Insects (class Insecta) are a diverse group of hexapod invertebrates and is the largest group within the phylum Arthropoda. The class includes butterflies, crickets, moths, ants, termites, mantids, grasshoppers, crickets, just to name some of them.

Check out some of the genus/species listed, and come back as we add more over time… “what a wonderful world… we live in…”

InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Formicidae Hemiptera Heteroptera (True Bugs) Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Syrphidae Wasps Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub

— see other individually listed insects below… “
— see our Spiders (Arachnida)

Common Eggfly Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina nerina)
Common Eggfly Butterfly (Hypolimnas bolina), Alice Springs, NT

An amazing diverse group of animals that have adapted to almost every environment on the planet earth, insects play an essential role in the web of life. The interaction of insects and plants plays a crucial role in pollination and is very important for the environment and the humankind.

Insects comprise 75% of all catalogued animal species. They have exoskeletons and three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed limbs and a pair of antennae.

Ribbed Case Moth (Hyalarcta nigrescens), Alice Springs, NT
Ribbed Case Moth (Hyalarcta nigrescens), Alice Springs, NT

The orders that contain the greatest numbers of species include Coleoptera (beetles), Diptera (true flies), Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps), and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths).

Potter Wasp (Eumenes latreilli) taking food back to mud nest, Alice Springs
Potter Wasp (Delta latreilli) taking food back to mud nest, Alice Springs

Many insects are predators, parasites or parasitoids with a great diversity of hunting strategies and behaviours to capture or feed on their prey.


ANTS (FORMICIDAE)

FormicidaeFormicidae – image index Ants Camponotus aurocinctus Camponotus consobrinus (Banded Sugar Ant) Camponotus inflatus (Honey Ant) Dolichoderus doriae (Dolly Ant) Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Red-headed Spider Ant) Myrmecia brevinoda (Nocturnal Bull Ant) Myrmecia nigrocincta (Jumping Jack Ant) Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper Ant) Myrmecia pyriformis (Inch Ant) Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant) Notoncus spinisquamis Oecophylla smaragdina (Green Tree Ant) Rhytidoponera aspera Rhytidoponera metallica (Green-head Ant)

Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant), Munglinup WA © Jean and Fred Hort
Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant), Munglinup WA © Jean and Fred Hort

BEES

BeesBees Anatomy Bees Antenna It’s in the eyes Pre-pygidial fimbria Wings of the bee Bee Behaviour Bubbling Bees Buzz Pollination Operculum lifting behaviour Blogging Bees… Bees – image index Amegilla Bee Apical tergites of females Amegilla Amegilla Bee Body Colour Amegilla adelaidae Amegilla aeruginosa Amegilla asserta Amegilla chlorocyanea Amegilla walkeri Teddy Bear Bees (Asaropoda) Apis mellifera Dark Apis mellifera Apis mellifera — Captured flora moments Austroplebeia australis Austrothurgus  Austrothurgus rubricatus Braunsapis sp Ceylalictus perditellus Colletidae Amphylaeus obscuriceps Hylaeus spp – Masked Bee Callomelitta antipodes Leioproctus Neopasiphae mirabilis Paracolletes crassipes Paracolletes nigrocinctus Trichocolletes Euryglossinae Euryglossinae Index Callohesma Dasyhesma Euhesma Eurglossa adelaidae Euryglossa calaina Euryglossa ephippiata Euryglossina fuscescens Xanthesma Exoneura Homalictus Homalictus dotatus Homalictus urbanus Hyleoides bivulnerata Lasioglossum Lasioglossum (Australictus) peraustrale Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) lanarium Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) brunnesetum Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) willsi Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) Lipotriches Lipotriches australica Lipotriches gracilipes Lipotriches flavoviridis Lipotriches muscosa Lipotriches phanerura Megachile Megachile aurifrons Megachile erythropyga Megachile (Eutricharaea) Megachile (Hackeriapis) canifrons Megachile (Hackeriapis) rhodura Megachile punctata Megachile (Rhodomegachile) deanii Megachile semiluctuosa Megachile (Thaumatosoma) Megachile ustulata Meroglossa Meroglossa impressifrons Meroglossa rubricata Stenotritidae Ctenocolletes albomarginatus Ctenocolletes nicholsoni Ctenocolletes rufescens Tetragonula Tetragonula carbonaria Thyreus Thyreus caeruleopunctatus Thyreus waroonensis Xylocopa Xylocopa aerata Xylocopa bombylans

Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons) capping the nest
Golden-browed Resin Bee (Megachile aurifrons) capping the nest

BLATTODEA (COCKROACHES and TERMITES)

BlattodeaAnamesia sp Balta bicolor Bush Cockroach Ellipsidion Ellipsidion australe Ellipsidion humarale Nasutitermes triodiae Termite — Alate

Bush Cockroach (Ellipsidion humarale) sheltering in a rose, Alice Springs, NT
Bush Cockroach (Ellipsidion humarale) sheltering in a rose, Alice Springs, NT

BUTTERFLIES (LEPIDOPTERA)

ButterfliesAcraea andromacha Caper White Butterfly Caper White Butterfly & Caper Bush Caper White Caterpillar and Instar Eggs of the Caper White Butterfly Caper White Butterfly Metamorphosis Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly Common Eggfly Butterfly Blue Moon Butterfly Meadow Argus Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly Two-spotted Line Blue (Nacaduba biocellata) Yellow Palm Dart

Meadow Argus Butterfly (Junonia villida)
Meadow Argus Butterfly (Junonia villida)

CICADA (CICADOIDEA)

CicadaCicada Index Desert Screamer (Burbunga hillieri) — Cicada Double Drummer (Thopha saccata) — Cicada Masked Devil (Cyclochila australasiae) — Cicada Orange Drummer (Thopha colorata) — Cicada

Desert Screamer (Burbunga hillieri), Alice Springs, NT
Desert Screamer (Burbunga hillieri), Alice Springs, NT

COLEOPTERA (BEETLES and WEEVILS)

ColeopteraAmarygmus sp Anoplognathus sp Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi) Anoplognathus porosus Aphanestes gymnopleura Buprestidae More Buprestidae Jewel Beetles Astraeus Calodema plebeia Castiarina Cyrioides Diadoxus Diphucrania Melobasis Merimna atrata Metaxymorpha gloriosa Stigmodera Temognatha Torresita cuprifera Cerambycidae Didymocantha obliqua Pachydissus sp Rhytiphora Coleoptera (Beetles) Curculionidae Chrysolopus spectabilis (Botany Bay Diamond Weevil) Lixus Perperus lateralis (White-striped Weevil) Digitonthophagus gazella Dung Beetle Eretes australis Helea scaphiformis Johannica gemellata (Pandorea Leaf Beetle) Ladybirds (Beetles) Australoneda bourgeoisi Coccinella transversalis Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Harmonia conformis Olla v-nigrum Orcus australasiae Lepidiota Lucanidae Lamprima aurata Prosopocoilus torresensis Neospades sp Lycidae Omorgus Paropsine Beetle Paropsis maculata Paropsis porosa Paropsis sospita Paropsisterna sp Paropsisterna beata Paropsisterna m-fuscum Paropsisterna pictipes Phorticosomus sp Pittosporum Leaf Beetle (Lamprolina impressicollis) Protaetia fusca Pterohelaeus sp Rhipiceridae Feather-horned Beetle (Rhipicera carinata) Feather-horned Beetle (Rhipicera femorata) Scarabaeidae Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles) Xylophilostenus octophyllus

Tortoise Beetle (Paropsis maculata), Southern Downs QLD © Marc Newman
Tortoise Beetle (Paropsis maculata), Southern Downs QLD © Marc Newman

