The insect Picasso does not bear his name in vain, he proudly bears the name of one of the greatest painters in history, thanks to the fact that he seems to have escaped from one of his works. This is the most beautiful insect on the planet, whose scientific name is Sphaerocoris annulus.
Nature radiates touches of beauty everywhere, whether in the landscapes that have inspired the greatest artists or in the realistic creatures of a work of art. Sphaerocoris annulus is probably the most beautiful insect on the planet and although it is almost unknown, what is known about it astounds entomologists. Its common name is ‘Picasso bug’, ‘Picasso bug’ or ‘Zulu hug bug’ and it is a species that is characterized by its shield-shaped back.
It is for this last characteristic that taxonomists place it in the Scutelleridae family, which houses a series of insects that have a protective shell from the outside. The odd bulge on its back is called the thoracic scutellum and is often mistaken for beetles. However, the scutellum is part of the insect’s body and extends from the abdomen to the back. In contrast, beetles show only the hardened parts of their wings.
Picasso’s insect, a natural work of art
Another important difference between beetles and Scutelleridae is that the former has only one pair of wings, the latter has four membranous wings under its protective shield.
The Picasso insect is considered by many to be the most beautiful insect on the planet, due to the beautiful colors that cover its shell. The tonal palette ranges from beiges that cover the background to more intricate patterns in greens, reds, oranges and blacks. If you look closely, you could almost swear you’re looking at a work of art by Pablo Picasso himself, which is why it’s called that.
The most surprising thing is that so much beauty fits in such a small space, since Picasso’s insect measures only 8 millimeters. And like everything in nature, the intricate patterns on the shells of these tiny insects didn’t appear by accident, but rather as a warning to predators; anyone who dared disturb these insects would feel the consequences. When threatened, they give off a noxious odor that helps ward off predators.
The Picasso bug lives mainly in tropical and subtropical Africa, so it can be found in countries like Nigeria, through Sudan and Ethiopia, to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful insects in the world, which expresses how complicated nature is, despite its small size.