• Gogimogi’s Top 15 Most Gorgeous Fish

    If you’ve been reading our blogs, by now you know that Gogimgoi is the Artistically Geeky Design House committed to the study of colors and humor and inspired by nature.  We are mesmerized by the beauty found on this earth and amazed by the incredible, colorful, wonderful creatures that populate it.

    To help you understand what motivates our designs, we’ve been creating Gogimogi lists.  So far we’ve released our Top 10 Most Beautiful Insects, and our Top 10 Most Fascinating Birds.

    Now, we want to take you to the sea and show you Gogimogi’s Top 15 Most Gorgeous Fish.

    We are always careful to acknowledge the subjectivity of our lists, as beauty is often in the eyes of the beholder.  But even if you don’t agree that some of these fish are “gorgeous” we are certain you will find them amazing nonetheless.

    Here is Gogimogi’s Top 15 Most Gorgeous Fish List in no specific order.  As always, we would love to hear from you and find out which ones on this list are your favorite and why.

    The Emperor Angelfish

    The emperor angelfish is a species of reef fish native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

    The juvenile emperor angelfish looks different from the adult.  Juveniles have brilliant, electric blue and whitish-yellow rings while the adults have yellow and blue stripes with a black mask around their eyes.

    It takes about 30 months for the emperor angelfish to get its adult coloring, although this may not always happen when they’re in an aquarium.

    Emperor angelfish are omnivorous with their favorite food being sponges and algae.

    The Parrotfish

    The parrotfish earned their name thanks to the way their teeth are arranged on the outer surface of their jaw bones, giving them a parrot-like beak.

    There are about 95 species of parrotfish.  They usually swim in tropical and subtropical shallow waters.  Their sizes range from 5.1 inches all the way to 3’3” depending on the specie.  They have a pretty complex life cycle with most of the species being sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they start out as females but then change to males.

    In most species their female coloring is dull red, brown or grey, but then they change into vivid green or blue with bright pink or yellow patches when they become males.

    A recent study has discovered that the parrotfish is critical to the health of the Great Barrier Reef.  It is the only reef fish that scrapes and cleans inshore coral reefs.

    The Siamese Fighting Fish

    The Betta splendens, known as the Siamese fighting fish, belong to the gourami family of fish.  They are very popular among aquarium enthusiasts.  Native to the Mekong basin of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, these fish grow to be about two and half inches long.

    In the wild their colorings are dull green, brown and grey and their fins remain fairly short.  In captivity, however, breeders have created a large variety of colors and tail types through selective breeding.  Common colors include red, blue, green, yellow, opaque, black, white and orange.  Other interesting colors include turquoise, copper and lavender.

    As their name suggests, the siamese fighting fish are very territorial and males should not be kept in the same tank together. They should also be kept in large tanks of at least 10 gallons as they need to establish territory and can become aggressive towards intruders.

    The Betta has a very interesting mating ritual.  Males flare their gills and spread their fins and dance for a female they’re interested in.  If the female is interested, she will darken in color and display vertical lines indicating her willingness to mate.  Males will build bubble nests on the surface of the water.  The male wraps his body around the female in a “nuptial embrace.”  Fertilization happens externally with the female releasing her eggs and the male his milt into the water.  After mating, the male chases the female away as she will likely devour the eggs.  In captivity, she should be removed from the tank, otherwise the male is likely to kill her.  The male then takes care of the eggs, keeping them in the bubble nest and making sure to put back any fall to the bottom.

    Historically, the Siamese fighting fish have been objects of gambling.  Two male fish are pitted against each other to fight and bets are placed on which one will win.  The fights can often result in severe injuries or even death of either one or both fish.  Properly kept, the Siamese fighting fish can live between 3-5 years with some rare cases showing life-spans of 7-10 years.

    The Moorish Idol Fish

    The Moorish idol fish is another reef fish coveted by aquarium enthusiasts, even though they are extremely difficult to keep in captivity.  Distributed throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this fish got its name from the Moors of Africa who believed that the Moorish idol brought happiness.

