We re-imagined Elton John as insects, and it kind of works.

By Dr Bryan Lessard, Georgia Kelleher

10 July 2019

2 minute read

Your mum, the people at work – everyone is talking about Elton John and his biographic ‘Rocket Man’. Us? We’re pretty sure we’ve seen some of his looks before … just not hanging in a wardrobe.

In appreciation of brilliant biomimicry (designs that emulate nature). Our friends over at National Research Collections Australia gave us a hand in matching some of Sir Elton’s looks with our intricate insects.

We’re not ones to start a conspiracy theory that Elton was drawing inspiration from insects throughout his entire musical career but, coincidence? We think not.

So, who wore it better? Elton John or Insects?

Elton John with bright yellow hair compared to black ant with yellow hair.

Like a highlighter, only furry. This rock and roll ant’s stage name is Camponotus thadeus.


Elton John in yellow and black striped top and white large sunglasses compared with yellow and black striped bee.

Bennie and the Bees? We’re living for this bee-rilliant look straight out of Scaptia auriflua’s book.


Elton John in a bright orange suit compared with a butterfly with bright orange on the lower half of it’s wings.

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear. You’re a butterfly! But he was actually a moth, and in this instance, from the family Castniidae, genus Synemon.


Elton John in a purple outfit, with hat, feather and cape. Compared to a purple fly.

Waiting for the day, he can spread his wings, fly away again. Only this time, as a purple Myioscaptia violacea fly.


The Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus sp.) is back. And it’s shiny-er than ever before.


Elton john in colourful jacket and hair in two spikes. Compared with colourful beetle.

Nope, it’s not a candle in the wind. It’s Elton John as the splendid Selagis caloptera.


Elton John in green patterned suit compared to green beetle.

I guess that’s why they call it the Stigmodera gratiosa.


So are we bugging out? Or is there something going on here?

The Australian National Insect Collection

The Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) researches a number of major bio-diverse and economically important groups of insects and related animals.

It is the world’s largest collection of Australian insects and related groups, such as mites, spiders, nematodes and centipedes. Recognised worldwide, our collection is growing by more than 100,000 specimens each year, and is currently home to over 12 million specimens.