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Lantern Bug Facts and Habitat: I adore Lantern Bugs

Updated on September 30, 2016

Lantern Bug Information

Lantern Bug Information
Lantern Bug Information | Source

A bit of Lantern Bug Facts and Opinions

Whether the Lantern Bug is magical or not is merely my opinion. To me, it is the most adorable of all insects. It lives in tropical and sub-tropical places. Does it look exotic to you?

The Lantern Bug is also called the Lantern Fly. I remembered watching them in amazement when I was small but it was a long time ago. Until a friend (A. Cheung) showed me a photo of it that he took in Hong Kong, I thought I had only seen this beautiful creature in my dreams before!

In this post, I hope to share with you what I know about this fascinating insect. Well, you may think it is bizarre or weird, but it is definitely unusual and memorable!

Image Courtesy: Photo Camel

Lantern Bug Photo by Yusoff Ahmad via Flickr


Lantern Bug Habitat

Lantern Fly Habitat
Lantern Fly Habitat | Source

Lantern Bug Habitat

Have you seen this magical creature before? I just think it is so fascinating and extraordinary. If you have seen it before, maybe you have called it names, like Pinocchio, Cyrano de Bergerac, Trunky Bug or Elephant Bug? Well, maybe you find it a bit intriguing, or weird? A colorful insect with an upturned trunk or elongated snout, which is about half the size of its whole body!

This enchanting insect is called The Lantern Bug or Lantern Fly (Pyrops Candelabria).

Lantern Fly Facts: It is a species of homopterans found in the tropics and subtropics. It is a harmless herbivore and is related to the cicada. They are plant feeders. They like fruit trees such as lychee, longgan, mango and olive trees as hosts. The 'lantern' part is only a myth. It does not produce light and its long beak which is called rostrum is used to scare away predators and to suck fruit juice or sap from host trees.

Here is a lantern bug resting on a red flower.

Lantern Bug Information: What Does a Lantern Bug Sound Like?

Here is more information about the lantern bug. You can hear the sounds a lantern bug can make. If you haven't seen a lantern bug before, the best I can do is to offer some virtual experiences for you. You will have a better idea of the color, sounds and size of this insect. Enjoy!

What Does a Lantern Bug Sound Like?

Have You Seen This Lantern Bug?


How About a Yellow Lantern Bug/ Yellow Lantern Fly/ Giant Lantern Bug?

Yellow Lantern Bug/ Yellow Lantern Fly Picture
Yellow Lantern Bug/ Yellow Lantern Fly Picture | Source

Amazing and Weird Insects Secrets

Lantern Bug Secrets: What it Looks Like When Both Sets of Wings are Open

A difficult to capture moment when you can see the green lantern bug's  two sets of wings clearly
A difficult to capture moment when you can see the green lantern bug's two sets of wings clearly | Source

Lantern Bug Life Cycle and Lantern Bug Secrets

A Lantern Bug with its bright yellow under wings spread out. This photo is taken from

Habitat: Fruit trees in the tropics and subtropics

Adult size: 1.5 to 2 inches/ 37-42mm long from head to thorax;

beak length approximately the same;

Wingspan: approximately 3 inches/ 70-80mm wide

Color: varies depending on the species; main colors usually colorful and contrasting: red, green, blue or yellow beak, green body and bright yellow under wings

In southern China, the Lantern Bug produces one generation each year. Adult lantern bugs spend the winter on a host fruit tree. Around March, they start to become active. They live on fruit juice and sap from trees and plants.

The mating season is around May. They usually lay their eggs 5 ft to 6.5 ft /1.5 to 2 m on tree branches up from the ground. The female usually lays eggs once a year, to 60 to 100 eggs. The eggs take 20 to 30 days to hatch.

I am not sure how much time metamorphosis takes. The larvae will become pupa. The nymphs start to emerge from their pupal cases in September.