    They can grow to be a little over nine inches long and have eyes that are set high on their keeled bodies.  They are omnivorous and feed off sponges, coral polyps and benthic invertebrates.  They are spawners and release eggs and sperm into the water.  Fertilized eggs then drift away with the currents.

    Moorish idol fish are diurnal and spend most of their nights sleeping at the bottom of the reef.

    The Discus

    The symphysodon fish, known commonly as discus, is a cichlid fish native to the Amazon river in South America.  They have a rounded, laterally compressed body with short fins which is how they’ve earned their name discus.

    They can grow to be about six inches in the wild, although some have been known to reach nine inches in captivity.  They are one of the more popular freshwater aquarium fish.

    They are very social and usually occur in groups of many dozens.  Male and females get away from the group when mating, most likely to keep their eggs from being eaten by the other fish.

    Discus are very social and usually occur in groups of many dozens.  Male and females get away from the group when mating, most likely to keep their eggs from being eaten by the other fish.

    Both parents care for the eggs.  They also secrete nutrients from their skin which the young feed off in their first four weeks.  They eat mostly algae and other plants as well as invertebrates.

    The Flowerhorn Cichlid

    The flowerhorn cichlid is a fully man-made hybrid fish that do not exist in the wild.  They are ornamental aquarium fish known for their head protuberance and vivid colors.

    There is a lot of criticism surrounding the breeding of this fish and their introduction into the wild. They can be aggressive and breed rapidly (even though many male flowerhorns are sterile).  The also compete with and eat native fish.

    Other criticism includes, but is not limited to, unethical breeding for anatomical deformities.  The flowerhorn cichlid have a life span of about 10-12 years but they can suffer from many diseases.

    The Pacific Regal Blue Tang

    The paracanthurus hepatus goes by many common names including the regal tang, the palette surgeonfish, the blue tang, the royal blue tang, the hippo tang, the flagtail surgeonfish, the Pacific regal blue tang and the blue surgeonfish.  It is distributed in the Indian and Pacific oceans and can grow to be about 12 inches long.  They live in pairs or small groups of 8-14 fish.  When threatened, the regal tang can make itself semi-transparent.

    The regal blue tang can cause ciguatera poisoning if consumed, but are popular aquarium fish even though they are fragile.  As you may have guessed by now, Dory in Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory is a regal blue tang.

    The Picasso Triggerfish

    The gorgeous and poetically named Picasso triggerfish goes by many names including lagoon triggerfish, blackbar triggerfish, and the Jamal.  It is the state fish of Hawaii where it is called the humuhumunukunukuāpua’a.

    They are territorial fish and can protect their region aggressively against intruders.  They grow to be approximately 11 inches long and mate multiple times throughout their lifetime.

    Spawning takes place at sunrise and the eggs hatch at sunset on the same day.  Their lifespan is between 5 to 10 years.

    The Mandarinffish

    The tiny colorful mandarinfish is native to the Pacific ocean, ranging from the Ryukyu Islands to Australia.  They grow to slightly above two inches and earn their name because their vivid colors and marking are said to resemble the extravagant robes of an Imperial Chinese mandarin.

    They are reef dwellers and bottom-feeders that eat mostly during the day.  They also have a layer of smelly and bitter slime on their skin, instead of scales, which keeps diseases and predators at bay.  They are popular in the aquarium trade, but difficult to keep because of their feeding habits.

    The Blueface Angelfish

    This laterally compressed colorful fish is found in the shallow parts of the Indo-Pacific.  It grows to about 15 inches and swims near caves and reefs in waters that are between 15 to 80 feet deep.

    The juveniles have a very different coloring than the adults and start changing once they reach 7 inches.  Their lifespan is 10 years or more.

    Koi

    Koi fish are ornamental varieties of domesticated carp fish.  The Chinese started to breed the Prussian carp fish more than a 1000 years ago which lead to the development of the Goldfish.  Koi, on the other hand, were developed in Japan in the 1820s by selective breeding of the common carp.

