Class Insecta: The Insects

These numbers on insects are quite staggering. There are more than 200 million insects for every human being living on the planet, and there are between 1 and 10 quintillion insects which are surrounding us in almost every environment on Earth. Insects account for well over half of all of all multicellular species, and come in around a million different variants.

Around 479 million years ago insects appeared on the planet, long before the dinosaurs, and long before us. They developed flight 400 million years ago, which means they had total air dominance for more than 150 million years. Insects have survived 5 mass extinction events.

There are around 24,000 species of insect in Britain and Ireland, 72,000 in Europe, and over a million worldwide.

Clicking on an image below will open up the individual species page with specific information and photographs.

Lepidoptera – Moths

Myrmica ruginodis

Hymenoptera – Ants

Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis f conspicua

Coleoptera – Ladybirds

Protonemura sp.

Plecoptera – Stoneflies

Common Scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) male

Mecoptera – Scorpionflies

Common Earwig Forficula auricularia

Dermaptera – Earwigs

The Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae larva


Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae

Lepidoptera – Butterflies

Turnip Sawfly Athalia rosae

Hymenoptera – Sawflies

Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus

Hemiptera – True Bugs

Baetis sp male

Ephemeroptera – Mayflies

Xanthostigma xanthostigma male

Raphidioptera – Snakeflies

Phlaeothrips annulipes

Thysanoptera – Thrips

European Honey Bee Apis mellifera

Hymenoptera – Bees

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) female

Odonata – Dragonflies & Damselflies

Tachina fera

Diptera – True Flies

Caperer Caddis Fly Halesus radiatus

Trichoptera – Caddisflies

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

Neuroptera – Lacewings

Valenzuela flavidus

Psocoptera – Barklice & Booklice

European Hornet Vespa crabro

Hymenoptera – Wasps

Golden-bloomed Longhorn Agapanthia villosoviridescens

Coleoptera – Beetles

Sun Fly Helophilus pendulus

Diptera – Hoverflies

Mud Alderfly (Sialis lutaria)

Megaloptera – Alderflies

Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)

Orthoptera – Grasshoppers & Crickets

Silverfish Lepisma saccharina

Zygentoma – Silverfish & Firebrats

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