The Bugs of Picasso

The Bugs of Picasso

longhornbeetle Pablo Picasso was one of the most influential painters of the early 20th century. He was a pioneer of Cubism, collage and made huge artistic contributions to Symbolism and Surrealism. If you have seen a Picasso, you will be drawn to the fragmented shapes and color schemes that dominate much of his work. Though Picasso preferred painting people, there are quite a few strange bugs that would have made for perfect models.

  • Centipede: Their name says it all; centipedes have a lot of legs. They are odd in that unlike their namesake, they never come with a 100. Centipedes always come with an odd pair of legs. They can have can have anywhere from 15 pairs to 171. Since 50 is an even number, you will never find a centipede with 100 legs. The first segment of legs is not for walking, centipedes are the only arthropods with poisonous front legs.
  • Dragonflies: You’ve probably seen a dragonfly flit across a pond devouring mosquitoes and gnats, but did you know they have an odd number of eyes? If you were to catch one, you can immediately see they have too large developed eyes that are displayed prominently on their face. Those eyes are even better than yours, they can see everything you do an even see into the ultraviolet light spectrum. If you look closely at the head of a dragonfly you will notice three other small eyes. These are called ocelli and are a simple eye used to detect the differences in light and dark. Having five eyes is normal for a dragonfly.
  • Wheel assassin bug: Picasso loved adding interesting shapes into his art and he would love the wheel assassin bug. Like the name suggests, this species of assassin bug has what looks like a half wheel jutting from its thorax.


Picasso might have help develop the Surrealism movement, but nature has been doing that since before humans existed. No matter how artistic, unique, or strange our imaginations can be, Nature always seems to have something up her sleeve which can even make sci-fi film creators raise their eyebrows in shock.

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