    In general, goldfish are smaller than koi and have a greater variety of body shapes and fin and tail configurations.  koi have a common body shape, but more variety in patterns and coloration.  Some major koi colors include white, black, red, yellow, blue and cream.  Similar to the carp fish, koi are healthy fish and there are some reports that claim kois have reached ages of 100 to 200 years, although the average life-span is around 50 years

    Like most fish, koi reproduce through spawning with the female laying eggs that are then fertilized externally by one or more males.  Even though koi fish produce thousands of offspring from a single spawning, most of these offspring will not be acceptable to breeders because they won’t display interesting colors or may even be genetically defective.

    These rejected Koi are either killed off or used as feeder fish.  Koi have many symbolic meanings in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures, from good luck to perseverance against adversaries to a symbol of male masculinity, to love and friendship.  That’s why koi are extremely popular fish that are often kept in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.

    The Lionfish

    The lionfish is a poisonous fish with elaborate fins, tentacles and vibrant coloring that is native to the Indo-Pacific waters.  It has many names, including butterfly-cod, zebrafish, firefish and turkeyfish.

    Recently some lionfish have become invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, posing a threat to these region’s reefs.

    They are aposematic. Their showy fins, projecting spines and conspicuous contrasting stripes serve to ward off predators effectively.

    In humans, their venom can cause pain, nausea, dizziness and vomiting, fever, convulsions, headaches, heartburn, diarrhea and other symptoms.  In rare cases, it can even cause death.  The lionfish’s diet consists of small fish, invertebrates and mollusks.  Their lifespan is anywhere between 5 to 15 years.

    The Clown Triggerfish

    The clown triggerfish also goes by the name bigspotted triggerfish and is native to the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean, although it can also be found in the Caribbean.

    It has a big head that makes up 1/3 of its body.  It is laterally compressed with a stocky appearance and an oval shape.  Because of its attractive patterns and coloration, the clown triggerfish is very popular in the aquarium trade.  It is a diurnal fish, meaning it is active during the day and sleeps at night.  It is territorial and can be aggressive towards other fish.  The clown triggerfish has a lifespan of 10-12 years.

    The Clownfish

    The clownfish or anemonefish, is probably one of the most recognizable fish on this list thanks to Disney/Pixar’s famous movie Finding Nemo.  There are about thirty species of clownfish with most exhibiting orange, yellow, reddish or black coloring with white bars or patches.

    In the wild, the clownfish usually forms a symbiotic relationship with sea anemone whereby the clownfish eats the invertebrates that can cause the anemone harm while providing nutrients through its fecal matter.  The clownfish is a fairly small fish ranging in size from 3.9 inches to 7.1 inches.  Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they develop into males first then become female once they mature.

    There is a clear hierarchy in clownfish colonies with the most aggressive female at the top and only one female and one male reproducing.  If the female in the group is removed or dies, the largest and most dominant male-usually the breeding male-becomes a female and the strongest and largest juvenile becomes the new breeding male.  At that time, all remaining males will move up a rank in the hierarchy.  Even though multiple males live with a single female in a colony, polygamy does not occur.  Clownfish have a lifespan of 3-6 years

    The Asian Arowana

    The Asian Arowana is also known as the Asian bonytongue and dragonfish thanks to their resemblance to the Chinese dragon.  They inhabit blackwater rivers and slow-moving waters in forests and wetlands.  They grow to be about 35 inches long and come in a variety of colors each specific to a particular geographic region.

    These varieties include but are not limited to green, silver Asian, red-tailed golden and super red.  The bodies of the Asian arowana is long.  They have large scaled that in some varieties are metallic with a mosaic pattern of raised ribs.  They have teeth on their jaws and tongue.

    They reach sexual maturity late in life, after the age of three.  The female produces 30-100 large eggs and the male broods the fertilized and larvae eggs in his mouth.

    Because of their dragon-like appearance, Asian arowanas are symbols of good luck and prosperity in Asian cultures.  Folklore also says that they can preserve the lives of their owners by dying in their stead.  The Asian arowana is listed as endangered.

