Fill out your data to get our latest news and publications








    Four curious Colombian bugs you just might meet

    Colombia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, with more species per area unit than any other country and the world’s largest number of endemic species.

    Around 10% of the world’s species live in Colombia and that swirl of diversity includes billions of insects, something like 30,000 species that scientists expect to double as they keep finding new ones. Here are four Colombian bugs you might just meet.

    Giant Butterfly Moth 

    Colombia has at least 21 different species of castniidae, otherwise known as the Giant Butterfly Moth, but don’t let that large number fool you. Many species of this enormous moth, often mistaken for a butterfly, are rare thanks to their restricted geographical ranges and the fact they are often endemic. (You can also read: Colorful Colombian Coral)

    The only reason Colombia has so many species is because of our incredible diversity. The funny thing about these moths, which mostly fly in the day, is that Colombians don’t really like them. They tend to be black or very dark brown and Colombian superstition has it that their presence foretells an impending death (perhaps don’t ask a Colombian to pose in your photo).

    lepidopteras, la mantis religiosa, caterine ibarguen, nairo quintana, spider, beetle, mantis, moth, butterfly, insect, colombia, diversity, praying mantis, jumping spider, giant butterfly moth

    Moth – shwethashankar

    Praying Mantis 

    The praying mantis (mantis religiosa in Spanish) is the world’s best-known mantis. It’s unique among insects because it can rotate its head a full 180 degrees and it’s usually either bright green or tan, growing up to 7.5cm long (three inches). This insect is called a praying mantis because it holds its front legs together, as if in prayer, while waiting for its prey.

    The praying mantis gained its 15 minutes of fame in Colombia during the 2014 World Cup finals when a giant green one landed on the country’s beloved striker, James Rodriguez, after he scored against Brazil – and held tight for his celebrations. (You can also read: Six incredible Colombian animals you have to see in the wild)

    lepidopteras, la mantis religiosa, caterine ibarguen, nairo quintana, spider, beetle, mantis, moth, butterfly, insect, colombia, diversity, praying mantis, jumping spider, giant butterfly moth

    Praying Mantis – Jean-Raphaël Guillaumin

    Caterine Ibarguen Jumping Spider

    The maeota ibargueni is a jumping spider named after Colombian triple jumper and Olympic medallist Caterine Ibarguen. The tiny spider was discovered by a masters’ student from Colombia’s National University in the Otun Wildlife Sanctuary in Quimbaya, Risaralda. It grows up to a maximum 5.5mm long but can jump up to 15 times its own body length, thanks to an incredible change of pressure in the liquid in its hind legs. (You can also read: Colombia’s famously fearsome animals)

    The spider is also recognizable thanks to a huge crest on the males’ bodies which are used to attract females. Ibarguen, from Apartado, Antioquia, took silver at the 2012 Olympics in London and said she was honored to share her name with such an athletic spider.

    lepidopteras, la mantis religiosa, caterine ibarguen, nairo quintana, spider, beetle, mantis, moth, butterfly, insect, colombia, diversity, praying mantis, jumping spider, giant butterfly moth

    Jumping spider – USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

    Nairo Quintana Beetle

    Colombia’s cyclists have long been associated with beetles, earning the nickname for their strength and persistence as they crawl their way uphill in the world’s most demanding cycle races. But now it’s official, the oxelytrum nairoi was discovered in Restrepo, Meta on the country’s eastern plains and named after one of Colombia’s favorite cyclists, Nairo Quintana. It grows to around 24mm long, with a 10mm wide body and 2mm head and is almost entirely black with huge eyes that are thought to indicate that it likes to be active at night.

    The insect is described as a “ghoul” because it prefers to eat the remains of invertebrates, rather than hunting live prey – unlike its namesake who hunted down many a cyclist in his path on his way to winning the Giro d’Italia and twice finishing second in the Tour de France.

    lepidopteras, la mantis religiosa, caterine ibarguen, nairo quintana, spider, beetle, mantis, moth, butterfly, insect, colombia, diversity, praying mantis, jumping spider, giant butterfly moth

    Beetle – plenty.r.

    Want to meet these curious insects on their home turf? Live this experience in Colombia. If you liked this article please feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.

    4.9/5 - (8 votes)
    Artículos recomendados
    Biofuels, Biodiesel, Industry, Colombian industry

    Biofuels: an up and coming industry

    Biofuel sales in 2012 reached 2 trillion pesos, 0.33% of the country’s GDP.
    Insular region, colombian regions, regions

    Insular Region

    The insular region covers both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and comprehends continental islands such as Gorgona and Gorgonilla and...
    colombian trees

    Five trees that support Colombia’s stunning biodiversity

    Trees are Colombia’s most important plant. They provide us with oxygen, stabilize our soil, absorb our carbon and shelter and...
    Poisonous Colombian frog, poisonous frog in Colombia, poisonous animals Colombia

    Colombia’s Famously Fearsome Animals

    Colombia is one of the world’s most diverse countries and some of our animals are famous across the globe for...

    Anyone for caving? Five caves you have to explore in Colombia

    Colombia is a country of natural marvels, from snow-capped mountains and plunging waterfalls to thick jungles and fearsome rivers.
    Mountain, Colombian Mountain, Environment, Ecologism

    Environment

    One of the country’s biggest differential values is its environmental relevance. Colombia is one of the world leaders in fauna...
    Cabo San Juan, San Juan Tayrona, Tayrona Park, Tayrona National Park, Colombian National Parks

    Five national parks you cannot miss in Colombia

    Colombia has some of the most diverse national parks in the world, including Gorgona, Tatama and Purace, which were recently...
    Nature of Colombian, paramos of Colombia. colombian nature, Colombian landscapes

    Five unmissable Colombian paramos begging to be explored

    Paramo is one of the world’s most important eco-systems, nestled in mountains between the treeline and glaciers and one of...
    Moorlands, Colombian moorlands, Landscape, Tourism, Climate, Regions

    The magical and enchanting Colombian moorlands

    Besides generating and regulating water, moorlands have become an enticing attraction for tourism worldwide.
    Colombian Orchids

    7 interesting facts about Colombian orchids

    Did you know that Colombia has the largest number of Orchids in the world, with more than 4.000 different species...