CRABRONIDAE (Paraphyletic Group of WASPS)
Sand Wasp (genus Bembix), Owen Springs Reserve, NT © Dorothy Latimer
Sand Wasp (genus Bembix), Owen Springs Reserve, NT © Dorothy Latimer

DIPTERA

DipteraDiptera – image index Flies Australian Sheep Blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) Australian Drain Fly Balaana Beefly Bat Flies Bee Flies Chrysomya saffranea Eristalinus punctulatus Musca Odontomyia (Soldier Flies) Robber Flies Sarcophaga aurifrons Soldier Fly Syrphids

Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus) rescued from a swimming pool in Alice Springs NT
Female Golden Native Drone Fly (Eristalinus punctulatus), Alice Springs NT

DRAGONFLIES & DAMSELFLIES (ODONATA)

Dragonflies & DamselfliesDragonfly or Damselfly? Sex Lives and Dragonflies Damselflies Diplacodes haematodes Hemicordulia tau Orthetrum caledonicum Orthetrum migratum Orthetrum villosovittatum

Scarlet Percher (Diplacodes haematodes), Alice Springs, NT
Scarlet Percher (Diplacodes haematodes), Alice Springs, NT

HEMIPTERA

HemipteraIppatha australiensis Leptocoris Mictis profana (Crusader Bug) Reduviidae Assassin Bugs

Mictis profana (Crusader Bug), Alice Springs Desert Park NT
Mictis profana (Crusader Bug), Alice Springs Desert Park NT

Heteroptera (True Bugs)

Heteroptera (True Bugs)Hyocephalus aprugnus

Eye of the Leptocoris mitellatus, Ballandean QLD © Marc Newman
Eye of the Leptocoris mitellatus, Ballandean QLD © Marc Newman
Mango Planthopper (Colgaroides acuminata)
Mango Planthopper (Colgaroides acuminata)

MOTHS (LEPIDOPTERA)

MothsMoths Index Aedia arctipennis Agrius convolvuli (Convolvulus Hawk Moth) Anthela guenei (Four-Spot Anthelid Moth) Austrocaligula engaea (Mistletoe Emperor Moth) Case Moths (Variety of Cocoons) Coenotes eremophilae Comocrus behri (Mistletoe Moth) Cosmodes elegans (Green-blotched Moth) Donuca spectabilis (White-spotted Owl-Moth) Endoxyla cinereus (Carpenter Moth) Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata) Hyles livornicoides (Australian Striped Hawk Moth) Leaf Case Moth Metura elongatus (Saunders’ Case Moth) Ochrogaster lunifer (Bag-shelter Moth) Opodiphthera eucalypti (Emperor Gum Moth) Plume Moth Ribbed Case Moth Sameodes cancellalis Utetheisa (Rattlepod Moth)

Tiger Moth (Amata trigonophora), Ballandean QLD © Marc Newman
Tiger Moth (Amata trigonophora), Ballandean QLD © Marc Newman
Processionary Caterpillar, Alice Springs Desert Park, NT
Processionary Caterpillar, Alice Springs Desert Park, NT
Witchetty Grub © Hans Boessem
Witchetty Grub © Hans Boessem

ORTHOPTERA

OrthopteraAustralian Orthopteroid Index Garden Mantis Grasshoppers Katydids (family Tettigoniidae)

Blistered Pyrgomorph (Monistria pustulifera), Kings Canyon
Blistered Pyrgomorph (Monistria pustulifera), Kings Canyon NT

STINK BUGS, SHIELD BUGS and ALLIES

Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and AlliesAmorbus

Nymph - Eucalyptus Tip-wilting Bug (Amorbus alternatus), Alice Springs NT
Nymph – Eucalyptus Tip-wilting Bug (Amorbus alternatus), Alice Springs NT

WASPS

WaspsWasps Index Australian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Velvet Ants Abispa ephippium Acarozumia amaliae Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembix Bembicinae Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Braconidae Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Torymus Yellow and Black Wasp

Orange-tailed Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei), Alice Springs NT
Orange-tailed Potter Wasp (Delta latreillei), Alice Springs NT

Other creatures sometimes referred to as insects include spiders and centipedes. Unlike the class Insecta, that only have six legs, spiders are in the class Arachnida and have eight legs.

