Emperor Scorpion

emperor scorpion

A female scorpion produces live young and carries them on her back for several weeks until they leave to hunt. A young emperor scorpion kills its prey with venom injected through the sharp sting at the tip of its ‘tail.’ An adult, however, clamps and crushes its prey with powerful pincers, saving the sting for self-defense.

Giant African Millipede

African Millipede - 11 web

This elongate arthropod moves slowly, thus, cannot make a quick escape. For protection, its body is lined with many repugnatory defense glands. When the millipede is disturbed, these glands secrete a foul smelling and tasting liquid.

Zebra Bug


This handsomely marked insect is actually a species of cockroach. Its colorful pattern warns potential predators, such as birds and small mammals, that it can quickly release a noxious, eye and noseburning chemical deterrent. In other words, “Do not try to eat me or you’ll regret it!”

Yellow-bellied Beetle

yellow bellied beetle

This brightly patterned beetle really does have a yellow underside. It is a strong flyer, widespread and commonly observed in nature, much like our native June beetle in the United States. Eggs are laid in the ground and the grubs, or larvae, burrow and feed in compost and dung, then pupate within small earthen cocoons.

White-eyed Assassin Bug

white-eyed assasin bug

Assassin bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts used to impale prey or enemies and inject venom. The white eye-like spots on this insect’s wings serve to warn enemies of its painful bite. Like all true bugs, it has gradual metamorphosis involving three life stages: eggs, nymphs and adults.

Water Strider

water strider

This aquatic bug is sometimes also called a water skipper or pond skater for an obvious reason—it spends most of its life on the water surface! Its long mid and hind legs spread body weight over a large area and are coated with tiny air-trapping hairs providing pontoon-like floatation.


Leaf-cutting Ant

07 Leaf Cutter Ant A0050 A web

The highly social leaf-cutting ant is named for its habit of cutting and carrying leaves back to its underground nest. The ants do not eat the leaves. Instead, the leaf fragments are used as compost to grow fungus gardens that feed the ants.

Tin-foil Beetle

tin foil beetle web

The tin-foil beetle is most active in the afternoon when individuals congregate to feed on fallen fruit, often mating nearby. It has four color phases: metallic green, blue, bronze, and deep purple. Eggs are laid in the soil and the soft-bodied grubs feed on decomposing vegetation.

Thorny Devil

thorny devil

This stick insect is heavily armored, sports sharp body spines, and during the day clusters in groups for protection from predators. When disturbed, the males painfully clamp down with the especially large spines on their powerful hind legs and release a skunk-like odor.

Taxi-cab Beetle

taxi cab beetles

This variegated yellow-trimmed beetle often feeds in groups, and perhaps then does look like a fleet of taxicabs jockeying for position. Eggs hatch into pale soft-bodied grubs that feed in compost and dung, and then pupate inside small earthen cocoons. The taxicab and yellow-bellied beetle belong to the same genus.