Usually when we talk about bugs or insects, we imagine something repulsive and gross, and even scary. Probably more than one of you even has a phobia and can’t stand those little critters. But it might surprise you that there are some bugs that have such interesting forms and colors that you entirely forget they are related to the cockroach living under your sink in your student dormitory.

Knowing that, Bored Panda searched high and low, roaming the internet to find the most impressive bugs that resemble works of art because of their bright colors, intricate patterns or unusual forms. And what is best of all, you can safely observe their beauty from the comfort and safety of your own home, so enjoy!

#1 This Buff-Tip Moth Disguised As Birch Wood

Image credits: Zokins

When talking about bugs, we should probably start with defining what they are. To help us do that, Bored Panda contacted a couple of entomologists. They are people who study insects. One of them is Cole Gilbert, who is a professor at Cornell University and his fields of interest include insect behavior and insect physiology. And we also got in touch with Claudia Husseneder, who is a professor at Louisiana State University who specializes in population genetics and molecular biology of insects and symbionts. 

Both scientists admit that this is a tricky question as the word ‘bug’ can refer to a number of things, like a computer bug or something that is ‘bugging them.’ Cole Gilbert says that entomologists consider true bugs to be “140,000 of the million different kinds of insects” but Claudia Husseneder says that “true bugs are an insect order (Hemiptera=half-wings) with 80k species, including cicadas, aphids, bed bugs, kissing bugs, etc.”

#2 Not All Bees Are Yellow And Brown, This Is A Northern Blue Banded Bee

Image credits: Kelly240361

#3 The Orchid Mantis

Image credits: Mail30silver

Professor Cole Gilbert explains what differentiates bugs from other types of insects: “They have the wings crossed over the back in an X pattern, rather than with a straight line down the middle of the back like beetles have. And they do not have chewing jaws, they have a tube for mouthparts. It is stiff, not curly like that of a butterfly or moth. They stab their food with the tube and inject salivary enzymes to digest the food, whether it is a plant or animal, and then suck the juicy insides out.”

#4 This Is My Pet Spiny Leaf Bug

Image credits: k_miner_5

#5 Saw This Little Guy At The Shooting Range Today

Image credits: wasintme

#6 Bumblebee Enjoying The Flower

Image credits: Pardusco

Bored Panda was curious to know if all the million insects are important to keep the ecosystem going and even such creatures as cockroaches are really necessary to earth. And the scientists are have no doubts about that, because all beings have such intricate interactions between each other that “the loss of some could drastically change the environment,” as Professor Gilbert puts it.

Professor Husseneder explains in more detail: “Ecosystems consist of complex interwoven food webs and insects are part of the foundation/basis of the food pyramid. From the human perspective, cockroaches are pests, but they are the biomass cleaning and recycling crew of the planet, removing decaying plants and animal waste. And they make a tasty protein snack for animals.”

#7 Really Cool Grasshopper

Image credits: dosangst

#8 Eww! Bugs Can’t Be Adorab… Never Mind

Image credits: RamRoach1138

#9 This Moth Is As Big As My Hand

Image credits: mac77bag

Of course, some species go extinct and if the process is slow, ecosystems will adapt, but if they are drastic, “it can disrupt the balance and, in extreme cases, lead to a cascade failure.” Professor Claudia Husseneder gives a metaphor to help you imagine it easier: “Imagine a net. You can cut a few strands and it still holds its shape and your weight, because other strands can compensate. If you cut too many strands, other connections will snap, and when the point of no return is reached, the whole thing collapses.”

#10 I See The Moth You Found At Work And Raise You This Moth I Found At Home

Image credits: Leanstein

#11 I Love The Variety Of Isopods And Keeping Them As Pets

Image credits: IsopodSource

#12 Steel Blue Ladybug

Image credits: ElectronicChimera

So there are bugs like cockroaches that we hate to see and they gross people out, but they actually have a place in the ecosystem, whether we like it or not. But in this list, we found the most impressive bugs that look so colorful and unusual. 

Entomologists have several explanations why some of them are less boring than others. Both professors agree that one of the reasons is to attract mates and the other is to intimidate the enemy. Cole Gilbert adds that bright colors often indicate “that the insect is dangerous in some way, especially poisonous. Even their toxin does not kill a predator that tries to eat one, the bold colors are more memorable and the predator will likely not try for seconds.” Claudia Husseneder adds that “Harmless insects mimic warning colors to ‘pretend’ that they are not good eats or they make themselves invisible by using camouflage.”

