Insects are already unique spectacles of nature, but not many of us get to catch a glance at baby insects. You may think that they are cute because they are so little, or they could be just the plain most disgusting baby you have ever seen. If you think the parent versions of these bugs are creepy looking, wait until you see these weird little baby insects!
Number Six: A Ladybug
If you were to ever encounter a baby ladybug, you probably would not even recognize it. This is probably for the better because a view of these little guys might ruin the insect for you forever. When a mommy ladybug is ready to lay her eggs, she searches for an insect colony fit to lay her eggs (often aphids). When the eggs hatch, a spiky little larva pops out and feasts on the surrounding bugs. Soon, they begin to molt, and the maturing bug will find a cozy leaf to sleep under to undergo metamorphosis. After this process, they pop right out of their old skin and look like a sun-damaged version of what we think of when we picture a ladybug. The then-orange skin eventually hardens and darkens to form the beautiful red hue that characterizes the insect.
Number Five: A Dragonfly
The early life of a dragonfly is actually a lot cooler than its adult life, which may be why they spend five to six years as a “child” before taking their adult form for five months. Dragonflies often keep to ponds and other bodies of water, mainly because they grew up in it. This early phase of life, deemed “nymph” form, is spent hunting in shallow waters for tadpoles and small fish. They have some unique capabilities, such as underwater breathing through their butt gills, and even creating a jet stream of water through their butts as well. When the insect feels that it’s time to grow up, he climbs out of the water and begins to breathe. Not long after, a brand new dragonfly will emerge from the skin of this little nymph.
Number Four: A Tortoise Beetle
Named for its characteristic, tortoise-like shell design, these little bugs are pretty unique creatures. As a baby, they appear to be extra-bright, oversized pinching bugs with curved spikes lining their sides. This species has developed a number of interesting survival techniques to protect itself at this vulnerable age. If the spikes aren’t enough to scare predators away, the young tortoise beetle covers itself with a layer of its own waste to make it unappealing.
Number Three: A Cicada
Cicadas are primarily known for their ability to serenade us with their song in the hot summer months. While this sound is often considered to be relaxing, their offspring isn’t so attractive. In a way, they kind of resemble oversized, winged fleas. The young feed on the juices of roots, which is why they have powerful front claws designed for effective digging. Most cicadas spent the majority of their life underground, especially at this young and vulnerable stage. When it is time to grow up, they just hop right out of their old shell!
Number Two: One of the Weirdest Baby Insects – A Firefly
Fireflies are famous for their iconic glow, which they possess even as a larva. The young form of a firefly is often referred to as a glow work, and looks kind of like a black leaf that got ripped up and taped back together. They are flat and dark, and are composed with a sort of layered armor. These glow worms are rather sedentary, and spend the majority of their childhood hibernating underground. Then, they eat for a few weeks, and evolve into their iconic form.
Number One: A Praying Mantis
The life of a mantis begins with a mommy mantis producing a frothy egg sac. This sac soon hardens and protects the eggs within. When the little hatchlings pop out, they are simply cute little miniature versions of their full-grown selves. Over time, the mantis changes its diet and grows. As it grows, it must shed multiple layers of its exoskeleton and produce new ones until it reaches its final size. We hope you enjoyed exploring our ranking of the top six most unbelievable baby insects!