A Bug’s Life: Up Close & Personal with 15 Amazing Macro Images of Insects

We swat mosquitoes and shriek at spiders, walk over ants and dodge wasps but have we ever considered the beauty of bugs? Insects are actually the most diverse creatures on the planet and, even though we don’t (or hate to) admit it, insects play a huge role in our lives. Many of us are afraid of certain types of insects while we easily dismiss the value or presence of others because of their tiny size. But, have you ever looked at a bug up close?

Although we learn about insects in school and their role in the world around us, only a few people actually go on to further study and appreciate them. In fact, if you haven’t really looked at bug up close out of fear or disgust, you are far from alone as this is the case for so many of us avoiding the creepy crawlers at all costs! From long legs to big eyes and tentacles, we are making it easy for you to get an up-close look of some of the most common insects without actually having to touch or be near them! Let’s take a moment to discover the beauty in this creepy crawling adventure of 15 amazing macro images of common insects!

#15 – Ant

1. Ant

Everyone seems to believe that ants are simply miniature menaces as they diligently march across counter tops and floors, picnic blankets and sidewalks to the nearest leftover crumbs or sugary residue. However, did you know that these tiny marching colony dwellers are the longest living insects in the world? In this image, you will see that this ant has eyes, which is fairly uncommon for most ants as they are solely directed by their sense of smell. This surely explains why their diligent marches in the direction of crumbs is always spot on!

#14 – Fly

2. Fly

How many times have you swatted a fly? Many of us already know that most insects have four wings but these pesky flies are unique as they only have two wings. Flies do not have teeth but, rather, have a proboscis, which sucks up food like a straw we use to drink from a cup. As you can see from the image, flies also have ultra large red compound eyes that allow them to see different images at the same time and give them wide-angle vision perfect for flying away when an enemy is near. This surely explains why they are so hard to swat away!

#13 – Bee

3. Bee

Many people hate bees and often duck away from them as they approach in fear that they will sting. But, one of the best products from bees is honey – a sweet treat that no one can deny is delectable! Two of the most intriguing aspects of bees is the fact that they can actually recognize human faces and that they have five eyes. That’s right; five eyes! Bees have two compound eyes and three simple eyes, all of which are used at once. Can you imagine how well they can see? No wonder they dart around like miniature Kamikaze fliers!

#12 – Mosquito

4. Mosquito

Possibly one of the most annoying insects of all is the mosquito. Commonly found in the tropics, mosquitoes are known to be carriers of deadly diseases like the West Nile Virus, for example. Because of this, it’s common to see or feel a mosquito and instinctively swat it away. Up close, however, mosquitoes have a unique look and beauty. Like flies, mosquitoes do not have teeth but have a proboscis that is used like a straw to suck blood. With six legs allowing for ample mobility in addition to their fluttering wings, only female mosquitoes bite and select their victims based on their sweat. Hopefully your sweat isn’t a mosquito’s next sweet treat!

#11 – Spider

5. Spider

Many people suffer from arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. These creepy crawlers have eight legs as well as tiny leg-like structures called pedipalps that help spiders better grasp their prey. Yikes! As if spiders weren’t scary enough! Most spiders have a varied number of eyes that can range from none at all to a common eight or twelve. Regardless of the number of eyes, these long legged crawlers can only distinguish light and dark and are still some of the creepiest crawlers in our book!

#10 – Lady Bug

6. Lady Bug

Ladybugs are often considered one of the least scary insects as they are believed to be symbols of good luck. Despite having a vibrant red and black shell, ladybugs are often quite vicious as they are known to attack their own species when they are hungry. In fact, the bold colors of their shell are a defense mechanism that serves as a warning to predators to leave them alone! Although they are called “bugs”, they are actually beetles and the name “lady” is a reference to the Virgin Mary. Either way, as long as these bugs don’t eat us for food, we’ll continue to consider them lucky!

