Types of Flying Bugs and Insects (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

Insects come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Recognizing harmless, venomous, and disease-carrying pests is critical in identifying species of flying insects and bugs in your home. Furthermore, flying insects may damage your decorative flowering bushes in your yard, causing a painful sting. Some winged bugs and insects, on the other hand, are not. Many flying insects, including pollinators and insect pests that eat vegetation, perform important tasks.

This is a comprehensive list of flying insects and their descriptions, as well as their names. Certain flying insects are considered pests, as are certain ants. Yet, understanding which flying insects you should attract to your yard is a good idea to increase biodiversity and safeguard insect populations.

Insects vs. Bugs

Insects are animals with six legs, two antennae, and three body segments: a head, thorax, and abdomen. Flies, butterflies, wasps, bees, grasshoppers, and beetles are among the flying insects. True bugs, on the other hand, are a certain kind of insect.

They’re part of the Hemiptera family of insects. Bugs suck plant juices, whereas insects suck fluids from plants. They pierce plants and eat sap, juices, and other insects with their straw-shaped mouth. Stink bugs, aphids, whiteflies, water bugs, and bed bugs are all examples of true bugs.

As a result, everything is an insect, but not everything is an insect. Ants are insects, but it is not correct to refer to all insects as ants. However, since some insects are known as bug but are not true bugs, it gets complicated. Beetles, for example, include ladybugs and June bugs. It’s also useful to remember that spiders are eight-legged animals in the class Arachnida, not insects.

How to Identify Flying Insects

The behavior, appearance, size, and habitat of flying insects should be observed.

Observe the flying insect’s behavior. If you annoy certain flying insects, such as wasps and bees, they will become aggressive. On the other hand, you may observe butterflies that are non-threatening. When it’s dark, certain insects are attracted to light.

Look at the flying insect’s features. Common characteristics for all flying insects include two or four wings, six legs, and a segmented body. Some insect species, such as butterflies and moths, have colorful wings that can be used to identify them. The wings of other flying insects are transparent.

Examine the flying insect’s shape. The shape is the most reliable way to identify flying insects. Bees and wasps, for example, have oval bodies and are tiny. Dragonflies, on the other hand, have larvae-like bodies and enormous wings, while butterflies and moths have lengthy colorful bodies.

The Most Common Flying Insects

Bees, wasps, flies, mosquitoes, butterflies, moths, beetles, and dragonflies are some of the most common flying insects. When ants and termites are forced to abandon their colonies, they may even fly. Unless they become a pest in the house or your plants, it’s usually best to avoid killing flying insects.

The Most Common Flying Insects in the House

Dung flies, fungus gnats, fruit flies, and house flies are common household flying insects. Damp environments or decaying organic materials attract these tiny brown or black flies. Cockroaches may be a frequent flying insect in the home, depending on the environment, and they may become pests.

Disease transmitters include many kinds of houseflies and cockroaches. As a result, you should make an effort to get rid of flies in your house. Diseases related with household flies include E. coli, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Colitis, typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea are just a few of the illnesses that may be treated.

Types of Flying Bugs and Insects (with Pictures) — Identification

Let’s investigate the identification characteristics of flies and other insects with wings and the ability to fly in further depth.

Bees (Anthophila)

During the summer, bee flies may be seen flying between blooms, pollinating them and collecting nectar. The majority of bee species have fuzzy bodies and black and yellow stripes. Nonetheless, individual bee species may be identified by a number of distinguishing features. A bee’s body, for example, is thick and hairy whereas a bee’s belly is slim and smooth. The identifying characteristics of various bee types may be found here.

Honey bee (Apis)

The common western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is a flying insect with black and orange-yellow stripes on its body, antennae, and wings. It has three pairs of fuzzy dark legs, two pairs of wings, and two pairs of wings. Pollen is transported back to the hive by honeybee hairy legs. Honey bees are more passive than wasp types and are not prone to attack.

The main bee species employed for honey production is these winged insects, often known as European honey bees. Honeybees with yellow and brown stripes grow to be 0.5″ (13 mm) long on average. Despite the fact that there are over 20,000 bee species, only honey bees exist. Eastern honey bees (Apis cerana), giant honey bees (Apis dorsata), and Koschevnikov’s honey bees (Apis koschevnikovi) are all examples of honey-producing insects in the genus Apis.

Bumble bee (Bombus)

The bumblebee has a fuzzy look and a white tail, and it can be identified by its large black and yellow body with black bands. It flies clumsily and looks like a big honeybee. Bumblebees often visit pollen and nectar flowers, which they bring back to their nests. Bumblebees, on the other hand, don’t produce honey in the same way.

Bumble bees dwell in nests and tiny societies, unlike honey bees. The nest only has a limited supply of food. Bumble bees have a bulkier physique and appear to be fuzzier than honey bees. Bumble bees have pollen sacs on their hind legs, much like honey bees.

