Caterpillar Facts
Caterpillar Facts

49 Weird Bug Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published January 5, 2024
  • There are an estimated 10 quintillion insects on earth. That's 10,000,000,000,000,000,000.[2]
  • Bees have two stomachs. One is for digesting food, and the other is for honey storage.[12]
  • Most caterpillars have 6 eyes on each side of their head, for a total of 12. However, they probably only sense light and dark and can't distinguish shapes or colors.[6]
  • A cockroach can live nearly a week without a head.[2]
  • Driver ants have been known to attack and eat people.[8]
  • Weird Housefly Facts
    Flies have sensors on their feet (tarsi) that allow them to quickly taste anything that they land on, whether that's sugar or feces
  • When it comes to taste, a housefly's feet are 10 million times more sensitive than a human tongue.[2]
  • Cockroaches can run 3 miles per hour, hold their breath for up to 40 minutes, and live a month without food.[2]
  • Some spiders can see spectrums of light that humans can't see, including UVA and UVB light.[2]
  • Pill bugs, or "rollie pollies," might look like a bug, but they are a type of crustacean. They're one of the few crustaceans that live entirely on land. Their relatives include shrimp, crabs, and lobsters.[1]
  • Each cricket has its own distinctive song.[2]
  • There are about 1 quadrillion ants on the earth today, significantly outnumbering all other creatures.[12]
  • The Hercules beetle can carry 850 times its own weight.[2]
  • Praying mantises are the only insect capable of turning their heads. They can also see in 3-D, which makes them ideal hunters.[10]
  • The Australian tiger beetle is the world's fastest-running insect recorded, with an average speed of 5.5 mph (km/h), or 171 body lengths per second. If a 6-foot-tall person were able to run 171 body lengths per second, they would travel at 720 mph (1160km/h).[3]
  • The grossest insect is usually considered to be a botfly. A botfly larva lives in and feeds on a person's skin, causing a painful pustule that oozes fluids.[5]
  • The weirdest-looking insect is widely considered to be the Brazilian treehopper.[2]
  • Brazilian Treehopper fact
    Scientists are unsure why the Brazilian treehopper has these globular appendages coming out of its thorax. Some scientists speculate they are a form of defense against predators

  • The swallowtail butterfly has the slowest wing flap of any insect, at 300 beats per minute. The midge is the fastest, at 62,760 beats per minute.[7]
  • Caterpillars have 6 legs, just like all insects. The seeming appearance of other "legs" are actually protrusions from the caterpillar's abdomen called "prolegs."[11]
  • Delusional parasitosis is a mental disorder in which people believe they are infested with lice.[2]
  • Insects don't have lungs. They breathe through tiny pores in their bodies called spiracles.[10]
  • Insects are members of a larger group of animals called arthropods. Their closest relatives are arachnids (spiders, mites, and scorpions), crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and barnacles), myriapods (millipedes and centipedes), sea spiders, and horseshoe crabs.[10]
  • If spiders disappeared from earth, insects would destroy crops, resulting in mass famine.[12]
  • The pupa of the Dynastor darius butterfly looks like a python. It has a wide, snake-shaped pseudo head with false snake-like eyes.[10]
  • A maggot called Helaeomyia petrolei completely submerges itself in in puddles of crude oil and is the only insect that develops in crude oil. It feeds on unfortunate insects that fall in.[8]
  • In German, the common name for mayflies is eintagsfliegen, which means "one-day flies." This is because they only live one day![10]
  • The longest insect in the world is the Chan's megastick, measuring 22.3 inches (567 mm) with its legs outstretched.[10]
  • Grasshoppers have ears on their abdomens, tucked under their wings.[10]
  • Grasshoppers existed before the dinosaurs.[10]
  • The bladder grasshopper has six pairs of ears along its abdomen.[8]
  • The Orthohalarachne attenuata is a type of mite that lives in a walrus' nose.[8]
  • Gross bug Fact
    In 1984, a walrus sneeze deposited a mite into a human's eye, where the mite lived and thrived

  • Bedbugs are attracted to their host's exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat. An adult bed bug can also wait up to a year without feeding.[10]
  • An average person could have up to 10 million dust mites in their bed.[8]
  • Most aphids are born pregnant.[8]
  • Aphids are sometimes called "ant cows" because some types of ants "herd" or "tend" aphids to collect and drink aphid "honeydew," just like humans tend cows for milk.[10]
  • Fireflies are beetles, not flies.[10]
  • A tarantula hawk finds and stings a tarantula then carries the paralyzed spider to its lair, where it lays a single egg on the spider before burying it alive. Once the egg hatches, the larva eats the inside of the still-living spider, being careful to avoid vital organs until last.[10]
  • Over 1/3 of all insects on earth are beetles, which is about 390,00 species.[9]
  • Some types of ants bring leaves back to their nests and then use them to grow fungus, which they feed to their young.[9]
  • Some hawk moths have a structure in their mouth called a labral pilifer, which allows them to hear ultrasonic sounds, such as sounds produced by a bat's echolocation.[8]
  • All insects are bugs, but not all bugs are insects. Insects have three body parts: 1) the head, 2) the middle or thorax, and 3) the abdomen. They also have six legs. Bugs, such as spiders, are not insects.[4]
  • Scientists who study insects are called entomologists. It is from the Greek entomon (insect) + logia (study).[4]
  • The Atlas moth is the largest moth in the word, with wingspans up to 10 inches (25 cm). It is named after the titan Atlas in Greek mythology.[4]
  • Peanut Bug Fact
    To attract a mate, the peanut bug (Fulgora laternaria) will knock its head on a hollow tree to create sound vibrations
  • The peanut bug gets its name from the shape of its head, which looks like a peanut![10]
  • The praying mantis is the only animal on earth that has one ear.[8]
  • Adult Atlas moths never eat. They slowly live off the baby fat they stored while they were a caterpillar; hence, their mouths never fully form, and they only live about 2 weeks.[4]
  • Moths can't fly during an earthquake.[8]
  • A Goliath beetle larvae can weigh as much as a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.[8]
  • A mite called Dicrocheles phalaenodectes breaks the tympanic membrane of a moth's ear and sets up a colony. Because a moth needs both ears to hear bats, the mites only attack one ear to ensure its own survival.[8]
  • A silkworm eats enough leaves to increase its weight over 4,000 times in 56 days.[8]

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