Insects are the most numerous group of creatures on Earth, with over a million different types and species. Ants, butterflies, caterpillars, fleas, bees, and ladybugs are just a few of the insects that make up the Arthropod group. All types of insects play an essential part in our ecosystem, despite the fact that we consider certain of them as pests.
The phylum (Arthropoda), class (Insecta), order, and family are used to classify and group insects, which belong to the kingdom Animalia. Then, in particular genera, individual insect species exist. This makes it simple to tell if an insect is harmful or not by simply looking at it.
Insects have been identified in over 900,000 different varieties, according to some studies. There are around 30 million distinct insect species in these categories.
You’ll learn how to identify a number of the different insect species that you may see on a regular basis in this article. These are some of the most common crawling and flying insects you may encounter in your yard or at home.
What distinguishes an insect from anything else? The fact that insects have three pairs of legs distinguishes them as a kind of animal. A head, thorax, and abdomen make up the insect’s three body parts. Insect species have a complex eye, which means that their eye is made up of many tiny visual elements.
This is one distinguishing feature of all insect species. Insects don’t have bones, but rather an exoskeleton, since they are all invertebrates. The crawling or flying animal is protected by this protective outer shell. Adult insects have wings, which distinguishes them from other insects that do not fly.
Caterpillars are larvae that transform into flying insects, such as butterflies and moths, and provide an intriguing case study. Antennae are found in the antennae of many insects, but not all.
Are Insects Bugs?
While all insects are insects, not all insects are classified as such. Many people refer to them as bugs. The mouth of a spider that pierces and sucks is used to identify true bugs. This is mostly done to feed on fluids extracted from plants. Ants, aphids, and assassin bugs are all examples of true bugs in the order Hemiptera.
In the strictest sense of the word, insects such as beetles, bees, butterflies, and ladybugs are not considered bugs. It’s also important to understand that spiders aren’t flies. The cephalothorax (a head and thorax linked together) and abdomen of all spiders are separated by two body segments. Spiders have eight legs rather than six, which is unlike true insects.
Types of Insects (with Name and Picture)
Let’s take a closer look at the many crawling and flying insect species on this list.
Because they belong to the order named Hemiptera, ants are one of the most common insects and contain a variety of species. The order Hymenoptera has about 12,500 species of ants. Their thin body and huge belly at the back distinguish them. Ants may range in size from 0.03 inch (0.75 mm) to 2 inches (52 mm).
Ants that have become adults develop wings and are included in the category of flying insects. Ants are an invasive species that live in colonies. Ants are key to the ecosystem, yet they can be a frequent household pest in numbers. Ants can invade homes, devouring everything in their path, and can give you a nasty bite. For many people, dealing with ants is a challenge.
Fleas are part of any list of insects that are pests because they need blood from their hosts to live. Just 0.12″ (3 mm) in length, these little insects belong to the Siphonaptera order. Long hind legs are used to jump large distances, which can be seen in close-up images of fleas.
Fleas have flat bodies and come in a variety of colors, ranging from light to dark brown. If you have fleas in your home, they become real pests. Their bite may cause itching, swelling, and skin irritation, making them difficult to locate and capture.
While termites have wings while they are reproducing, they don’t fly particularly well. Termites belong to the Termitoidae epifamily and are home to more than 3,000 termite species. They are related to cockroaches. Termites eat paper, rotting plant material, cellulose, and dung and are an invasive insect.
Many types of termites are light beige in color but do not act like ants, hence the name “termite” comes from Latin meaning “woodworm, white ant.” In Europe, North America, Africa, and South America, termites can be found in warmer climates.
Nonetheless, bed bugs and their bites are not known to cause illness. Bites from bed bugs may cause raised red areas that itch and hemorrhage. Cimex lectalurius and Cimex hemipterus are two of the most common biting bed bug species. Since they can survive for months without feeding, getting rid of these house pests can be tough.
They are difficult to eliminate since they may be as tiny as 1 or 2 mm, and they often need particular treatment to get rid of these bed-infesting bugs.
In warm evenings, crickets are recognized by their chirping sound and prefer cool, dark, and damp places. There are approximately 900 species of crickets, and they belong to the Gryllidae family. Crickets with wings fly and others that do not have wings jump about the ground.
Crickets are nocturnal and use their legs to hop about. Crickets can be found in almost every country in the world, however they are more common in tropical nations. Crickets are a protein-rich source of food, and they are frequently eaten in Asian cuisine, much as some other edible insects.
Earwigs are harmless insects with large pincers, but they don’t sting and aren’t dangerous. Their wings are seldom used and seem to form part of their body, and their scientific name literally means “skin wings.” These little brown nocturnal insects number about 12,000 species.
Earwigs spend their time outside feasting on vegetation when it’s warm. During the cold season, they enter houses, garages, and other structures for shelter.
Booklice are tiny insects that may be translucent or brown-gray in color. The order Psocoptera contains this insect species, which is known as parasitic lice.
Barklice or barkflies are two other common names for these small insects. Booklice don’t fly, despite having wings in some species. Booklice, especially in libraries or if you have a large collection of old books, can sometimes become real pests.
Cockroaches are a widespread invasive house pest that can quickly colonize homes, despite the fact that many of their species have wings. Little droppings or seeing one scurrying away when you turn on the lights may be the first indication of a cockroach infestation.
The order Blattodea encompasses approximately 4,600 species of cockroaches. The type of cockroach most often seen in houses is the most common (Blattella germanica). Cockroaches range in color from reddish-brown to black and come in a variety of sizes.
The tiniest cockroach species are barely over 1 mm long, while the biggest is almost 3.8” (10 cm). Hardy roach species may endure arctic-cold temperatures and have wings that allow them to fly.