Buzz, hum, or move clumsily is the literal meaning of the term bumble bee. Since they feed on flower pollen and nectar, this descriptive term accurately portrays their bumble behavior. Bumblebees grow to be about 0.6 inches (17 mm) long on average.

Carpenter bee (Xylocopa, Ceratina)

The little carpenter bee (Ceratina) is shown in the left picture. Carpenter bees are huge black flying insects that resemble bumblebees but lack the characteristic yellow stripes. The large black carpenter bee (Xylocopa) is shown in the photograph. The big carpenter bee (Xylocopa) is a huge black insect with a fuzzy thorax, a gleaming abdomen, six legs, and two pairs of wings. The little carpenter bee (Ceratina) has a slender greenish-black metallic body that resembles that of carpenter bees.

Carpenter bees construct nesting tunnels by burrowing into dead wood. If they drill into wood buildings to make nests and lay eggs, they may damage the building. Unlike bumblebees, big black bees do not dwell in colonies. Carpenter bees, for example, are single insects with just one female in each nest. The length of a large black carpenter bee is 0.7″ (20 mm).

Mason bee (Osmia)

Metallic blue-green bodies (left image) are seen on many mason bees. Mason bees with black or maroon hues (right picture) are known as red mason bees and may be seen all across the United States. The reddish-brown color of certain mason bee species. The lone bees build tubular lodging, which they use to store abandoned insect nests. Mason bees, like other bees, are excellent pollinators. Mason bees grow to be about 13 mm long when fully grown.

Wasps (Hymenoptera)

The smooth, slender body of wasps is covered in black and yellow bands, making them a group of common flying insects. The slender waist between the abdomen and thorax was one of the distinguishing characteristics of all wasps. Although yellow and black wasps dominate the scene, there are red, black, and brown species.

European paper wasp (Polistes dominula)

Paper wasps have slender, elongated black bodies with big yellow bands around their abdominal region and are flying ‘bugs. On their black head and thorax, female paper wasps have yellow markings. The orange antennae of paper Wasps are a distinguishing characteristic. These paper wasps are aggressive flying insects that can deliver a painful sting to people. The European paper wasp is up to 0.5 inches (13 mm) long when fully developed.

Yellowjackets (Vespula spp.)

Yellowjackets are black and yellow flying insects with six yellow legs that are identified as Vespula maculifrons. They may be distinguished from the conventional bumblebee or honeybee by the wasp’s smooth body. Yellowjackets are also commonly confused with aggressive hornets, although they are significantly smaller.

Yellowjackets may be found in holes, cracks, or nooks and crannies. The typical black and yellow wasps that commonly become a pest in gardens are eastern yellowjackets (Vespula maculifrons). The length of a yellowjacket is about 0.5″ (13 mm).

Hornets (Vespa)

With reddish-orange wings, the European Hornet (Vespa crabro) is a gigantic wasp with dark brown and orange or yellow stripes. The European hornet is the most common in North America, despite the fact that there are three species. The thorax and head of the big hornet are reddish-brown, while the rest of the body is yellow and brown. When they are threatened, these massive wasps may become aggressive. The hornet, which is 1″ to 1.4″ (25–35 mm) long, resembles a gigantic wasp.


Common Flying Insects in the House

Indoors, fly insects are a common annoyance. Flys are one of the most common flying insects in the home. Household flies may transmit illness, which is concerning. Little flies that may be seen around plants or rotting fruit are known as household flies, such as fruit flies and gnats.

Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

A small brown flying insect approximately 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) long, the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is a common fruit fly. It’s difficult to tell the difference between the flies because they’re so tiny. Little brown flies, however, are frequently seen hovering above rotting fruit, garbage bins, or other rotting fruits.

Drain fly (Psychodidae)

The drain fly is a grayish moth-like flying ‘bug’ with a short, stumpy body. Drain flies (Psychodidae) have short fuzzy bodies and wings. Drain flies prefer to live in drains and are associated with sludge buildup. The little gray flies emerge at night and are roughly 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) long.

Fungus gnat

The fungus gnat is a little black flying insect that feeds on fungus, and it lives in the soil. Infected plants are frequently disturbed, and the black flying ‘bugs’ have black wings. The flies may be bothersome since they fly about your face, although they are not harmful to plants. 0.08″ to 0.3″ (2 – 8 mm) in length, fungus gnats are tiny insects.

Housefly (Musca domestica)

Houseflies (Musca domestica) are one of the most common insects in the world and may cause an infestation in large quantities. A nuisance because they feed on rotting flesh, fruit, and veggies, the tiny oval flies are a problem. The length of a housefly is approximately 0.23 inch (6 mm). Houseflies are known to transmit illnesses and carry germs, making them house bugs.

