Three hundred million years ago, before birds, bats, and even pterodactyls, insects were flying. They were the first animals to lift themselves into the air and they’re still the most successful flyers on Earth.
Dr. Adrian Smith of the Ant Lab YouTube Channel recorded eleven insects “spanning eight different taxonomic orders” with a special camera set up at 3,200 frames per second. He then narrates this mesmerizing slow motion footage as each insect takes off and flies.
Insect participants were humanely caught in a light trap. Enjoy this rare up-close look at a plume moth, a firefly, a painted lichen moth, a leafroller moth, a rosy maple moth, which “looks like a flying muppet,” a stonefly, a mayfly, a fishfly, an aphid, a scorpionfly, and a green lacewing.
Watch this related DIY video next: How to make a light trap.
Then watch more videos from the Ant Lab and more slow-motion videos about flying, including:
• Jewel bugs and beetles take off in slow motion
• A tortoise beetle taking off in slow motion
• Hornet flights in slow motion
• Slow-mo ladybugs look like they can’t fly before they do
Bonus: Birds gliding through helium bubbles reveal an aerodynamic trick.
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