Female Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), East Alice Springs, NT
Female Australian Golden Orb Weaver Spider (Trichonephila edulis), East Alice Springs, NT

SpidersIndex of Spider Images Spiders in Australia Araneidae — Orb Weavers Arkys Australian Huntsman Spider Barking Spider Black House Spider Carepalxis sp Celaenia sp Crab Spiders Deinopidae — Net-casting Spiders Dolomedes sp Dolophones sp Flower Spiders Hackled Orbweavers (Uloboridae) Jewel Spider Jumping Spider Long Jawed Spider (Tetragnatha sp) Lynx Spider (Oxyopes) Mangrovia albida Maratus volans Missulena occatoria (Red-headed Mouse Spider) Miturgidae Nicodamidae (Red and Black Spider) Ogre-faced Net-casting Spider Poltys sp (Twig Spider) Redback Spider Scorpion-tailed Spider (Arachnura higginsi) Thomisidae Tiger Spider (Trichonephila plumipes) White-spotted Swift Spider (Nyssus albopunctatus) Wolf Spider

Pink Flower Spider (Tharrhalea evanida), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones
Pink Flower Spider (Tharrhalea evanida), Brisbane QLD © Stefan Jones

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
    • Informal:
      • Apterygotes
      • Pterygotes
    • Subclass:
      • Archaeognatha
      • Dicondylia
Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi)
Christmas Beetle (Anoplognathus macleayi)
Longhorn Beetles (genus Pachydissus), Alice Springs NT
Longhorn Beetles (genus Pachydissus)

Footnote & References

  1. Insects (Class Insecta), iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/47158-Insecta
  2. Insect Keys, NSW DPI, https://idtools.dpi.nsw.gov.au/keys/index.html
  3. Identification resources online, The Australian National Insect Collection provides web-based information and tools for the identification of insects and related organisms, CSIRO, https://www.csiro.au/en/research/animals/insects/id-resources
  4. Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) is recognised both nationally and internationally as a major research collection. It is the world’s largest collection of Australian insects and related groups such as mites, spiders, nematodes and centipedes, housing over 12 million specimens, https://www.csiro.au/en/about/facilities-collections/collections/anic

InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Formicidae Hemiptera Heteroptera (True Bugs) Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Syrphidae Wasps Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub

