. 

Click this link to see amazing beetles from Ecuador. Special thanks to Andreas Kay for their videos.

Glamorous Grasshoppers

Click this link to see amazing grasshoppers from Ecuador. Special thanks to Andreas Kay for their videos.

Terrific True Bugs

Click this link to see amazing treehoppers from Ecuador. Special thanks to Andreas Kay for their videos. As seen in these videos, treehoppers produce honeydew, which means ants and even bees will take care of the treehoppers in exchange for their sweet honeydew.


Myrmecophiles are insects that live inside an ant nest even though they are not ants. Many of them have a parasitic relationship with their ant hosts. They use chemicals to fool the ants into thinking they are one of them, and then they get free food without giving anything in return. Some myrmecophiles even eat the ants’ larvae.

One of the strangest relationships in nature is the one between the Large Blue Butterfly, ants, and the Ichneumon Wasp. The caterpillar of the Large Blue Butterfly pretends to be an ant larva. The ants carry this imposter back to their nest and take good care of it until it is ready to turn into a butterfly. Unfortunately for the butterfly, there is another parasite that is hunting it down. 

The Ichneumon Wasp detects which ant nest contains the Large Blue Butterfly caterpillar. Then the wasp invades the ant nest. The ants try to stop the intruder, but it is hopeless because the wasp has a secret weapon: a chemical that makes the ants fight each other. While the ants are busy engaging in a civil war, the wasp finds the caterpillar deep inside the nest and lays an egg on it. Soon, the egg will hatch and the wasp larva will slowly eat the caterpillar from the inside out. When it is time for the caterpillar to pupate, what comes out of the pupa is a wasp instead of a butterfly.