'Tis the Season: Gallery of Festive Insects
Ready for the Holidays
Just in time for the holidays, we've put together a gallery festive bugs. From wasps with reindeerlike antlers to an insect that resembles a cinnamon stick, these bugs are naturally decked out for the season.
This green caterpillar with fluffy white accents brings to mind an icy snowflake. [Snowflake Gallery: No Two Alike, of Course]
This beetle (Ischiopsopha jamesi), showing off an evergreen-hued body with a red center, makes its home in Australia.
Holly Berry Bug
This ladybug — sans any spots — was photographed at the Mission Hills Nursery and Garden Center in San Diego, Calif. Like its spotted kin, this ladybug belongs to the Coccinellidae family of beetles; The insects' spots and bright coloring serve to warn predators that they taste bad and are poisonous, since they can be toxic to some animals.
Is That Rudolph?
The "horned" creature above is a click beetle (Anostirus purpureus). It belongs to the Elateridae family of insects and can be found in Hungary. Its unique antennae, which resemble reindeer antlers, are the beetle's primarily organs of smell. The beetle can also use its antennae to feel around its environment.
This festive insect is decked out in the traditional Christmas colors of red and green.
Deck the Branches
With its fine, spindly hairs — known as setae — and bright coloring, this caterpillar is as decorative as a tinsel garland.
The 34 species of beetles in the genus Anoplognathus occur throughout Australia and have been nicknamed Christmas beetles since they seem to emerge in great numbers right around the holidays due to their seasonal life cycles, according to CSIRO, Australia's science agency. Some Christmas beetles even don a jolly red coloring.
Another insect that sports reindeer-like antlers, the Eucharitid wasp belongs to the Eucharitidae family of parasitic wasps. Although its unique antennae shape would make it fit right in at the North Pole with Donner and Blitzen, this wasp prefers to live in tropical regions.
Christmas Sweater Beetle
This jewel beetle species, Temognatha alternata, is native to Queensland, Australia. It flaunts stripes of yellow, navy blue, red and green — a pattern perfect for a Christmas sweater. The one above is hiding its antennae close to its body.
Cinnamon Stick Insect
You probably wouldn't want to find this cinnamon stick-like critter in your hot toddy. With their long bodies and green or brown coloring, Phasmatodea species, also known as stick insects, resemble small branches.
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