A Lantern Bug in Malaysia

Exotic Bug in Malaysia
Exotic Bug in Malaysia

Have you seen a Lantern Bug before?

Have you seen a Lantern Bug in its habitat before?

See results

How Many Weird Insects Do You Know?

Why Does The Lantern Fly Flick out Liquid? A Moth is Drinking Unrine from the Lantern Fly

A Lantern Bug in Southern China

A Lantern Bug in Southern China
A Lantern Bug in Southern China

Green Lantern Bugs: Here is a Lovely Pair

Two Lantern Bugs
Two Lantern Bugs | Source

What is the strange long upturned beak for?

See results

Why Does the Lantern Bug Flick Out Liquid? More Lantern Bug Secrets

Did you know that the Lantern Bug prefers to live on the same fruit tree for generations? How grand!

It means when you have spotted some on a certain tree, you will always see them there for years and years. It will be like they are your pets as you can always see them in their chosen habitat. When I was small, my bedroom faced a 'dragon eye' fruit tree and I could always see these lovely insects there on the tree trunk.

Why does the lantern bug flick out liquid? Did you also know that the Lantern Bug's droplets, or, yes, I do mean 'urine' is sought after by other insects such as moths. You can guess why, right? As the bug drinks fruit juices, its urine is naturally juicy too. Well, there you have it: Nature's second-hand or processed fruit juice!

Beautiful Lantern Fly: Are These Two Lantern Bugs with Open Wings Fighting or Courting?

Beautiful Lantern Bugs Displaying Yellow Underwings
Beautiful Lantern Bugs Displaying Yellow Underwings | Source

Would you like to be a Weekend / Backyard Entomologist like me?

© 2014 May Matthew

Which insect do you find the most magical or fascinating? I will visit you soon!

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    • profile image

      swf 7 months ago

      This insect is currently beginning a decimation of orchards,vineyards,trees in numerous counties in PA...with no real organic way of getting rid of them it is only a matter of time before they will do millions of dollars worth of damage and spread from state to state. They will make gypsy moth damage look like a walk in the park. Pretty? Fascinating? Not so much....

    • profile image

      B. Bailey 9 months ago

      do you know that lantern flies are pests that eat timber and food crops? they are devastating to many countries - they are not adorable or magical. when they get exported on tankers and such, they are noxious menaces! lantern bugs eat everything we eat, and more. they kill trees. these are "bad" bugs no matter how pretty and magical you think they look.

    • profile image

      nasuha 14 months ago

      you should come to BELUM TEMENGGOR RAINFOREST, 30 species of the lantern bug here.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Wow...what an exotic and fascinating bug! I've never seen one before. Thanks for the info!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I've never seen anything like it before - so unusual.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      do lantern bugs live in Hong Kong?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I know they have wings, but do they fly?

    • LPerry60 profile image

      LPerry60 5 years ago from East Coast United States

      So cute and colorful!

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      What a fascinating insect. I've never heard of them before.

    • jayavi profile image

      jayavi 5 years ago

      interesting. Never seen before. thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lantern bug was a new one to me, nice lens, squidliked and pinned.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Lovely lens! Never had heard of the lantern bug before, they really are cute!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Now, that is one curious bug! I had never heard of the lantern bug and find it quite captivating.

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 5 years ago

      this lantern bug is interesting. first time know about this.

    • profile image

      KobayashiFiction 5 years ago

      I had never seen or heard of this lovely insect before now! Thank you for sharing!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love the ladybug, how pretty it is. I love that it eat other bugs, it is so good for our garden.

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 5 years ago

      @Infohouse: I like the praying mantis too and am always amazed by it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Infohouse profile image

      Infohouse 5 years ago

      The most fascinating insect to me is the praying mantis. I can watch one all day long.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      What a totally awesome insect! I really loved all of the photos too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wasn't familiar with the lantern bug before my visit here today. Thanks for introducing me to them.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 5 years ago

      Cool bug. I've never seen one before