A while ago, we looked at the cutest sea animals, and there were some really sweet ones. This week, we figured we could step it up a level and find the cutest creatures from a group that people inherently do not find cute—insects. Insects are the largest group of terrestrial animals on the planet. There are over 60 times more species of beetle than there are mammals, and those are the only ones known to science. The insects' fossil record extends back further than the dinosaurs' as well, so they have been on the planet for an exceptionally long time. There must be some cute ones... right? Let's have a look.
These furry little bumbling balls are one of the most famous insects for being cute. There are currently over 250 species known to science, but the vast majority are incredibly cute. They feed on nectar from flowers, having extremely long "tongues" even though they are not a tongue in any shape or form. Scientifically, they are called a proboscis and are formed by two highly adapted mouth parts zipping together. Much like the honey bee, bumblebees are extremely important pollinators, transferring pollen from one plant to another as they search for nectar.
With their wide-set eyes, damselflys are very cute, especially when seen from head on. Damselflies are closely related to the larger dragonflies. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and spend most of their time around bodies of water. The reason they stick so close to water sources is that they lay their eggs in them and spend a large portion of their lives as aquatic hunters. They leave the water only to live out the adult portion of their lives. They aren't nearly as accomplished flyers as dragonflies, but they can have elaborate courtship displays.
The Rosy Maple Moth
Image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
The Rosy Maple Moth is the smallest member of the silk moth family, which is itself a cute group of moths, but the Rosy Maple Moth is probably the cutest.Not only is it one of the smallest, but it has beautiful pink and yellow coloration on its very furry body. Combined with its large black eyes, the Rosy Moth is usually found on maple trees, hence the name. The adults do not eat, instead living their adult lives on the fat storage they built up as larvae. An interesting fact about these moths is that their colouration is actually camouflage, mimicking the maple seed cases of their preferred plant.
Man-faced Stink Bug
Image by Esin Üstün
As a bonus creature, there is the man-faced stink bug. Found throughout Southeast Asia and Madagascar, the stink bug has a face on its back, thought to help scare away predators. The organism can be found in a cream to red coloration with black eye-spots over the top. It is thought the bright colouring alerts potential predators that the stink bug doesn't taste all that great.
What do you think of our list? Did we miss any bugs that you think should be here? Let us know!