#13 My Friend Had A Bug On His Windshield That Made Him Look Like A Godzilla Monster

Image credits: HooptyDooDooMeister

#14 The Thorax Of This Bug Looks Like A Cat With Sunglasses

Image credits: yogas

#15 The Amazing Picasso Bug

Image credits: qt-anxiety

It was really fun to chat with these specialists and get answers to our questions, but what are the questions that these scientists ask themselves? What do they want to know the answers to? Well, both entomologists started with saying that if you ask different people, they will have different interests. Professor Husseneder thinks that the “greatest challenge of the future is the loss of insect abundance and the extinction of species that we didn’t even know were there.”

She thinks it is very important to collect data and determine what impact to the world even the tiniest creatures have, “to assess impact of challenges and devise solutions to make sure we can live in balance with the good, the bad and the colorful.”

#16 The Happy-Face Spider

Image credits: BrightFocus

#17 Mecynorrhina Torquata, One Of The Largest Flower Beetles In The World

Image credits: red.scale

#18 This Moth My Neighbor’s Dog Found

Image credits: SleepingFoots

Cole Gilbert also has his list of what he would like to know more about. Like “Is there really a decline in insect numbers worldwide, and if so, what is the cause?” Is it the pollinators? He suspects that they do have a part in that, but not all insects.

Another thing to think about is “Where did insect wings come from? All the other groups of creatures that fly, i.e., birds, bats, and extinct flying reptiles, lost the ability of their front legs for walking, but evolved them into wings. Insects did not lose the function of any of their 6 legs to get the two pairs of wings they have.”

What confuses entomologists is also “Why are there no insects in the ocean? Insects dominate the land and are abundant in freshwater, but not marine systems. Crustaceans, which are the closest relatives of insects, are present in oceans and freshwater systems, but not so much on land. What causes this separation?”

#19 This Moth I Spotted

Image credits: Bedlam10

#20 The Pattern On This Moth, Looks Like A Snowman

Image credits: thepriceisrite

#21 Altas Moth

Image credits: Bunnystrawbery

So now we know that every creature from the smallest to the biggest is an important part of this world, but there are also so many other things to find out.

But for now we can just admire the interesting beings that live on this Earth that people captured in photos. We would love to know what you think of this list, and did you see the beauty in them? Also, we are curious if you have any guesses to answer the specialists’ questions? Leave us your thoughts and reactions in the comments!

And if you would like more colorful bug content, here you will find an article Bored Panda made with makeup artist Duran Jay, who creates eye makeup inspired by the little creatures.

#22 Hickory Horned Devil

Image credits: Berdarien

#23 Matching Outfits

Image credits: GeneralBlumpkin

#24 A White Ghost Cicada

Image credits: Browndog888

#25 This Bumblebee Carried Youngster On His Back

Image credits: Kleinbeertjie

#26 A Bumblebees Bum And Lil’ Legs Hanging Out Of A Flower

#27 My Mom Snapped A Picture Of This Bug. Never Seen Anything Like It

Image credits: DeyHateUsCuzDeyAnus

#28 My Silkworm Hatched From Its Cocoon Today And Became A Tiny Teddy-Bear Bug

Image credits: garythecoconut

#29 Cubaris Jupiter Quickly Becoming One Of My Favorite Pet Isopods

Image credits: IsopodSource

#30 Here’s One Of My Isopods. He Seems Angry But Was Just Hungry

Image credits: Thamnosebleeed

#31 Eudicella Schultzeorum

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#32 If You Were Ever Wondering What An Albino Ladybug Looks Like

Image credits:

#33 Ladybug In Morning Dew

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#34 Jewellery

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#35 This Bug Looks Like A Tiki Mask

Image credits: Courtneypunx

#36 Lady Bug Made A Trail In The Morning Dew On My Car

Image credits: MyDadVersusYours

#37 This Bug Is Leaving Footprints On A Foggy Car Window

Image credits: Gerkozzo

#38 Look At Them Eyes

Image credits: jesper1007

#39 This Bug Mimics Leaf With Veins, Spots And Bite Marks

Image credits: Catsknead

#40 These Bugs Were Going At It On My Rose Bush And The Little Guy Gave Me A High Five

Image credits: yumyumfish

#41 Italian Beetle

Image credits: SpikeTheBeetle

#42 Dalmatian Moth

Image credits: bjfj

#43 Pink And Yellow Moth

Image credits: TheHighestFever

#44 Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar Pretending To Be A Snake

Image credits: crumbbelly

#45 A Hand Fed A Bumblebee

Image credits: ShiftKeyOnBus

#46 Giant Devils Flower Praying Mantis

Image credits: ImSweeches

#47 Are Bugs Allowed Here Too? Because Check Out This Moth

Image credits: SirFancii

#48 Made A New Friend

Image credits: rachieface76

#49 Little Moth Says “Yo”

Image credits: Svenlonhdong

#50 Elephant Hawk Moth. Was Cutting Down Some Hedges And Found This Guy In His Chrysalis

Left him on the windowsill and was making a cup of tea one morning and he landed on my hand.

