Rain forests are associated with all kinds of exotic creatures but the most plentiful population is that of insects and bugs. The world's rain forests are home to a wide variety of insect species, and many of the ones found elsewhere in the world grow to larger sizes in the rain forest. Many rain forest insects serve as food for other animals, while some are predators.
The praying mantis is a slender green insect found in the rain forest and other climates. The praying mantis has long pincers used to trap and kill prey. Its eyes are off to the side of its head. These insects are widely known for their mating habits, as the female mantis kills the male and eats his head following reproduction. The praying mantis eats other insects, other mantises and even frogs or birds if small enough.
Rain forests are home to multiple types of beetles. The leaf beetle uses its color to camouflage itself against the foliage of the rain forest floor. The stag beetle is a green and purple color and has angular features. The female stag beetles have longer jaws than the males, though all stag beetles prefer to eat greenery instead of other insects. Rhinoceros beetles are wider than other rain forest beetles, and the males are characterized by elongated mouths used to battle for the attention of females.
Stick insects get their name from their appearance, as they are extremely thin and blend in with leaves and trees. Even the eggs of the stick insect are in disguise, as they often take on the appearance of seeds. They make their homes on pandanus plants and are typically a light green color. Peppermint stick insects are smaller than regular stick insects and do not have the same elongated legs. They are almost identical in color to other stick insects.
Rain forest grasshoppers are similar in appearance to North American grasshoppers, as they have powerful legs for long distance jumping and buggy eyes. Rain forest grasshoppers are primarily vegetarians and are almost always light green in color. Long-horned grasshoppers are another species of grasshopper found in the rain forest. The main difference is their wings, which are designed to look a lot like leaves to keep them safe from the predators of the rain forest. The black grasshopper features yellow spots across its black body.
Other Insects and Bugs
The rain forest is also home to multiple kinds of ants such as army ants and green tree ants. Army ants prey on dead creatures they find on the rain forest floor. Green tree ants make nests out of rain forest leaves that they blend in with. Wolf spiders and giant water spiders also populate the rain forest. Wolf spiders get their name from the gray hair that covers them and have eight eyes that are three different sizes. Giant water spiders are large enough to prey on fish. They have small bodies and extremely long legs.
- Photo Credit Grasshopper sitting on a blade of grass image by Zakharchenko from Fotolia.com praying mantis image by john barber from Fotolia.com beetle image by Anton Chernenko from Fotolia.com stick insect image by vladislav susoy from Fotolia.com grasshopper image by Ben Twist from Fotolia.com wolf spider 71 image by mdb from Fotolia.com
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