Leaf-cutting Ant

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

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

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

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.

Sunburst Diving Beetle

This pretty beetle swims in groups and is brightly colored to advertise bad taste. It is streamlined, has powerful oar-like hind legs for propulsion, and steers with its short forelegs. Like many aquatic insects, it carries surface air beneath its wings to breathe under water. It can also fly!

Red-Eyed Assassin Bug

Assassin bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts used to impale prey or enemies and
inject venom. The red eye-like spots on this insect’s wings serve to warn enemies of its
painful bite.

Jade-headed Buffalo Beetle

This beautiful beetle is attracted to fermenting fruit and often feeds in groups. The male has a small forked horn used to push rivals away from food and mates. The female is a bit smaller and hornless. Eggs are laid in the ground and the white, soft-bodied grubs, or larvae, burrow and feed in rotten wood and other detritus.

Hissing Cockroach

A loud hiss is enough to frighten away most predators. When disturbed, this fascinating roach hisses by forcibly expelling air from the spiracles or breathing pores on its first abdominal segment. Unlike many roaches, it is flightless and crawls rather than runs. The female gives live birth to many young.

Grey Bird Grasshopper

This grasshopper is a powerful jumper, strong flier, and camouflaged to blend with the ground at rest. It also is a prolific breeder and distantly related to the African migratory ‘locusts’ that sometimes form large destructive swarms. No wonder it has been so successful in our bird-eat-bug world!

Green-leaf Cockroach

This little green roach is camouflaged to look like a small-lobed plant leaf. It is a strong flier and fast runner, and is thus, difficult for predators to catch.