Some grasshoppers have green, brown, or gray colors to blend in with their surroundings for camouflage. The Caelifera suborder includes these plant-chewing insects. Some grasshopper species can be invasive pests for farmers because of their vivacious appetite.
Grasshoppers can do the most damage to crops when they turn into swarming locusts in the millions. Grasshoppers might be colorful insects, too. Some grasshoppers species have bright blue, yellow, red, and orange markings that are not common in green insects. Black, white, and yellow streaks may be seen on some colorful grasshoppers.
Caterpillars and Silkworms
Caterpillars and silkworms have six real legs as well as prolegs, which are fake legs. These colorful caterpillars become moths or butterflies after undergoing their larval stage. The order Lepidoptera includes both caterpillars and silkworms. Several caterpillar species are among the most gorgeous insects you may spot in your yard.
Caterpillars, for example, come in a variety of colors, such as pastel green, orange, black, and yellow. Spiky or furry caterpillars might be long grubs as well. Silk comes from silkworms, which become silkmoths.
Silverfish prefer damp habitats and can be found virtually everywhere across the globe, from Australia to South America. The scientific name for this tiny non-flying wingless insect is Lepisma saccharina, and it belongs to the order Zygentoma. These tiny insects with long antennae are active at night and travel extensively. Silverfish can be found in bathrooms, beneath sinks, around bathtubs, or in old books in most residential buildings.
Types of Flying Insects
Insects are fascinating creatures that fly around and can be considered pests or bugs that invade homes, but they are also diverse. Let’s explore some of the most frequent flying insects in more depth.
Except for Antarctica, butterflies are colorful flying insects that can be found all over the globe. Once caterpillars have metamorphosed, more than 18,500 butterfly species emerge from pupas or cocoons. The vibrant hues of these magnificent and elegant flying insects are well-known.
Black wings with vivid fluorescent colors may be found on several butterfly species. Some can have intricate patterns on their enormous wings. Butterflies, which aid in flower pollination, are also significant insects.
There are over 160,000 species of moths, and they are all nocturnal insects that belong to the Lepidoptera order. There are several instances of beautifully colored moths, even though most moths are plain brown. Some moth species have wingspans of up to 12 inches (30 cm), making them the biggest insects with wings. Blue, pink, stripes, and intricately patterned wings are all possible characteristics of some moths.
Mosquitoes have three pairs of legs and a segmented body, just like other flying insects. Mosquitoes are members of the Diptera order, and their capacity to penetrate the skin, suck blood, and carry diseases has made them famous. Just the females feed on blood, out of a total of 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Mosquito bites may cause a skin rash and itchy swollen bumps. Mosquitoes are flies that have just one pair of wings and are in the same taxonomic family as other winged insects.
Flies in the order Diptera, which includes only two wings, are one of the most common insects on many continents. There are 1 million species in this order, according to estimates. Horse flies, mosquitoes, crane flies, and the common housefly are some of the fly types that exist.
Because they are bothersome and can transmit illnesses such as diarrhea and conjunctivitis, flies are frequently considered house pests. Learn about ways to eliminate flies naturally and protect your family from fly-borne illnesses.
Bees are pollinating insects that play a key role in nature, not only by pollinating flowers, but also by producing honey. Bees and wasps are closely related, as they belong to the superfamily Apoidea. These flying insects, like ants, are ruled by a queen bee who oversees all of the other bees in the colony.
The black body, two pairs of wings, and yellow bands across the abdomen of bees distinguish them easily. Bee stings may result in needle-like discomfort, inflammation, and possibly allergic responses.
Wasps, unlike bees, are known for attacking beehives and devouring native insects. Wasps are solitary insects, despite their closeness to bees and ants. Several common wasp species, such as hornets and yellow jackets, however reside in colonies ruled by a queen wasp.
With a slender body, two pairs of wings, and a pair of antennae on their head, wasps are typically smaller than bees. They have yellow and black lines across their belly that are similar to bee markings. Wasps are more aggressive and act as predators than bees, which is a difference between them. There are several natural ways to keep wasps at bay.
Beetle variety is one of the most interesting insect groups and comprises roughly 40% of all insects on the planet. The order Coleoptera encompasses all beetle species. Exoskeletons of beetles may be black, orange, red, and iridescent greens, and they can be very colorful insects. The hardening front pair of beetle wings is one of their distinguishing characteristics. Beetles can’t all fly, despite the fact that they’re winged insects.
While beetles are an essential component of the ecosystem, certain beetle species, such as the Colorado potato beetle, are considered pests outside. Because they are rich in protein, beetles and beetle larvae are eaten in certain cultures. Further reading on the different types of beetles: fascinating.
Ladybugs (ladybirds) are a kind of winged, flying beetle that has a red body with black markings. Coccinellidae family of flying insects come in red, yellow, and orange hues. The black marking on the protective shell of ladybugs distinguishes over 6,000 species of ladybugs. Since they feed on aphids and other common garden pests, ladybugs are also a tiny but helpful flying bug.
Dragonflies are a kind of agile flying bug that lives in tropical areas and is one of the most common. The order Odonata includes dragonflies, which have an elongated body and huge clear wings. The brilliant and stunning iridescent colors of dragonflies may vary from green to metallic blue, making them very popular.
Dragonflies are tropical insects, although they can be found on most continents. Several species are also fast flyers, reaching speeds of up to 60 mph (97 km/h).
Because they belong to the order Coleoptera, fireflies are nocturnal insects that glow in the dark. Lampyridae, the scientific name for these little glowing creatures, contains around 2,100 species. The fact that they can shine in the dark gives them their names: fireflies or lightning bugs. In the abdomens of these flying insects at dusk, yellow, green, or pinkish lights are seen. They can be found in tropical and temperate regions.