    In addition to these gorgeous fish, we came across many others that deserve honorable mention here.  These include:

    The Banggai Cardinalfish

    The Glass Catfish

    The Red Tail Triggerfish

    The Indian Ocean Oriental Sweetlips

    The Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid

    The Harlequin Tuskfish

    The Scribbled Rabbitfish

    The Blue Lyretail

    The Sargassum Triggerfish

    The Sea Goldie

    The African Jewelfish

    The Ram Cichlid

    The Arabian Angelfish

    The Humphead Wrasse

    The Kribensis

    As you can imagine, this list does nothing but pique our curiosity to learn more about the many amazing animals that inhabit our waters.  So, very soon, we’ll be releasing our list of the most bizarre underwater creatures.

    For now, check out some of Gogimogi’s designs inspired by all the beauty in our magnificent world.

  • Gogimogi’s Top 10 Most Fascinating Birds

    We are Gogimogi, the Artistically Geeky Design House committed to the study of humor and color and inspired by nature.

    Now, what the heck does that mean?  Well, it’s simple really.  We love the quirky characters that populate our incredibly diverse and wonderful world.  We focus our designs on the relationship between the physical characteristics of these creatures and their unique and often peculiar personalities.  Ultimately, we get to geek out and marvel over their extraordinariness and then embellish those characteristics to create our designs, making us the artistically geeky design house.

    One of our favorite group of animals to study is birds.  Aside from their incredibly colorful plumage and dramatic lines, they often come fully equipped with fun personalities that make them the perfect source of inspiration.  Take the following list for example.  These guys are, in our opinion, some of the most fascinating birds we’ve learned about (so far).  As usual, we acknowledge the subjectivity of the term “fascinating” and remind our readers that we may alter or add to this list as we continue our studies.  However, for now, here is Gogimogi’s Top 10 Most Fascinating Birds List, in no particular order.

    The Golden Pheasant

    The golden pheasant, also known as the Chinese pheasant, is a large gamebird that belongs to the pheasant family.  It is native to China, but feral populations have been set up in many other parts of the world including North America.  While the female golden pheasant is not very colorful, the male is stunning with a golden crest and red and orange plumage.

    Similar to other pheasants, the golden pheasant is not known for its flying skills and would rather walk or run to get around.  However, if startled, this bird is known to take flight and gain great height pretty quickly.  One interesting aspect is that their vibrant colors fade if they are exposed to the sun for too long, so they try to keep to shaded areas in the forest.  These birds are one of the most popular pheasants because of their beautiful plumage.  Rumor has it that even George Washington kept a golden pheasant at Mt. Vernon.

    The Mandarin Duck

    The male mandarin duck is one of the most striking birds out there.  They are a medium-sized perching duck (about 19 inches long with a wingspan of 30 inches).  They have one of the more boisterous courtships with the male duck doing a lot to draw his mate to him.  Everything from shaking vigorously, to drinking and dipping his bill, to whistling and barking to get that girl’s attention.

    Rumor also has it that mandarin ducks mate for life (at least that’s what Chinese and Korean traditions tell us).  That’s why in these cultures the manadrin duck is considered a symbol of conjugal love and fidelity and is often given as a wedding gift.

    The Schalow’s Turaco

    The Schalow’s turaco belongs to the Musophagidae bird family (which literally means banana-eaters).  They are found in the forested and wooded areas of South Central Africa.  They have the longest crests among turacos often stretching longer than 3 inches!  Like other turacos, the Schalow’s turaco are social birds that don’t migrate and live in families of up to 10.  They are medium-sized birds (about 17 inches long and weigh anywhere between 0.5 to 0.83 pounds with the female on the more slender-side).  Their upper body is mostly green but becomes darker over the mantle and the wings.  Their flight feathers are crimson while their tails are bluish-black to violet.  Absolutely stunning.

    The Atlantic Puffin

    The Atlantic puffin, also known as the common puffin is the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean.  They belong to the auk family of seabirds which are known for their ability to “fly” underwater.  Although they are excellent swimmers and divers, they are clumsy in their steps and have pretty much given up their flying abilities in exchange for agility in the water.

    Although the Atlantic puffin has a large population, their numbers have declined rapidly in recent years and they have been ranked as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

    The Atlantic puffin is the official bird symbol of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador province.

