The Wide Variety of Insects found in South Africa

There are some of the most interesting and even common insects found in South Africa. There are around 260 species of insects found in Southern Africa many of which might have been spotted in gardens and houses. Given the diversity and the extraordinary number of insect species available in South Africa, it would be very difficult to come up with the key identification features and the habitat of all the local species. Here, you will get a comprehensive and illustrated description of some of the most popular insect species from South Africa. This content is surely going to open up the fascinating insect life in front of you and help you in understanding how intriguing and beneficial these tiny creatures can be.

Praying Mantis

There can be absolutely no doubt in the fact that the Praying Mantis is one of the most wonderful and remarkable insects found in South Africa. It has a striking appearance and features curious habits. The insect does not bite human beings; it does not damage household furniture and even does not spread any kind of disease. The insect features spiny-like forelegs that can be felt like a sharp pinch. These insects generally rest on plants or flutter through the air. They resemble flowers or leaves in color and shape. The name “Praying Mantis” comes from the way in which these insects hold up the forepart of their bodies with their large front legs as if in praying position. These are carnivorous insects that eat other insects. They have an elongated body with front legs for catching and holding prey. They have well-developed wings and are 3 to 4 inches in length.

Green Tree Locust

This is another popular insect found in South Africa. This insect appears in apple green color and has a body that measures 50mm. A thin line in white color goes along with wings in pale yellow color. These insects have a common breeding cycle with the sexually immature one surviving the summer season for laying eggs during the rainy season.

Prong-Tailed Weevil

The scientific name for Prong-Tailed Weevil is Bronchus furvus and it has a very large body that is around 30mm. the body of this insect is heavy built and elongated. Its snout is curved and thick while its antenna is thread-like and elbowed with three-segmented club. Its head features pinkish scales at the base.


This is a medium-sized with wings that measure around 15 to 17mm. It is available in grey color and has a very robust build. This insect features a humped thorax and is hairy with medium black stripes. Honey bees are the main preys of the Wasp Robber Fly. Adult insects of this species are basically voracious predators that catch their prey in flight.

Tree Nymph

Tree Nymph is a very large species of insects with a ratio of body-size to wing-area resulting in fluttery flight exchanged sometimes with gliding. Tree Nymphs have ghost-like appearance and they are generally sighted in dense forests.

Green Milkweed Locust

This insect from South Africa has a large body featuring red and blue hind wings and green forewings. It has a very strong flight.