Blowfly (Calliphoridae)

Blowflies (Calliphoridae) are blowflies that have a lustrous metallic sheen on them. Houseflies are annoying flying insects that range in size from 0.3 to 0.4 inches (8 to 10 mm). Unfortunately, rotting flesh, feces, and putrid organic matter are all eaten by the disease-carrying flies. As a result, it’s critical to keep these nasty bluebottle flies out of your house.

Hoverflies (Syrphidae)

Hoverflies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with a variety of body patterns. They look like bees or wasps. The abdomen of the tiny flies is sleek, with black and yellow stripes. Pollinating insects range in size from 0.25 to 1.25 inches (6 to 32 mm) depending on the species.

During the summer, you may frequently observe wasp-like insects hovering near flowers. Bees and wasps have two pairs of wings, whereas hoverflies have just one.

Butterflies (Lepidoptera)

Butterflies are active during the day and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. The vivid wings of individual butterfly species may have intricate designs, iridescent colors, and prominent eye-like markings, which are used to identify them. Butterflies have two clubbed antennae, which distinguishes them from other insects.

During the summer, butterflies can be seen fluttering around flowers. From tiny, winged insects with a wingspan of 0.13″ (3.2 mm) to enormous flying insects with a wingspan of 12″ (300 mm), butterflies come in all shapes and sizes.


Moths’ feathery antennae, nocturnal activity, and tendency to keep their wings parallel to the ground while sleeping distinguish them from butterflies. While most moths have ordinary grayish or brown wings, some stunning moth species may be as gorgeous as butterflies.

Moths, who have feathery antennae and resemble their surroundings, are more likely to blend in. Some moths have brilliant colors to deter predators, while others approximate leaves.

Whiteflies (Aleyrodidae)

Whiteflies are tiny white flying insects that measure no more than 0.08 in (2 mm) in length and may be seen on the underside of the plant’s leaves. White flying insects eat plant tissue by drawing the sap from leaves and stems, much as other bugs do.

White-colored flies also spit saliva while eating, which may transfer plant diseases. A single infestation of whiteflies may quickly harm a plant, causing it to wither. Houseplants and greenhouses may be infested with the flying white bugs, which can be a big bother.

Mosquitoes (Culicidae)

Mosquitoes are famous for their bloodsucking abilities, having just one pair of wings and a thin body with three pairs of lengthy legs. Mosquitoes have bodies that are 0.1 to 0.7 inches (2 to 19 mm) long. Mosquitoes are annoying flying insects that emerge after dark in search of a blood meal.

Mosquitoes are dangerous insects because they transmit malaria, Zika, and dengue fever, which are all serious illnesses in many tropical and subtropical nations.

Ladybugs (Coccinellidae)

Ladybugs are beetles that have hardened wings (also known as elytra) that cover their flight wings. The red, yellow, or orange oval-shaped body with black spots distinguishes ladybugs. Moreover, the quantity of spots on ladybugs’ colorful wings may be used to identify certain species.

Little beetles, sometimes known as ladybugs, range in length from 0.03″ to 0.7″ (0.8 mm). Since they feed on scale insects and bugs like aphids, ladybugs are also beneficial insects and may aid with pest management.

Cockroaches (Blattodea)

The left has common roach (German roach/Blattella germanica), and the right has American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). Some cockroaches are excellent fliers, despite the fact that they are famed for scurrying across floors when you switch on the light.

Excellent flyers include the Asian cockroach, Australian woodcock, and Pennsylvania woodcock. They are difficult to observe and eliminate because they are generally nocturnal. Cockroaches are all disease-carrying insects, and you should get rid of them from your dwelling.

Black Flying Beetles

All beetles have wings, and the little black flying carpet beetle is an indoor invader. Some black flying beetles, on the other hand, have the potential to become a household pest. Carpet beetles, pharmaceutical beetles, and wheat beetles, for example, may fly into your house.

Soft furnishings and dried food products may be infested by these little bothersome insects. Moreover, neighboring gardens may be home to some bigger flying beetles, such as June beetles, Japanese beetles, and click beetles.

In early summer, the Green June Beetle is a frequent green bug.


The majority of dragonflies dwell in tropical environments and have a lengthy, glossy, stick-like body, big clear wings, and two large complex eyes. The metallic or iridescent red, blue, and green colors of dragonflies are easily recognizable. Dragonflies have a wingspan of 2″ to 5″ (51 to 127 mm) and range in size from 1″ to 4″ (25 to 101 mm). Dragonflies are often seen resting on flowers, sitting on stagnant water, or hovering over streams and rivers.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys)

Stink bugs are brown flying insects with considerable color variety depending on the species. The stink bug’s shape, which resembles a shield, is what distinguishes it. Six legs and two dark antennae with yellow bands make up the flying bug, which appears dark brown.

As a defense mechanism, stink bugs release a distinct foul odor. The bugs can fly, despite the fact that they normally crawl around plants and vegetation destroying foliage. The bugs may move to new areas when swarms are present. In the evening, you may observe huge insects flying around light fixtures.

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