OK, they aren't all true bugs, True bugs are one particular
(classification) of insects called Heteroptera
which is only one of the 24 orders. Here are pictures of
representatives of several of the other orders. I
to point out things that will help you
categorize and identify these small creatures.
There are a
couple of other things on this page that are not insects even
though they are small and have exoskeletons just like insects
The word exoskeletons literally means "bones on the outside".
That refers to the hard outside covering of their body and legs with
their muscles inside. Compared to them we are inside
When you look at the pictures you can put your mouse pointer over them to find out what Order of insects they repersent.
I have included a few pictures of things that aren't insects too.
Putting your pointer on them will bring up a note telling you what they
Katydid, common around here and they can be incredibly loud
they are calling for a mate.
They are in the same order as grasshoppers and crickets which they
knobs on the ends of
the antenna's distinguish it from a moth.
The scalloped edges on
the wings show that it is not one of the many kinds of Fritillary
butterflies that are found around here and have similar
It seems to be an Angle Wing butterfly called an Eastern
The two pictures above show a Monarch butterfly just after it has
emerged from its chrysalis.
The wings unfolded as it pumped
fluids from its abdomen into the veins in its wings.
the size of the wings compared to the empty case. A few
after the second picture was taken it flew away.
This is the caterpillar of the Polyphemus moth. The three
appendages are true feet which will become the legs and feet of the
The other "feet" are pseudopods (phony feet) though
they work just fine to help it make its way along this twig.
unidentified caterpillar included here because of its
interesting markings and branched horns.
We saw it in northern
New York in August. It was only about one inch long.
1 2 3
More unidentified creatures.
All are moths that I found near my porch light one night.
You can see the antennas of the
first one pictured is slender and taper to points and the last one has
This illustrates some of the antenna shapes of moths. None
however have knobbed ends like butterflies do.
Moths all tend to keep their wings
out flat along the surface when they land. Butterflies tend
hold their wings perpendicular to the surface on which they are resting.
These two pictures are of the same
moth. The first shows a front view of how it was perched when
discovered it and the second a few minutes later.
A visitor to this page who works with insect conservation has
identified the brownish moth immediately above.
He said, "[It]
(Cicinnus melsheimeri), an uncommon to rare species that feeds
oak leaves as a caterpillar. It was previously reported from
6 Kentucky Counties (Bullitt, Harlan, Letcher, Jefferson, Owsley and
Perry) [Elliott] County is apparently a new record."
of another unidentified insect was sent to me with the request for my
The description included "it's antennae are each about 4 inches long, it makes weird screeching
noises, and was photographed in upstate New York." Unfortunately I didn't
know what it was so I asked visitors to this page to help with the identification.
When one of them asked if we had figured out what it was Chris and
Stacy (the folks who had sent it in) and I tried again and this
time using improved web search tools we were successful.
It is a Northeastern Pine Sawyer, Monochamus notatus
A Cecropia moth with a wingspan of nearly 6 inches, not
for this species.
They are the largest moth in North America and are impressive in real
I remember the first one that I ever saw, when I was about 7 years old.
This one is missing an antenna. He must have had a hard life.
This walkingstick insect is about
5.5 inches long from the tip of his antennae to the end of his
He relies on his resemblance to twigs to camouflage him
You can tell that this is a male by looking at
the clasping structures at the back end of his body.
picture is of one foot with it's five segments (tarsi).
picture is a detail of the head showing the eyes, base of the
antennae and some of the mouth parts.
You can also see some of
the thorax and two front legs.
Here are a male and female preparing to mate. The female is
6.5 inches long.
Here we have a Damselfly and Blackfly larva. Both are found in streams
and shallow ponds.
The Damselfly cannot survive in polluted low quality water like the
This is a Hellgrammite the larval form of a Dobsonfly.
They can be up to 4 inches long. This one was considerably
They require high quality water to survive and are therefore a good
indicator of minimal pollution.
The first picture is of a Dragonfly
perched on the edge of a lilly pad. The second is a Damselfly
a very still finger.
Both are also called Darning Needles, and Horse Stingers but the name
Mosquito Hawk is particularly apt.
Their legs are better adapted to grabbing other insects in flight than
to landing or walking and mosquitos are a favorite prey.
Damselflies are generally smaller, brightly colored, and rest
with their wings folded.
I have found references that cite the top
speed of Dragonflies at 20 to 80 miles per hour.
The lower end of that
range is probably more accurate.
Tomato Hornworm, the adult is called
a 5 spotted Hawk Moth.
It may be hard for you to guess which
direction this guy is going.
Just so you know, the horn is at the back end.
This prehistoric monster is NOT an insect.
It is a centipede, the name means 100
One leg per segment distinguishes it from millipedes (means 1000
legs) which have 2 legs per segment.
Neither lives up to their name but they have far more than the 6 legs
found on every insect.
A Banded Net-wing beetle. - Calopteron reticulatum
It has 2 pairs of wings like most other insects but the two
front wings are hard and serve to cover the other 2 which some beetles
can use for flying.