    The Grey Crowned Crane

    The grey crowned crane is one of the most primitive birds of the Gruidae family.  Fossil records of this bird date back to the Eocene period (56 to 33.9 million years ago).  Although it is believed that at some point there were as many as eleven species of crowned cranes that spread across Europe and North America, their inability to cope with lower temperatures reduced their spread to the warmer African Savannah as the earth cooled.

    Today, the grey crowned crane is found south of the Sahara near marshes, rivers and lakes.  They are about 3.3 feet tall and weigh around 7.7 lbs.  And they love to dance.  In fact, dancing is not only part of their courting ritual, but also something they do throughout the year.  They are, unfortunately, on the endangered species list.

    The Victoria Crowned Pigeon

    Named after the British Monarch Queen Victoria, this bluish-grey pigeon is native to New Guinea and is known for its magnificent lace-like crest.  The Victoria crowned pigeon is about 30 inches long and weighs 7.7 lbs, making it the largest surviving pigeon specie on earth.  They are social birds and travel in pairs or small parties as they look for food.  They love their fruit, especially figs.

    The male Victoria crown pigeon courts the female by bowing before her and wagging his tail and singing to her.  He brings her sticks so she can build a nest for their one egg.  Both parents care for the chick for 13 weeks after it hatches.  The male Victoria crowned pigeon also engage in displays of dominance by puffing up their chests and raising their wings aggressively, but they can be pretty peaceful towards each other outside the mating season.  The IUCN has elevated their status to “near threatened” due to habitat loss and hunting.

    The Long-Tailed Widowbird

    The male long-tailed widowbird has one of the most ostentatious ornaments among perching birds.  While the female of the species is fairly inconspicuous, the male sports black feathers with orange and white shoulders and twelve tail-feathers.  Six to eight of these tail-feathers are almost 20 inches long!

    When in-flight, these long tail feathers cascade beneath the bird creating the image of a creature worthy of epic fantasy novels.  While these ornaments are deemed hazardous to the long-tailed widowbird’s survival, they play a critical role in sexual selection with the longer-tailed males getting more action.

    The Southern Cassowary

    The southern cassowary lives in the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, New Guinea and Northeastern Australia.  It is the third-largest and second-heaviest bird on earth.  A fully grown adult can stand as high as 5’ 9” inches and can weigh up to 187 lbs.  A distinct horn-like brown casque that measures between 5.1 to 6.7 inches sits on top of its head.  They have three strong toes on each foot with deadly claws that can do serious harm when threatened.

    The female of the species is more dominant with a larger body and casque.  She breeds with several partners during mating season.  Once she lays her eggs, she takes off while the father incubates and cares for the chicks.  During the first 50 days, the male cassowary never leaves the nest, not even to eat or drink or even to go to the bathroom.  He then spends the next 9 months raising the chicks and teaching them how to survive.

    The southern cassowary have strange genitalia.  Both the male and the female have a phallic-looking appendage that is not connected to any of their reproductive organs.  The male also has a vagina-like cavity that he uses to tuck-away his pseudo-penis when he’s not mating.

    The Major Mitchell's Cockatoo

    Native to the dry and semi-dry inlands of Australia, The Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is named after Scottish explorer Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell.  With its cotton-like white and pink plumage and its bright red and yellow crest, the Major Mitchell’s cockatoo is often considered the most beautiful of the cockatoos.

    These birds mate for life and have a pretty decent lifespan. The oldest recorded Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo lived to be 83 years old.

    The Hoopoe

    The hoopoe is a colorful bird with a beautiful, distinct crown that has a long and ancient cultural history.  The hoopoe was considered sacred in Ancient Egypt and was often drawn on tombs and temples.  They were also a symbol of virtue in Persia and are the closest real-life depiction of the mythical Persian bird Simurg.  Aside from their long historical significance, the hoopoe has an interesting personality that makes it one of the quirkiest of the birds (if that’s possible).  Their flight resembles that of a butterfly as their wings don’t close all the way.  They like to take long sunbaths by spreading their wings and tail.  They also indulge in sand and dust baths.

    They are monogamous, but their relationships don’t tend to last longer than a season. They also have a smelly way of protecting their young.  The female hoopoe secretes a nasty liquid that smells like rotten meat which she rubs on her young in the nest.  This helps keep predators away.