Image credits: glennehull

#51 This Adorable Moth That’s Chilling On My House

Image credits: dudewithcats

#52 A Weevil From My Backyard, I Love Weevils So Much

Image credits: PinkFridayTheFirst

#53 Various Beetles From All Over The World

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#54 Pretty Green Beetle

Image credits: arsntny

#55 The Nut Weevil

Image credits: weloveinsects

#56 My Boy, Rainbow Stag Beetle

Image credits: joruuhs

#57 Polybothris Sumptuosa, A Jewel Beetle From Madagascar

Image credits: joruuhs

#58 Cute Beetle

Image credits: bfmacro

#59 Xylotrupes Gideon

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#60 Such A Pretty Green Weevil

Image credits: its_the_little_things_in_life

#61 My Pet Beetles

Image credits: GoldenChinchilla

#62 This Cool Bug I Saw Today

Image credits: tiny-bambi

#63 This Bug Looks Like A Carved Pumpkin

Image credits: imagine-engine

#64 We Found A Pill Bug That Looks Like An Actual Pill Capsule

Image credits: Mediocretee

#65 Found A Ultramarine Pill Bug Today

Image credits: King-of-despair_

#66 Date Night

Image credits: SpikeTheBeetle

#67 The King Has Fallen

Image credits: SpikeTheBeetle

#68 Doesn’t It Look Like A Bubblegum?

Image credits: casper52192

#69 Hello Friends

Image credits: stonerwitch69

#70 Good Morning Metallic Color Beetle

Image credits: mkdiffuser

#71 Longhorned Beetles

Image credits: tbrrynem

#72 White Lady Bug On My Flower

Image credits: IIikethelnternet

#73 This Trippy Little Bug Landed On Me Today

Image credits: sawalrath

#74 My Leaf Bug

Image credits: UkuleleRequiem

#75 Big-Eyed Caterpillar

Image credits: Michael Hodge

#76 Blue Featherleg

Image credits: Gilles San Martin

#77 My BF’s House Is Full Of Little Rosy Maple Moths

Image credits: chels182

#78 I Think It’s Time For A New Artwork

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#79 Man Faced Stink Bug

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#80 An Orange Ladybird

Image credits: shanepalmero29

#81 Rainbow Stag Beetle

Image credits: joruuhs

#82 Jumping Spider

Image credits: Opoterser

#83 A Beautiful Small Stag Beetle Species Lamprima Adolphinae From New Guinea

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#84 I Found A Beetle That Looks Like It’s Made Of Pure Gold

Image credits: jontheboss

#85 An Inordinately Large Beetle

Image credits: SharksAlive

#86 Silkworm Moth

Image credits: rjschwerin

#87 Jewel Beetle

Image credits: John Hill

#88 Various Beetles From North Thailand

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#89 Spiny Flower Mantis

Image credits: 9999monkeys

#90 Happy Little Stink Bug Eggs

Image credits: punchypariah

#91 Jewel Bugs

Image credits: bangna32

#92 A Lovely Evening Photoshoot

Image credits: Troglodyte09

#93 Jewel Bug Momma

Image credits: Trash_Typhoon

#94 Lady Bug In Dew

Image credits: Angie202114

#95 Cotton Stainer

Image credits: bangna32

#96 Here’s A Photo I Took Of Some Mating Damselflies, Their Bums Briefly Make A Heart Shape

Image credits: PubesMcGinty

#97 Tongue Out

Image credits: bangna32

#98 Red-Nosed Lanternfly

Image credits: bangna32

#99 Green Stink Bug

Image credits: leonacorn_

#100 Teal Colored Beetle

Image credits: illerThanTheirs

#101 Family Picture

Image credits: Grommulox

#102 When I Walked Up To This Beetle, It Did A Hand Stand And Froze

Image credits: Cherryconbrary

#103 Saddleback Caterpillar

Image credits: Rfl0216

#104 Christmas Bug’s?

