Insects live across the world and scientists have found millions of types of these species, however, it is believed that there are many more yet to be discovered. Insects belong to a group of animals known as arthropods and they are also categorized under invertebrates because they don’t have homes inside their body. The harder outer shell outside is known as the exoskeleton which is used for protection. All insects across the world have three things in common that is the head, thorax, and abdomen. Australia has some of the most interesting insect species in the world, Here is the list of 10 different types of Australian insects.
Types of Australian Insects
1. Blue Ants
Blue ants scientifically known as Diamma bicolor is a solitary ant species that can grow upto 2.5 cm long. The behavior is more similar to a wasp, however, females behave like a particular ant species. They can be easily identified with the help of antennae. The common ants have bent antennae whereas Blue Ants have curved antennae.
Blue ants are mostly seen in the regions of Tasmania, New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. Talking about their appearance, they have darker bodies with white spots on their abdomen. Male species are smaller and females’ body length can grow upto 1.5 cm. The life cycle of blue ants Is similar to other insects that include stages like egg, larvae, and adult.
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2. Giant Gippsland earthworm
The Giant Gippsland earthworm scientifically known as Megascolides australis is one of the types of Australian insects seen on the continents. The body length of a Giant Gippsland earthworm can grow upto 1 meter (3.3 ft) long and 2 centimeters (0.79 in) in diameter.
The total length of an Australian insect is 3 meters (9.8 ft). They look bigger than their size because it is able to expand and contract their body. The average weight of a Giant Gippsland earthworm is upto 200 grams (0.44 lb) and spent much of the time within the top 1.5 meters of soil and primarily feeds on roots and soil organic matter.
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3. Australian Witchetty Grubs
Australian Witchetty Grubs also known as witchety grub or without grub is one of the most wider used terms in Australia for several months. In general, it is for the moth species that feeds on the roots of the witchetty bush. They are also been known to be found in the Bloodwood Tree and their taste is similar to scrambled eggs.
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4. Bulldog Ants
Bulldog Ants scientifically known as Myrmecia and almost all the 90 species are endemic to Australia except for Myrmecia apicalis which is from New Caledonia. It is also known as bull ants, inch ants, sergeant ants, or jumper ants known for their aggressive behavior and powerful stings.
The body length of bulldog ants is between 15 mm to 40 mm. Th ant species primarily feed on small insects, honeydew, seeds, fruit, fungi, gums, and nectar. They prefer to thrive in soil or under logs or rocks and also in extensive tunnel systems. The venom of the Australian insect can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic sting victims.
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5. Giant Burrowing Cockroach
The Giant burrowing cockroach scientifically known as Macropanesthia rhinoceros are native to Australia and prefer to thrive in tropical and subtropical parts of Queensland. They are one of the heaviest species of cockroach and their average weight is between 30 to 35 grams. The body length of a giant burrowing cockroach is between 7.5 to 8 cm in length.
The insect species belong to the family Blaberidae and even has 100 species part of the blaberid subfamily Geoscapheinae. The cockroach species is s popular in Brisbane and is frequently sold as a pet. They are solitary species, however, young nymphs remain with mothers for several months after birth and they are mostly active at sunrise where they will burrow and dig.
Image Source: Martin Grimm
6. Common Garden Orb Weaver
Common Garden Orb Weaver is one of the large groups of spiders with over 100 species that are known to humans and seen in Australia. The natural predators of common garden orb weaver are birds such as honeyeaters. They have large abdomens and come from off-white through tan, brown to almost black. They have a unique leaf-shaped pattern on the top of their abdomen along with a complex outline that is darker than the surrounding area.
The site is not very dangerous for humans and can cause mild, local pain, redness, and sometimes swelling. Female species are larger than males with a body length of between 20 to 25 mm. The male species have a body length of between 15 to 17 mm. Female species can be identified with the help of needle-like epigynum protruding in the direction of the spinnerets.
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Image Source: James Johnstone
7. Goliath Stick Insect
Goliath Stick Insect is one of the interesting Australian insects that have a body length of upto 25cm in length. They have a robust body along with bright green phasmid and yellow patches on the head, legs, and thorax. They have unique two pairs of bright green wings with red markings underneath.
The female species of Goliath Stick Insect is considered the heaviest stick insect in Australia and is mostly seen in the regions of Northern Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. They like to feed on the leaves of Acacia and even see eating the leaves of Guava plants. They mainly eat at night and used to hide in the trees during the day time.
Image Source: Arthur Chapman
8. Hercules Moth
Hercules Moth is one of the Australian insects that belong to the family Saturniidae. The insect species are endemic to New Guinea and northern Australia. It was first described by William Henry Miskin in the year 1876. The adult species of Hercules moth have a total wingspan of 27 centimeters (11 in) and hence it is also known as the largest moth found in Australia.
The moth species vary in color from colored golden-brown to white along with transparent spots on each of the four wing sections. The larvae species can grow upto 12 cm (about 4.7 in) and avarage wieght of around 29 grams in their final instar. They primarily feed on the leaves of rainforest trees such as Dysoxylum muelleri, Glochidion ferdinandi, Timonius rumphii, and Timonius singularis.
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9. Banded sugar ant
The banded sugar ant scientifically known as amponotus consobrinus is a species of ant native to the Australian region but is most commonly found in southeast Australia. They belong to the subfamily Formicinae and were first described by German entomologist Wilhelm Ferdinand Erichson in the year 1842.
The name comes since the ant species loves sugar and sweet foods. They are relatively large ant species with two different castes of workers known as major workers (also known as soldiers), and minor workers. The body length of banded sugar ants is between 5 to 15 millimeters in length, however, queen ants are a bit larger.
Image Source: Ryan Wick
10. Extatosoma Tiaratum
Extatosoma tiaratum is popular by many names such as the spiny leaf insect, the giant prickly stick insect, Macleay’s specter, or the Australian walking stick is a large insect species native to Australia. The species is nocturnal in nature and will generally only move during the night. The insect is harmless and uses its tail to defend itself from predators. It primarily feeds on blackberry, raspberry, oak, rose, hazel, and eucalyptus.
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These are the 10 different types of Australian insects. Kindly share and do post your comments.