#9 – Grasshopper

7. Grasshopper

Grasshoppers are the most commonly found insects in North America. Because of their widespread appearance in countless children’s stories and fairy tales, grasshoppers are beloved creatures. Because of a grasshopper’s coloring, they are easily camouflaged among bushes and grasses. However, only in taking a closer look are we able to see its unique beauty. Did you notice that the grasshopper’s ears are located in its belly? Despite having ears, grasshoppers can’t actually hear, which means they have trouble distinguishing pitches in tones.

#8 – Praying Mantis

8. Praying Mantis

The praying mantis is often considered the grasshopper’s look alike, a common mistake that’s made simply because of the shared lanky green body. The praying mantis actually earned its name because of its long front legs that resemble someone praying. The mantis is unique because it can actually turn its head a full 180 degrees. Take a closer look at their front legs and you’ll even notice that they have rows of sharp spines that help them to better hold onto their prey! Like this image shows, the praying mantis is carnivorous and looks for other insects to eat.

#7 – Caterpillar

9. Caterpillar

Like grasshoppers, the caterpillar is commonly featured in children’s stories and fairy tales, which has added to their popularity in the insect kingdom. Though most of us have seen caterpillars at one time or another, many fail to realize that a caterpillar’s job is fairly simple: to eat. This job starts out early on for the caterpillar as his first meal is its eggshell. A closer look at the image shows that caterpillars have 12 eyes arranged in a semi-circle on their body that help them differentiate between light and dark. Of course, the most popular feature of the caterpillar is their transition into a butterfly as they mature.

#6 – Butterfly

10. Butterfly

From a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, the transformation is always a delight to see. Butterflies are widely welcomed in gardens for their beauty as the flutter amid the blooms. Because butterflies do not have mouths, their taste sensors are in their feet, allowing them pure enjoyment as they move around the garden feeding their all-liquid diet. A butterfly’s wings often feature gorgeous designs which are like mini solar panels with UV patterns that are used to attract males. With tasting feet and beautiful wings, butterflies use their two antennae to smell, feel and hear.

#5 – Cricket

11. Cricket

Crickets are often heard before they are ever seen. Commonly hidden in the woods or in the backyard under rocks or landscaping, they are known for their tiny bodies and larger than life sounds. With compound eyes, crickets have the ability to see in many directions at one time, a truly astonishing feature that we see in many insects! When you hear a cricket chirping be sure to remember that these insects are actually males who use their wings not to fly but to make their beautiful insect-like melodies.

#4 – Firefly

12. Firefly

Fireflies are especially interesting and appreciated insects because of the light show that they create in the darkness of the night. While many of us have spent countless hours chasing these bugs through the night across our yards, many of us do not realize that this light show is how they both communicate and attract prospective male partners. A firefly’s tail is actually composed of two chemicals that allow them to emit light. Can you imagine your significant other putting on a light show to get your attention? What a beautiful sight to see!

#3 – Termite

13. Termite

Can you think of anyone who doesn’t hate termites? Most people hate to see termites because of their known infestation of homes. However, despite their destructive tendencies, termites actually provide a large impact on our ecosystem as they infest dead and dying trees, which speeds up the natural cycle of deterioration. In fact, these busy bodies work 24 hours a day and never sleep. Termites also prefer to avoid the light, which is why they are often are considered underlying or behind the scenes destroyers. What’s even crazier is that a termite colony can actually house as many as one million termites! Yuck!

#2 – Scarab

14. Scarab

Scarabs are probably the least common or discussed insects on our list. Mesmerizing with their beautiful display of colors and intricate patterns on their body and shell, some scarabs live off of plants but others are actually carnivorous and prey off of other insects and animal wastes. This is why they have earned the name as the “dung beetle.” Some scarabs have specialized mouth structures that allow them to easily draw moisture and other nutrients from waste products. Oddly enough, there are a few countries in the world who import scarabs to help clean up the dung from cattle farms. We can’t decide which is worse: the dung or the scarab?

#1 – Hornet

15. Hornet

Hornets are actually a part of the wasp species that are closely related to yellow jackets. These social insects construct hives by chewing wood up into a papery construction pulp. Hornets mature from eggs to adulthood inside these community-like hives. Much like bees, they also have a queen who dominates the colony or community and, again like bees, most of the workers are female hornets. In fact, male hornets are simply responsible for mating with the queen.