Types of Insects

The article provides a pictorial presentation of the different types of insects. These tiny creatures display the most diversity among all in the animal kingdom, with almost a million species that have been discovered so far.
AnimalSake Staff
Insects are arthropods which have an exoskeleton that is chitinous and a body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen). Other important features of their body are the antennae, compound eyes, and legs. The total number of insect species documented are more than 1 million. Such is the diversity and variety among the species that half of the living ones belong to the class Insecta.
Different Types of Insects
The following insect identification guide will help you know more about their teeny-weeny and beautiful micro-worlds.
Types of Flying Insects
An interesting fact about insects is that these are the only invertebrates with the ability to fly. Their flying abilities are highly-developed and even today's modern technology lags behind in understanding the intricacy and sophistication of their techniques. Let us have a look at the different types of flying insects through the following paragraphs.
Moths and Butterflies
Monarch Butterfly
Tiger Moth
Zygaena Filipendulae
Moths and butterflies belonging to the order Lepidoptera account for more than 100,000 species. They include the following.
  • Silkworms
  • Butterflies
  • Caterpillars
  • Flying insects
  • Skippers (Hesperiidae)
  • Metalmarks (Riodinidae)
  • Swallowtails(Papilionidae)
  • Gossamer-wings (Lycaenidae)
  • Whites and sulphurs (Pieridae)
  • Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)
Locusts, Grasshoppers, and Crickets
Locusts and grasshoppers belong to the order Orthoptera and together account for 20,000 insect species. Let us have a look at the different types of grasshoppers and locusts.
  • Crickets
  • Brown-spotted Grasshopper
  • Green-striped Grasshopper
  • Clear-winged Grasshopper
  • Four-spotted Grasshopper
  • Big-headed Grasshopper
  • Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera)
  • American desert locust (Schistocerca americana)
  • Brown locust (Locustana pardalina)
  • Bombay locust (Nomadacris succincta)
  • Italian locust (Calliptamus italicus)
  • Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria)
  • Moroccan locust (Dociostaurus maroccanus)
  • Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria)
  • Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus)
  • Red locust (Nomadacris septemfasciata)
  • Spur-throated locust (Australis procera)
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Blue Dragonfly
Blue Damselfly
Mage Of Dragonfly
Dragonflies have been found on earth for as long as 300 millions years. These insects are mainly found near waterbodies. They feed on other insect types like mosquitoes, termites, ants, midges, etc.
Mantids and Roaches
Mantis Spiny
Madagascar Scaled Cockroach
Praying Mantis
Mantids are insects that have front legs characterized by enlarged femurs. These femurs have a line that is grooved. Mantids belong to the order Mantoea. Roaches are found in many different varieties and mainly belong to the order Blattaria. The total number of cockroach species are 4500.
  • Cockroaches
  • Praying mantis
  • Cockroach types
Beetles and Lightning Bugs
Green Beetle
Beetles are known to have more number of species than any other insect. The total number of species of beetles is 400,000. These insects belong to the order Coleoptera. They can be found in a variety of climatic conditions including polar regions.
  • Ladybug beetle
  • Lightning bugs
Flies and Mosquitoes
Green Eyed Horse Fly
Fly on Flower
Aedes Insect
Flies belong to order Diptera and are characterized by the presence of wings in the mesothorax. The feature which differentiates flies from other insects is the presence of only one of pair of wings. Mosquitoes belong to the Culicidae family and resemble crane flies. Mosquitoes are known for having mouthparts which enable them to pierce the skin.
  • Horsefly
  • Fruit flies
Biting and Stinging Snouts
The main types of stinging insects include ants and honeybees. Along with short descriptions of these insects, the important types are enlisted below.
Black Bee
Honeybee on Strawberry Flower
These are amongst the important types of stinging bees. They are known to sting just once. However, after stinging, a barbed stinger and venom sac is left behind. Important species of honeybees are enlisted below. 
  • Killer Bees
  • Black bees
  • Bees
  • Red dwarf honey bee (Apis florea)
  • Black dwarf honey bee (Apis andreniformis)
  • Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana)
  • Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata)
  • Western honey bee (Apis mellifera)
  • Koschevnikov's Bee (Apis koschevnikovi)
Red Ant
Small Ant
Black Ant
Harvester and fire ants are commonly observed in our surroundings. Sub-types of fire ants include red and black ants. Unlike honeybees which sting only once, ants come under the category of insects that bite and deliver multiple stings; marks of these stings can be observed in the form clusters of circular/semicircular shapes. The family to which ants belong is Formicidae.
  • Types of ants
  • All about ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Ants with wings
Black Wasp
German Wasp on Wood
Wasp on Flower
This insect belongs to the order Hymenoptera. The body structure of wasps resembles that of a combination of ants and bees. They are parasitic in nature. Agricultural pest control is the field where wasps are used.
Types of Bugs
Green Bug
Cicada Eastern
Bug on Branch
Different bug types are included in the order Hemiptera. Although bug is a term used to refer to insects in general, insects which belong to the order Hemiptera are bugs in the true sense. Hemiptera  includes many different varieties of insects found in homes. Some of these bugs are called biting bugs and can bite with the help of a proboscis.
Some More Insects
Black Earwig
Termite on Wood
Green Aphid
Here are some more types of insects classified randomly. Owing to the great variety of insects and the sheer impossible number of the different species, only a few are enlisted in the article.