    The hoopoe is the national bird of Israel.

    In all sincerity, we could keep going with this list.  There is the Himalayan monal, the paradise tanager, the hoatzin, the palm cockatoo, the Wilson’s bird of paradise, and thousands upon thousands of other fascinating birds that are wonderful sources of inspiration.  Guess we’re just going to have to keep making lists.

    Check out gogimogi’s gallery to learn more about our nature-inspired whimsical characters and ideas on how to incorporate them into your home décor.  Or, you can always go for one of our designs on a t-shirt.  We’ll be releasing our adult silhouettes very soon.

  • Gogimogi’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Insects

    Here at Gogimogi Designs we draw most of our inspiration from nature.  We are infatuated with both flora and fauna and are humbled by their unlimited beauty and complexity.

    Some of our favorite creatures are arthropods (arachnids like spiders and scorpions, and insects).  You may cringe at the idea of a bug crawling on your mattress or down you arm, but our Gogimogi geekiness goes full throttle when we encounter a funky-looking insect and get a chance to examine it up close (after a high-pitched scream, of course).

    Arthropods are by far the largest phylum of animals on Earth.  As of 2015 there are about one million known species of them, and estimates of their yet-to-be-discovered species take that number up to between 5 to 30 million!

    That’s why it’s pretty much impossible to create a “top ten most beautiful insects” list, especially since so many of them are unknown to us.  Also, “beautiful” is inherently a subjective term so what we consider gorgeous may indeed be frightening or cringeworthy to you.  However, an attempt must be made, so here is our attempt at identifying 10 of the most gorgeous insects we’ve learned about (so far).  We certainly reserve the right to alter, add or follow up with more lists, so keep an eye out!

    This list is in no specific order.  All of these guys are awesomely amazing.

    The Spiny Flower Mantis

    Imagine you’re already a member of one of the coolest insect orders out there: The Mantodea or Mantises.  Now imagine that within that order you’re a member of the family that resembles flowers!  That’s what you have in the Spiny Flower Mantis.  A deadly, gorgeous insect that measures between 1 to 2 inches long and is native to Sub-Saharan Africa.  When first born, these mantises look like little black ants, but as they molt, they gradually become lighter and lighter.  The nymphs are white with orange and green stripes with an upturned abdomen.

    As adults, they have stunning, colorful markings on their wings that resemble eyes which they gladly use to scare off anyone who threatens them.  Like other mantises, the Spiny Flower Mantis is cannibalistic.  Females often consume the male after mating to help nourish their offspring.

    The Golden Tortoise Beetle

    There is a reason why these beetles have earned the nickname “goldbug.”  They resemble something out of your grandmother’s jewelry chest.  These guys measure between 5 to 7 mm (0.196 to 0.275 inches) and are native to the Americas.  They are often metallic and range in color from reddish-brown to bright gold.  They also change colors during mating and when feeling threatened.  The edges of their wing casings expand and are nearly transparent.

    In 1979 a Georgetown University professor (Edward M. Barrows) conducted a study of the Golden Tortoise Beetle and found that their copulation could last anywhere between 15 to 583 minutes!  That’s almost 10 hours!

    The Glasswinged Butterfly

    For obvious reasons, butterflies and moths are often granted the title of “most beautiful” insects, and while there will definitely be a Gogimogi list of the most amazing butterflies and moths coming soon, for now, we had to take the time to acknowledge the otherworldliness of the Greta Oto, also known as the Glasswinged Butterfly. These “mariposas de cristal” or “crystal butterflies” are native to Central and South America but they can migrate long distances and have even been spotted as far north as Texas.  Their wingspan ranges between 2.2 and 2.4 inches and their wings appear transparent thanks to tiny bumps that break the light and stop it from reflecting.  The edges of the wings are opaque, which somehow adds even more magic to this already alluring creature.

