1 . Puss Moth Caterpillar
With their soft bodies and high protein content, caterpillars are usually incredibly vulnerable. To fend off predators, they often resort to scare tactics. Sometimes its in the form of bright, flashy colors; sometimes its in the form of mimicry
2 . Devils Flower Mantis Idolomantis Diabolica
One of the largest types of praying mantis, the Devils Flower Mantis is also one of the strangest. And thats saying a lot when youre talking about praying mantids. Females of the species can measure up to 5 inches (13 cm) long, and have developed a range of natural coloring that allows them to mimic the Devils Flower, a type of orchid. Mantids are predators, and their hunting style usually involves sitting motionless until their prey comes within reach, and then whipping their forearms out at lightning speed to snag flies, beetles, even, in some cases, birds. The Devils Flower Mantis uses color patterns that mimic a flower to actually lure its prey within reach.
3 . Brazilian Treehopper
The image shown here is a model created by Alfred Keller, a German sculptor, in the 1950?s. But dont let the fact that its a model fool you
4 . Dasychira Pudibunda Caterpillar
Also known as the Pale Tussock, the Dasychira Pudibunda is a moth native to Denmark. Its bright yellow caterpillars are covered in patches of spiky hair that resemble porcupine quills, and along the center of their back is another row of hair tufts, one on each segment of its body, culminating in a large black or brown spine at the rear end.From a distance the caterpillar resembles a sponge, but up close, where you can actually see the double row of mandibles, its not quite so cuddly. Every now and then, Pale Tussock populations will explode, resulting in a carpet of these caterpillars covering the trees. In 1988, a wave of Pale Tussocks demolished 20 hectares of beech forest in Denmark.
5 . Extatosoma Tiaratum
Anybody whos ever seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom should instantly recognize this monstrosity, commonly referred to as the Giant Prickly Stick Insect. As the largest known stick insect, the extatosoma tiaratum can reach lengths of 8 inches (20 cm) and is usually covered with large thorny spikes, which double as both camouflage and defensive armor.Most of the time this insect attempts to blend in with its surroundings, but if it feels threatened it will rear up on its hind legs and spread out its front legs, like a scorpion. Interestingly enough, it also releases a chemical that is meant to scare away predators. To humans, it smells like peanut butter.
6 . Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar
The Pipevine Swallowtail is a beautiful fluorescent blue butterfly thats commonly found in North and Central America. Its larvae, on the other hand, is an armored congealedbloodred caterpillar with tinted visor shades for eyes and a quadruple row of blunt horns running across its body.The caterpillars live in groups while they are young, but over time they will wander off on their own before entering the chrysalis stage. They also change color as they grow, shifting from red to black, while their horns take on a bright orange hue. The bright colors are a warning
7 . Atlas Moth
Most of the time, its the caterpillar of a moth species that looks the strangest, while the moth itself is drab and uninteresting. Apparently, the Atlas moth didnt get the memo. With a 10 inch (25 cm) wingspan, Atlas moths are believed to be the largest moth species on the planet. They also have a very unique trait
8 . Tailed Emperor Butterfly Caterpillar
Take a trip to the east coast of Australia around March or April and you might run into one of these strange creatures. The caterpillar of the Tailed Emperor butterfly looks pretty normal
9 . Spiny Flower Mantis Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi
Another incredible looking mantis, the Spiny Flower Mantis (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi) is, again, a flower mantis, pulling its bizarre ornamentation from the appearance of a flower. This mantis is very small, measuring only 1.5 inches (38 mm) and is found in select locations in Southern Africa. And like most mantids, the Spiny Flower Mantis is a voracious cannibal, and the older they get the more likely they will be to eat other mantids that come across their path. Another interesting fact is that the females egg sac can be nearly three time larger than its own body.
10 . Scorpionfly
While this insect looks like the result of some bizarre genetic experiment that spliced a scorprion stinger onto a wasp, that