A bee despite a very un-bee-like
metallic green color.
It is probably an Agapostemon splendens or a near
The scientific name is both accurate and the translation
memorable, It means beautiful green backside.
You won't find a hive of these. They live alone.
This is a fly. It can be recognized by its two full size
and two tiny knobs called
halteres that serve
as balancing organs.
They distinguish it from other insect orders and can be seen just
behind the wings.
Two pictures of another large fly that seems to be acting like a bee.
Its sucking mouth parts are one way to distinguish it from a bee which
has both sucking and chewing components to eat with.
Two small insects that I can't identify.
They are certainly in the same order as crickets and
Their long antennae make me think that they may be katydid nymphs.
This is a six spotted green tiger beetle. They can fly well
are active during the day.
This beetle is a voracious predator that sometimes captures insects as
large as bees.
Would you believe this is a moth? Specifically an Ermine
family Yponomeutidae. For this identification I have to thank
Sandof, an entomology professor from Perdue, who was looking at these
pictures and offered his help.
An Eyed Click Beetle. The eye spots on on their thorax are
decoration not real eyes.
When they are upside-down they arch their body and then suddenly
This action makes the click for which they are named and tosses them
into the air.
If they are lucky they land on their feet and don't have to try again.
A Seven Spotted Lady Beetle resting on a dry clover flower.
Nymphs and adults eat a variety of insects (aphids,
soft-scale insects, spider mites and others).
Each adult may consume thousands in its lifetime.
There are several other varieties common to our area and I will add
photos of them as I get them.
Another bug (in the generic, non-technical sense) that you may see.
is of course a spider. It is one of many types of orb weavers
that make the classic spiral webs with spokes like a wheel.
You can tell that they are not an insect because they have 8 legs (not
6), 2 body parts (not 3), 8 simple eyes (not 2 compound) and no
Another 8 legged visitor. These are called Daddy Long Legs or
Harvestmen and they are not spiders.
They have very long legs, two simple eyes, and their head, thorax and
abdomen are all combined in a single unit.
They also don't make silk so they can't make a web.
This butterfly is called a Red Spotted Purple even though it looks
black and blue with orange spots just like the picture shows.
In the first picture it is tasting my finger probably to get a bit of
salt that may have been there.
The second picture shows its proboscis coiled up. Also look
its huge compound eyes.
The close-up of the upper side of the hind wing shows the tiny scales
that cover it and no sign of the orange spots that are seen on the
Here is a Luna Moth and a detail of one of the eyespots on its wing.
These moths are nocturnal (active at night) and live for only a week as
an adult so they aren't often seen.
Because they are large (4 to 5 inches) and showy you won't forget this
one if you see it.
The wide antennae indicates that this one is a male.
Its caterpillar looks a lot like that of the polyphemus moth that you
saw earlier on this page.
A Woolly Bear, Black Ended Bear or Woolly Worm depending on
Normally they are black on both ends and brown in the middle but this
one doesn't fit the pattern.
It is the caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger Moth.
Some people say that the length of the brown band can be used to
predict whether there will be a hard winter but that is generally
considered to be folklore.
Two Bees collecting pollen and nectar from the flower of a thistle.
Some bees are social (live in colonies) others are solitary.
They are in the same order as wasps, which you might expect , and ants,
which may be surprising.
More than 20,000 species of bees have been identified.
The egg case of a Praying Mantis after the 200 or more young it
contained have hatched.
Here are a couple that have posed for portraits.
The young Mantis will grow and shed its exoskeleton (molt) several
times before it is fully mature.
Two oak galls. They are formed when certain wasps lay their
in twigs or leaves of oak trees.
The secretions of the larva cause the tree to form this growth which
protects the developing insect.
When these are growing they are green and are sometimes called Oak
If you cut one open at that stage you will find a small "worm" at the
These were found after the insect that they held had left.
This may look like a tiny wasp but it is an ant with wings.
Nearly all of the wingless ants you see are female workers that are not
But periodically a colony will produce many individuals that have wings.
These are males and females which leave to mate and start new
Two Fritillary butterflies on a butterfly weed.
The nearer one is showing the upper side of its wings and the one that
is partly hidden behind it is showing the underside.
This butterfly seemed quite content to sit on my finger while I took
this short video.
Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies, one in flight, showing the top and
bottom of their wings.
A Wolf Spider (an arachnid not an insect) that is covered with many of
Some types of spiders carry their egg cases and later their spiderlings
with them until they are big enough to survive on their own.
Another moth that I can't identify.
I hope you enjoy the close views of its antennae and wing scales.
We were traveling at the peak of the 17 year Cicada emergence in our
area so we only saw a few stragglers.
The wings of the first of these didn't fully expand.
The center one is the empty shell that one of these once occupied
during its long gestation underground.
The third is a normally formed adult.
Thank you for visiting my page of bugs
of all pictures: Brett Kuehner or Alan Kuehner. Send e-mail if you would like to use
them. Permission for non
will be granted, just let us know. Higher resolution copies
pictures are also
available if you need them.