    The Rosy Maple Moth

    Well if we’re going to have a butterfly on the list, we might as well include a moth too. The Dryocampa Rubicunda also known as the rosy maple moth, is a fluffy moth native to North America.  Their colors range between bright yellow and pink to beige or all white.  The males and females look different from each other. Males are smaller with narrower wings and a wingspan of 1.25 to 1.75 inches.  Females have rounded back wings and a wingspan of up to 2 inches.  The males also have antennae that resemble feathers.  They can live anywhere between 2 to 9 months depending on the season (they will postpone development until after winter).  As you may have guessed, as caterpillars they feed on maples, but, as adults they don’t eat!

    The Beautiful Demoiselle

    The Beautiful Demoiselle

    Damselflies and dragonflies belong to an order of beautiful and carnivorous insects called Odonata (the toothed ones). You can tell the difference between a dragonfly and a damselfly by looking at four characteristics:  The size of the eyes (dragonflies have large eyes that pretty much cover their whole head while damselflies have smaller eyes with a gap between them); the shape of their bodies (dragonflies have heftier bodies while damselflies are more delicate); the shape of the wings (dragonflies have hind wings that are larger than their front wings while damselfies have the same size wings that narrow down as they connect to their body; and the position of the wings when they are at rest (dragonflies keep their wings perpendicular to their bodies when resting while damselflies lift them above their bodies like butterflies).

    Now that you know a little more about the difference between these two extraordinary creatures, let’s talk about the Beautiful Demoiselle, a gorgeous damselfly that lives in Europe and mostly near water streams.  As an adult, this stunning creature measures about 1.77 inches.  The males are a metallic blue-green while the females are an iridescent brownish-green.  Their flight resembles that of a butterfly, fluttering and light.

    The Italian Striped-Bug

    The striking red and black stripes on the Italian Striped-Bug make this insect the most stylish on our list. Native to Europe, the Italian Striped-bug, also known as the Minstrel Bug, can be found as far south as North Africa. Their length ranges anywhere between 0.31 and 0.47 inches and their bright color warn predators that they are not the tastiest prey.  But they sure are chic.

    The Pink Grasshopper

    Little is known about the rare pink grasshopper except that it is likely a morph of the common meadow grasshopper native to Europe and parts of Asia.  Its coloring is the result of something called erythrism, a genetic-mutation caused by a recessive gene similar to what affects albino animals.  Albinism is caused by a lack or absence of pigments in the hair, eyes and skin whereas erythrism is caused by a reddish discoloration in an animal’s fur, plumage or skin.

    The pink grasshoppers sited to date have been mostly nymphs as their bright coloring prevents them from proper camouflage in the meadows and they often become prey before they reach adulthood.

    The Jewel Beetle

    Burprestidae is a family of beetles known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles that have glorious iridescent colors.  They are one of the largest family of beetles with some 15,000 species.  The more metallic species were actually used as living jewelry during the Victorian Age.  They range in size from 0.12 inches to 3.15 inches with most species sitting at around .79 inches.

    They also appear to change color depending on the angle of view. Scientists believe these color changes are due to light-reflecting properties of their exoskeleton rather than their pigments. Regardless, they are one of the most arresting insects out there.

    The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver Spider

    This is probably one of the more scary-looking insects on our list, although you have to admit they are still more stunning than frightening. They are pretty large, especially the females which can be up to 3 inches big.  They are also known as “banana spiders” due to the shape of their abdomen.  They can weave huge webs and often sit right in the middle of them waiting for their prey.  They’ve earned the name “Golden Silk Orb-Weaver” because their webs look golden in the sun.

    The Lanternfly

    The Pyrops Candelaria, also known as the Lanternfly, looks like a magical creature straight out of a fairy tale. The surreal appearance of this planthopper comes along with intriguing myths.  One of the myths is that if a lanternfly bites you, you will die unless you have sex within 24 hours.  You should be ok though because lanternflies don’t bite.

    The other myth is that they glow, but in actuality they have reflective patterns on their wings that look like they emit light. Despite the myths, this insect is extraordinary looking enough to merit a spot on our list.

    The world is rich with inspiring, colorful animals full of character and intrigue.  Our goal at Gogimogi is to create designs that take an artistic and humorous approach to the study of these creatures while creating memorable characters that you want to spend time with.  Check out our gallery and keep an eye out for new designs coming soon.