InsectsBees Bees Anatomy Bee Behaviour Blogging Bees… Bees – image index Amegilla Bee Apis mellifera Austroplebeia australis Austrothurgus  Braunsapis sp Ceylalictus perditellus Colletidae Euryglossinae Exoneura Homalictus Hyleoides bivulnerata Lasioglossum Lasioglossum (Chilalictus) Lipotriches Megachile Meroglossa Stenotritidae Tetragonula Thyreus Xylocopa Beetles Blattodea Anamesia sp Balta bicolor Bush Cockroach Ellipsidion Nasutitermes triodiae Termite — Alate Butterflies Acraea andromacha Caper White Butterfly Chequered Swallowtail Butterfly Common Eggfly Butterfly Meadow Argus Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly Two-spotted Line Blue (Nacaduba biocellata) Yellow Palm Dart Coleoptera Amarygmus sp Anoplognathus sp Aphanestes gymnopleura Buprestidae Cerambycidae Coleoptera (Beetles) Curculionidae Digitonthophagus gazella Dung Beetle Eretes australis Helea scaphiformis Johannica gemellata (Pandorea Leaf Beetle) Ladybirds (Beetles) Lepidiota Lucanidae Neospades sp Lycidae Omorgus Paropsine Beetle Paropsisterna sp Phorticosomus sp Pittosporum Leaf Beetle (Lamprolina impressicollis) Protaetia fusca Pterohelaeus sp Rhipiceridae Scarabaeidae Xylophilostenus octophyllus Cicada Cicada Index Desert Screamer (Burbunga hillieri) — Cicada Double Drummer (Thopha saccata) — Cicada Masked Devil (Cyclochila australasiae) — Cicada Orange Drummer (Thopha colorata) — Cicada Crabronidae Pison Diptera Diptera – image index Flies Australian Sheep Blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) Australian Drain Fly Balaana Beefly Bat Flies Bee Flies Chrysomya saffranea Eristalinus punctulatus Musca Odontomyia (Soldier Flies) Robber Flies Sarcophaga aurifrons Soldier Fly Syrphids Dragonflies & Damselflies Dragonfly or Damselfly? Sex Lives and Dragonflies Damselflies Diplacodes haematodes Hemicordulia tau Orthetrum caledonicum Orthetrum migratum Orthetrum villosovittatum Formicidae Formicidae – image index Ants Camponotus aurocinctus Camponotus consobrinus (Banded Sugar Ant) Camponotus inflatus (Honey Ant) Dolichoderus doriae (Dolly Ant) Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Red-headed Spider Ant) Myrmecia brevinoda (Nocturnal Bull Ant) Myrmecia nigrocincta (Jumping Jack Ant) Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper Ant) Myrmecia pyriformis (Inch Ant) Myrmecia rubripes (Bullant) Notoncus spinisquamis Oecophylla smaragdina (Green Tree Ant) Rhytidoponera aspera Rhytidoponera metallica (Green-head Ant) Hemiptera Ippatha australiensis Leptocoris Mictis profana (Crusader Bug) Reduviidae Assassin Bugs Heteroptera (True Bugs) Hyocephalus aprugnus Mango Planthopper Moths Moths Index Aedia arctipennis Agrius convolvuli (Convolvulus Hawk Moth) Anthela guenei (Four-Spot Anthelid Moth) Austrocaligula engaea (Mistletoe Emperor Moth) Case Moths (Variety of Cocoons) Coenotes eremophilae Comocrus behri (Mistletoe Moth) Cosmodes elegans (Green-blotched Moth) Donuca spectabilis (White-spotted Owl-Moth) Endoxyla cinereus (Carpenter Moth) Four-spotted Cup Moth (Doratifera quadriguttata) Hyles livornicoides (Australian Striped Hawk Moth) Leaf Case Moth Metura elongatus (Saunders’ Case Moth) Ochrogaster lunifer (Bag-shelter Moth) Opodiphthera eucalypti (Emperor Gum Moth) Plume Moth Ribbed Case Moth Sameodes cancellalis Utetheisa (Rattlepod Moth) Orthoptera Australian Orthopteroid Index Garden Mantis Grasshoppers Katydids (family Tettigoniidae) Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Amorbus Syrphidae Yellow-shouldered Stout Hover Fly (Simosyrphus grandicornis) Common Halfband (Melangyna viridiceps) Wasps Wasps Index Australian Large Wasps Australian Mud Nest Wasps Mud Wasp Velvet Ants Abispa ephippium Acarozumia amaliae Aulacidae Australodynerus Bembix Bembicinae Blue Hairy Flower Wasp Braconidae Chrysididae Cryptocheilus bicolor (Orange Spider Wasp) Delta latreillei (Potter Wasp) Eumeninae Ferreola handschini (Orange-collared Spider Wasp) Flower Wasps Gasteruptiid Wasp Hairy Flower Wasps Isodontia (Grass-carrying Wasp) Lissopimpla excelsa (Orchid Dupe Wasp) Mutillidae Paralastor sp. Pseudabispa bicolor ssp. nigrocinctoides Radumeris radula (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Radumeris tasmaniensis (Yellow Hairy Flower Wasp) Sceliphron laetum Thynnid Wasps Tiphiidae Torymus Yellow and Black Wasp Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub