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Tattoo designs - I >> Insects

Insect Tattoos - Insects are the most diverse group of creatures on earth, and they number well over 800,000 species. Insects range in a spectrum of forms and function that goes from the horribly disgusting to the breathtakingly beautiful. Some insects we fear because of poisonous bites or stings and other insects form an important part of the human diet! But love them or loathe them, insect inspired tattoo designs seem to be worn by a uniquely and imaginatively different crowd of tattoo enthusiasts.

From simple outlines to intricate shading, filling and design, insect tattoos really run the full gamut of tattoo genres. Insect tattoos captivate our attention in part because most of us have an instinctual aversion to insects and we find it so incredibly unexpected to see them decorating human flesh so comfortably. Most cultures around the world feature stories and myths that prominently feature insects and their perceived qualities, and in their industriousness we often find parallels with the human condition.

Evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane was one of the pre-eminent scholars in the field of evolutionary genetics and the mathematical formulas inherent in genetic mutations through multiple generations. When a Clergyman asked Haldane what could be inferred about the mind of the Creator from the works of Creation, Haldane famously replied, "He seems to have an inordinate fondness for beetles". Over forty percent of all described insect species are beetles - numbering some 350,000 species. Estimates put the total number of species, described and un-described, at between 5 and 8 million. The number of beetle species is more than six times the number of all vertebrate species combined.

That being the case, you would think that there would be a great many more beetle and insect tattoo designs! Still, two of the most popular insect tattoo designs are Scarab Beetles and Ladybugs.

And lo and behold there are many popular insect tattoo designs. The single most popular single specific tattoo design is the butterfly. No other single tattoo design even comes close. It is the first choice of women when getting a tattoo. No beetle, but certainly an insect. And other insects have long been popular in traditional tattoo designs among the world's many indigenous peoples, symbolizing as they do myths and stories going back to the earliest dawn of time. And in these myths, insects are often the servants or messengers of Gods, or Gods and Goddesses in disguise. The Greek myth of the spider is a classic example.

According to the Greeks, Athena was the patron goddess of weaving. A young village woman, Arachne, was such a skilled weaver that others remarked that she must have been trained by Athena herself. Arachne laughed and said she had been taught by no one. An angry Athena challenged Arachne to a weaving contest, and when Arachne chose as the affairs between Gods and mortals as the subject for her tapestry, an enraged Athena torn it to shreds. The terrified Arachne hung herself to escape Athen's wrath. But Athena turned Arachne into a spider as a punishment for her vanity. And ever since, members of the spider family are called arachnids. Scorpions are also members of the family Arachnida. In Borneo, tattoos of poisonous scorpions and centipedes are thought to scare evil spirits away from the wearer of the tattoos.

Popular Insects for Tattoo Designs

Some bugs and insects that are more common tattoo subjects include:

  • Beetle tattoo designs - Often found on ankles or shoulders.
  • Butterfly tattoo designs - The most popular of all the insect tattoos can often be found on the lower back or shoulder blade.
  • Dragonfly tattoo designs - Only a little less popular then the butterfly tattoo can often found on the lower back or an ankle.
  • Moth tattoo designs - Similar to the butterfly tattoo these delicate designs have a unique and nocturnal look. They can be found on shoulders and the lower back.
  • Ladybug tattoo designs - The third most popular insect tattoo ranks just below butterfly tattoos and dragonfly tattoos. Although you can get your Lady bug design anywhere, you will often find them on the ankle.
  • Scarab tattoo designs - Their spiritual implications and ancient association with Egyptian culture make these little creatures very popular for tattoo designs. They are often found centered on the upper or lower back.
  • Ant tattoo designs - An uncommon choice, ant tattoos can be found crawling all over the body just as they do in real life.
  • Grasshopper tattoo designs - These multicolored or green jumpers are often found on shoulders.
  • Locusts - Associated with plague and destruction, these frightful creatures make for a unique tattoo and are often found on ankles and shoulders.
  • Bumble Bee tattoo designs - Favored by gardeners and honey lovers, the bee tattoo will often be found on an ankle or a lower back.
  • Wasp tattoo designs - These interesting looking creatures are feared in real life but as tattoos they make a striking statement and can be found in many styles. Often they are tattooed on shoulders and ankles.
  • Hornet tattoo designs - Similar to the wasp the hornet can be found on ankles and shoulders.
  • Preying Mantis tattoo designs - The strange alien look of the praying mantis makes it a tempting subject for body art enthusiasts. You will find them lingering on shoulders and shoulder blades.
  • Caterpillar tattoo designs - With their strong association to the butterfly, caterpillar tattoos are very popular and imply the early stages of growth prior to change and metamorphosis. They are often tattooed on shoulders and ankles.

See also: Insect Tattoo Index

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Tattoo designs - I >> Insects

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