Texas is known for its strange and unusual wildlife. From armadillos to javelinas, the state has some of the most unique creatures on Earth. But what many people don’t know is that Texas also has some of the strangest bugs in the world. From giant cockroaches to biting flies, here are the top 5 weirdest bugs in Texas.
Top 5 Weirdest Bugs in Texas
1. Red imported fire ants
Portrait of a red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. This species arrived to the southeastern United States from South America in the 1930s.
Specimen from Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, USA.
Public domain image by Alex Wild, produced by the University of Texas “Insects Unlocked” program.
These aggressive ants are native to South America and were accidentally introduced to Texas in the 1930s via cargo ships from South America docking at ports in Galveston and Houston. Since then they have spread throughout much of the southern United States, becoming a major nuisance pest in both rural and urban areas. They sting with an intense burning feeling, making them a major problem for anyone who encounters them.
2. Texas Redheaded Centipede (Scolopendra heros)
These centipedes can reach up to 8 inches in length and have a bright red head. They are found in wooded areas of Texas, particularly near rivers and streams, where they hunt insects and other small creatures. They will often enter homes looking for food and shelter, and although their bite is painful it is rarely serious.
3. Giant Water Bug (Belostoma spp.)
Also known as toe biters or alligator ticks, these huge bugs can reach up to 4 inches in length. Found mostly in ponds and lakes, they feed on fish, frogs, and even small snakes. Although the bug’s bite isn’t deadly it does cause a burning sensation that lasts for several hours.
4. Texas Horned Lizard
This reptile has a unique adaptation to ward off predators – when threatened it squirts a stream of blood from the corner of its eyes! This defense mechanism is effective at driving away most predators and has earned the lizard the nickname “horny toad.” It can be found in grasslands, deserts, and scrublands throughout much of the state.
5. Eastern Velvet Ant (Dasymutilla occidentalis)
This large, bright red and black ant is actually a wasp in disguise. Females have no wings and look like ants, while males have wings and look more like typical wasps. Both sexes are covered in thick fur that protects them from predators. They are found throughout much of the southern United States but are especially common in Texas. Despite their fuzzy appearance, their sting is very painful!
No matter where you go in Texas, it’s always fun to spot some of the most unique bugs around. From giant water bugs to velvet ants, there’s always something strange and wonderful to see! Whether you’re exploring nature or just your backyard, be sure to keep an eye out for these weirdest bugs in Texas!
These are just some of the weirdest bugs in Texas. From giant cockroaches to squirting lizards, if you’re looking for strange and unusual wildlife then Texas is definitely the place to be! So grab your bug spray and get outside – you never know what you might find!