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Alien Insects of Costa Rica

Are you squeamish about insects? How about the ones you cannot see? No, not because they are too small, but because they look nothing like it! The rainforest is a great place for insects if you're into that sort of thing. But even for those of you who prefer to admire from afar, you would be very intrigued if you saw something that resembled more some alien species than what we are used to seeing as insects.

The tour guide and company owner who took the above pictures, Henry Pizarro, has been leading tours in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, for the last four years and even he was stunned to come across something he has never seen or learned about. The insect on the left photograph, if you can tell it apart from the mossy tree bark, resembles a mix between a green pine cone and chenille sticks (you know, the bendable fluffy wire sticks for arts and crafts). The insects on the right photograph carry an eerie resemblance to a human-like face, or more accurately an alien face from one of those Sci-Fi movies.

So far, there is no name for these insects and even an extensive search through The Encyclopedia of Life comes out with no results of similar looking insects. You can try for yourself. Are these new species of insects? Maybe so! If they are, the credit might be given to Henry, the guide with the eagle eyes who may be naming these insects while we all witness this exciting discovery. What kinds of names would you choose? How about the Pinecone Chenille Tree Insect or the White-Faced Clingon Insect? ...you know, from the Star Trek TV series. Unlike the Latin names, at least these names place a picture in your mind!

Note: Photos taken by Henry Pizarro.

Main Photo by Dominik Hofer bayucca flickr