Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Unearthly Insects (Video)


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With this week's discovery of a hot pink Katydid, we pay tribute to the six-legged creatures which are truly out of this world. You'll never guess what tops our list of the top five unearthly insects.5. Pink Katydid
In at number one, you won't believe what this Katydid did—turned flamingo pink—which only happens in one out of every 500 critters.

The usually green Katydid can turn pink as a result of a condition called erythrism, similar to the recessive gene that afflicts albino animals. Last year, the New Orleans Audubon Insectarium acquired a pink male and female katydid which resulted in a litter of pink babies.

4. African Bat Bug
In a number four, some creatures are known for their penchant for rough sex, but none quite like the African Bat Bug's particularly gruesome mating ritual.

Instead of copulating via the female's sex organs, the male will stab the female's abdomen to release sperm directly into her bloodstream. Not surprisingly females have evolved paragenials, a "spongy reservoir of immune cells" for self-preservation.

3. Giant Water Bug
Giant water bugs are some of the larger beetles in the world and are also a popular dish in Thailand.

All bugs in the Belostomatidae family are fierce predators which feed on aquatic crustaceans, fish and amphibians. They often lie motionless at the bottom of a body of water, waiting for prey before striking with a powerful digestive saliva that allows them to suck out the liquefied remains.

2. Giant Weta
In at number two, New Zealand's Giant Weta is classified in the genus Deinacrida, which is Greek for terrible grasshopper.

Giant Weta's can weigh more than 70g, making them one of the heaviest documented insects in the known world. Wetas have become icons for invertebrate conservation in New Zealand because many species are threatened or endangered.

1. Seed Beetles
In at number one, our obsession with rough sex continues with the Seed Beetle. Check out the male seed beetle's rather unusual penis.

In response male's mating organs that are supplied with hooks, barbs, and flukes, female seed beetles have developed thicker, more padded reproductive canals over time as self-defense against their paramour.

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