Image credits: sandy_nick

#105 Shield Bug

Image credits: mynecron

#106 Kongo Flower Beetles From Kongo

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#107 Jewel Bug Also Known As Sheild Backed Bug, Metallic Bugs Known For Their Colours

Image credits: psyther_photography

#108 Blue Beetle

Image credits: nikola_rahme

#109 Leucistic Ladybug

Image credits: internetweirdo4

#110 Nymph Of Lychee Giant Stink Bug

Image credits: bangna32

#111 Dark-Horned Lanternfly

Image credits: bangna32

#112 The Adventures Of A Ladybird

Image credits: mills_digital_imaging

#113 Beautiful Orchid Mantis

Image credits:

#114 Fig Beetle Collection

Image credits: tiptoe88

#115 All Five Of The Species Of Beetles Currently Cohabiting In My Display Tank

Image credits: Grommulox

#116 Chlorocala Africana Oertzeni

Image credits: Hurambuk

#117 A Fiddler Beetle, Native To Australia

Image credits: Oakhold_Cheerios

#118 The Color Of This Beetle

Image credits: agni_ka

#119 Baby Cubaris Amber Isopods

Image credits: IsopodSource

#120 Cubaris Sp. “White Tiger” Isopod

Image credits: IsopodSource

#121 Cubaris “Rubber Ducky” Isopod 1 Of The Many Awesome Species Of Isopod

Image credits: IsopodSource

#122 Iridescent Green Christmas Beetle

Image credits: brael-music

#123 White Head Duckys, A Beautiful Isopods Species From North Thailand

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#124 Reflective Bug

Image credits: susikaiser007

#125 Stag Beetles

Image credits:

#126 On The Edge

Image credits: 7hoshi.10to

#127 Striped Bug, Is A Super Common Shield Bug Here In Italy

Image credits: mhmacroworld

#128 Tortoise Beetle

Image credits: priyanto_mufans

#129 This Cute Ladybug Landed On My Hand

Image credits: FinduilasOfDolAmroth

#130 On The Key Word Spring Awakening

Image credits: the_macro_specialist

#131 Leaf Eating Weevil

Image credits: bangna32

#132 Stare Down Contest Champion

Image credits: bfmacro

#133 Very Cool Bug In My Garden Yesterday

Image credits: daemons-and-dust

#134 Morning Dew

Image credits: umparaumpa

#135 Kudzu Bug

Image credits: dales_macrography

#136 Giant Isopod From Oman

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#137 Cave Ghost Isopod Female With Fresh Born Babies

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#138 A Cute Ladybug

Image credits: guntertanya64

#139 A Bug In My Backyard

Image credits: shootingalpha

#140 Striped Shield Bugs

Image credits: federicocambra

#141 Chlorochroa Sayi, Stink Bug

Image credits: loniland_

#142 Two Shield Bugs

Image credits: tati.queen.bel

#143 Black And White Weevil

Image credits: the.insect.guy

#144 An Autumn Lucky Charm

Image credits:

#145 An Assassin Bug

Image credits: Minute_Ad_5700

#146 Subadult Spiny Flower Mantis

Image credits: mime454

#147 Rainbow Dung Beetle

Image credits: starvinmarvin70

#148 Someone Must Be Hungry

Image credits: Stormsky

#149 Leaf Bugs, A Species Unique To Madagascar

Image credits: xkelsx1

#150 Big Clown Stink Bugs

Image credits: cpux86

#151 This Leaf Bug Is Trying To Switch The Channel

Image credits: LascarCapable

#152 This Lady Bug Has No Spots

Image credits: beet111

#153 Birth Of An Assassin Bug Nymph

Image credits: DanaeMWolfe

#154 Platycostis Vittata (Oak Tree Hopper)

Image credits: iltifaat_yousuf

#155 Yellow Lady Bug

Image credits: tomonori_ikimono

#156 Dogbane Leaf Beetle

Image credits: sunslug1958

#157 So Much Detail

Image credits: weloveinsects

#158 This Ladybug Is Rarer To Be Found

Image credits: the_macro_specialist

#159 Buprestid Beetle

Image credits: bfmacro

#160 Zebra Isopods

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#161 Isopods

Image credits: comfort_creatures

#162 Orchid Mantis

Image credits: iboughtarock

#163 Yellow Woolly Bear

Image credits: pattiedeitrick

#164 Glasswinged Butterfly

Image credits: David Tiller

#165 Giant Silk Moth Caterpillar

Image credits: Caw Caw Interpretive Center

#166 Leopard Moth

Image credits: Kevincollins123

#167 Giant Scarlet Assassin Bug

Image credits: tim_in_cr

#168 Can You See It?

Image credits: optymapro

#169 Some Of The Most Interesting Bugs Ever

Image credits: world_travelling_aspie

#170 Various Isopods

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#171 Rhopalomeris Sp. From Thailand

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#172 Amber Ducky Isopods Family

Image credits: insecthaus_adi

#173 My Leaf Bug Is Getting Ready To Molt To Adult

Image credits: mime454

#174 Ladybug Boop

Image credits: AjKaramba

#175 Today I Took The First Picture I’ve Ever Been Proud Of. Cute Lil Lady Bug

Image credits: slantzjr

Photography – Bored Panda