"Entomologist"

What in the world is that? It’s someone who studies insects! And there are a lot of insects to study!

How many are there? Well, those bug-studying entomologists tell us that at least 1,000,000 (one million) different insect species live in the world . . . but there are probably lots and lots more. Insects can be really tiny and hard to find, you know!

Do bugs bug you? Here are some fun facts about some of them. These are not nearly all the kinds of bugs . . . but you’ll find some of these this summer!

Crickets, Katydids, Grasshoppers

Grasshopper

Order Name: Orthoptera
Why is it called that?
ortho – straight • ptera – wing
Characteristics: The front wings have straight veins and don't flap. They cover over and protect the hind wings that flap.


Flies, Mosquitoes

Fly

Order Name: Diptera
Why is it called that?
di – two • ptera – wing
Characteristics: Only one pair of wings—two wings in all. (Most other insects have four wings in two pairs.)


Ants, Bees, Wasps

Bee

Order Name: Hymenoptera
Why is it called that?
hymen – membrane • ptera – wing
Characteristics: Two pairs of thin, clear wings that are held together by tiny hooks so they look and act like one pair of wings.


Beetles, Lightning Bugs

Beetle

Order Name: Coleoptera
Why is it called that?
coleo – sheath • ptera – wing
Characteristics: Two pairs of wings—the forewings are stiff or leathery and protect the membranous (very thin) hind wings when the beetle is not flying.


True "Bugs"

True Bugs

Order Name: Hemiptera
Why is it called that?
hemi – half • ptera – wing
Characteristics: Two pairs of wings—the front half are leathery, the back half and hind wings are membranous.


Stick Insects

Walking Stick

Order Name: Phasmida
Why is it called that?
It means apparition (like it really isn't even there).
Characteristics: Camouflaged to look a lot like a twig or dead leaf. This protects them from insect-eaters because they're so very hard to find.