I pulled three questions from my jar. Which question do you want to explore next week?
People dress up in costumes to look like something else. Bugs dress up in “costumes” too! What would a bug dress up as?
These caterpillars (of bagworm moths) dress up as sticks. They wear sticks so that predators—animals that want to eat them—don’t notice them!
Some caterpillars will also use leaves as a “costume”! Nothing to see here—just a pile of leaves moving through the forest!
Another kind of bug (called a caddisfly) lives at the bottom of almost every river. They make “costumes” from pebbles and shells in the river...
This “costume” helps them hide from predators! Think like an artist. How could you get a caddisfly to “dress up” in jewelry like gold and pearls, instead of “dressing up” in shells and pebbles?
An artist left pebble-sized pieces of gold near the caddisflies, and they covered themselves in it! Once the bug leaves its “costume,” people use the empty case as jewelry!
These bugs are part of a group of insects called “assassin bugs.” They’re fierce hunters that sneak up on their prey. Look what they’ve caught…
Some assassin bugs wear “costumes.” What do you think this “costume” is made of? Go ahead and take a guess.
The “costume” is actually the assassin bug’s dinner! Look closely and you’ll see the leftovers from the meals this bug has eaten!
Check this out! Look closely at these plants. They have clumps of foamy bubbles all over them! What could be making the bubbles?
Let’s look in the bubbles! There’s a tiny bug! Watch closely as the bug makes bubbles. It hides inside them when it’s a baby (larva).
This kind of bug, called a spittlebug, is a baby in the spring. So when it’s spring, look for their bubbles in plants! Can you find one?
Most bugs don’t “wear” anything on their bodies. But some bugs do have beautiful colors and patterns. And sometimes...
...those colors and patterns almost look like masks! Depending on the pattern, the masks can look happy, sad, or even surprised!
Spiders have color patterns that can look like faces, too! This spider lives in Hawaii and is called the happy-face spider!
The next time you dress up—like at a costume party—I wonder what you’ll dress as!
Looking for a hands-on activity?
Try out a hands-on extension activity from Mystery Science.