Bugs & insects in the rain forest

Updated July 19, 2017

Rainforests are associated with all kinds of exotic creatures but the most plentiful population is that of insects and bugs. The world's rainforests are home to a wide variety of insect species, and many of the ones found elsewhere in the world grow to larger sizes in the rainforest. Many rainforest insects serve as food for other animals, while some are predators.

Praying Mantis

The praying mantis is a slender green insect found in the rainforest and other climates. The praying mantis has long pincers used to trap and kill prey. Its eyes are off to the side of its head. These insects are widely known for their mating habits, as the female mantis kills the male and eats his head following reproduction. The praying mantis eats other insects, other mantises and even frogs or birds if small enough.


Rainforests are home to multiple types of beetles. The leaf beetle uses its colour to camouflage itself against the foliage of the rainforest floor. The stag beetle is a green and purple colour and has angular features. The female stag beetles have longer jaws than the males, though all stag beetles prefer to eat greenery instead of other insects. Rhinoceros beetles are wider than other rainforest beetles, and the males are characterised by elongated mouths used to battle for the attention of females.

Stick Insects

Stick insects get their name from their appearance, as they are extremely thin and blend in with leaves and trees. Even the eggs of the stick insect are in disguise, as they often take on the appearance of seeds. They make their homes on pandanus plants and are typically a light green colour. Peppermint stick insects are smaller than regular stick insects and do not have the same elongated legs. They are almost identical in colour to other stick insects.


Rainforest grasshoppers are similar in appearance to North American grasshoppers, as they have powerful legs for long distance jumping and buggy eyes. Rainforest grasshoppers are primarily vegetarians and are almost always light green in colour. Long-horned grasshoppers are another species of grasshopper found in the rainforest. The main difference is their wings, which are designed to look a lot like leaves to keep them safe from the predators of the rainforest. The black grasshopper features yellow spots across its black body.

Other Insects and Bugs

The rainforest is also home to multiple kinds of ants such as army ants and green tree ants. Army ants prey on dead creatures they find on the rainforest floor. Green tree ants make nests out of rainforest leaves that they blend in with. Wolf spiders and giant water spiders also populate the rainforest. Wolf spiders get their name from the grey hair that covers them and have eight eyes that are three different sizes. Giant water spiders are large enough to prey on fish. They have small bodies and extremely long legs.

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About the Author

Brian Vaughan is a freelance writer based in Springfield, Mo. He has been writing short stories, reviews and essays for over eight years and is currently pursuing a degree in professional writing at Missouri State University.