Fun Insect Facts For Kids: Backyard Species

Kids, Fun insect facts for kids. We’ve got some great ones for you! We’ll show you ten different backyard species that will amaze you. What’s even more exciting is that these Fun insect facts for kids are easy to follow, so your little one can read this article independently.

Welcome to the place with fun stuff! I’m from New Zealand. They have this giant cricket-like creature that can live for over 100 million years and weighs 1 pound. I was afraid of it when I was a kid, but I discovered they are kind creatures.

We will start by looking at facts about insects. And then, we will look at backyard bugs. We will learn about which insects are safe to observe and collect and which ones are not.

10 Fun Insect Facts Your Kid will Find Awesome

  • Insects are fascinating creatures with no bones but a hard exoskeleton adapted for survival.
  • There are three parts in an insect’s body- head, thorax (middle), and abdomen (tail).
Fun Insect Facts for Kids Diagram showing parts of ant
Photo by Illustration 75151425 / Insect © Blueringmedia | Dreamstime.com
  • Insects also have two antennae that help them sense what is around them.
  • Bees, termites, and ants live in colonies so well organized that they can build structures independently.
  • They have six legs.
  • There are tiny hairs on each leg of an Insect, which make it easy to climb walls!
  •  Invertebrates, animals without a spine, and Insects are within this category—labeled Arthropods.
  • Bugs or Insects are cold-blooded, while humans have warm blood.
  • With 1 million bug species identified, that’s a lot of bugs!

The insect life cycle is more interesting than you may think.

A new larva comes out of an egg. It grows into an adult insect that doesn’t look the same as a larva. But don’t worry – they will change into a pupa or cocoon before they can be reborn and finally fly away or crawl somewhere else.

Insect Facts for Kids
Photo by ID 124942018 © Luayana | Dreamstime.com

Spiders are not just bugs.

Spiders have eight legs and come from a family of creatures that includes scorpions. Spiders lay eggs, but they do not have a second life cycle as insects do. When spider babies are born, they look like miniature versions of the spiders’ parents.

Backyard species of insects include

Have you ever contemplated where all the bugs live and what they do? Different parts of this world are home to various insects.

Common Species Found Around the World

Fun Insect Facts Kids : Bees are found in most parts of the world
Photo by ID 118967998 © Inventori | Dreamstime.com

The planet is segmented into seven continents: North and South America, Africa, other central continents are Europe, and Asia; south of Asia is Oceania which includes Australia and numerous Pacific Ocean islands. And we saved our favorite for last…Antarctica. We will list some insect species found on each continent!

North America

North America has many bugs like beetles, cockroaches, ants, and grasshoppers. The Giant Water Bug is the most dangerous because it bites people really hard. Termites live in wet wood. Florida’s roach smells terrible when you disturb it while the Sirthenia Carinata assassin bug uses its fang for stabbing other bugs.

Fun Insect Fact Kids : Close up shot of black bug on plant.
Photo by ID 196104084 © Valji Seda | Dreamstime.com

Boxelder plants attract Black Plant Bugs. They might be found on buildings or trees–when crushed, they make a messy dye without hurting humans. Mayflies frequent North American soil and stinkbugs live there too.

There are plenty of friendly bugs to like, such as the Preying-Mantis and caterpillars. Even cicadas!

The Royal Walnut Moth, one of the most prominent North American species, has a wingspan of about 4.5 inches (11 cm)

South America

The size of South America is home to insects that are interesting and deadly. There are mayflies, beetles, leafhoppers, and pallid-winged grasshoppers; some of the more exciting insects in this region include Bullet Ants, who have an enormous sting!

Fun Insect Facts for Kids : A stick bug on a log in Brazil
A stick bug on a log in Brazil Photo By ID 11873415 © Tysonv | Dreamstime.com

The Jewel Caterpillar is a small, beautiful creature. If a predator attacks ita predator attacks it, the “spikes” will protect it. The Jumping Stick bug can jump like an expert in kickboxing. It is worth seeing!

Africa

There exist more than 500 distinct sorts of insects in Africa. Like caterpillars and termites. Some bugs are more significant than you would expect them to be, as the African fruit beetle. It is known for being big, but it eats only fruits or sap flowing from tree wounds.

Kirbyi Dropwing is unlike any other dragonfly; they are elegant orange and found in Africa. Termites, crickets, and grasshoppers are suitable for food. You can eat them all! I want to talk about these bugs that are about the size of your hand. They are called Goliath beetles.

The spectacular Trithemis Kirbyi – Orange-winged Dropwing is notable for its bright orange. The video by Angel Mar has captured the beauty of this insect capture below:

Europe

Lots of insects live in Europe. There are roaches, ants, and bugs that you might find there. These include the Rosemary Leaf Beetle, green with purple stripes on its back.

Fun Insect Facts : Rosemary beatle (Chrysolina americana)
Hungry Rosemary beetle (Chrysolina Americana) Photo by ID 69281560 © Saccobent | Dreamstime.com

It eats leaves and plants, but sometimes Cabbage Moth moths eat these leaves too, leading to dead plants. However, there are plenty more beyond those two. Types of insects; also more than 250 types of Thrips genus in Europe!

Asia

Southeast Asia has giant bugs. The Pharnacia Kirby stick is the world’s most extended bug from Borneo’s rain forests. One specimen is said to measure 12.9 inches long. The Atlas Moth is an enormous insect in Asia. Its wingspan can stretch up to 27 centimeters across!

An unknown grasshopper with a 15-foot jump dwells near the Thai-Malaysian border. Asian pesky pest is the pink orchid tiger mosquito blends in on flowers like it were no one’s business!

The curious eyes of the Prey Mantis safe to hold
The curious eyes of the Prey Mantis are safe to hold. Photo by https://unsplash.com/@anastasijajerinic7.

Prey Mantis have been employed as fighting animals throughout Asia. Their viciousness inspires Kung Fu – they mimic capture and maiming techniques used by humans centuries ago when kung fu masters first came up with the idea of using them as weapons. 

Southeast Asian countries are home to some fascinating insects. But a terrifying insect in Asia is not what I want to meet – it’s a Giant Hornet.

Oceania 

From New Zealand’s huge Weta to Australia’s terrifying big insects, consider a 15 centimetre centipede and giant worms. Add in the Burrowing Cockroach – strange but true! The most bizarre insect you’ll find is Extatosoma Tiaratum which resembles folded-up dried leaves from Oceania.

Strange Extatosoma tiaratum safe to hold.
Strange Extatosoma Tiaratum is safe to hold. Photo by ID 194624818 © Sarah Richardson | Dreamstime.com

The Rhinoceros beetle is a hard-shelled, brown, or black bug in the Pacific. The Black Vine Weevil isn’t your average insect and can be found across Oceania with heavy rainfalls. Centipedes are most deadly during wet seasons; you’ll find them living happily near Apia after monsoons come through!

Antarctica

It’s a good thing that Antarctica isn’t home to many other insects, or else the only one we would be talking about is the Antarctic Midge. These bugs have no wings and are slender with black bodies–and they’re lucky if they live longer than a week! Their genome was found to be among the tiniest ever sequenced.

How to observe

Fun Insect Facts Kids : Dad holds bug correctly show kids
Photo by ID 221657841 © Ekaterina Kobalnova | Dreamstime.com

You might be wondering what to do if you see an insect. You need to know which one it is, in the first place! The best way of doing this would be to ask a parent or elder sibling for help.

Your parent can teach you how to spot that specific type of bug and where they are usually found (which could mean your backyard!). Connecting with nature will ensure we’re more aware of our surroundings – not just people but plants and animals.

A beetle’s view from down low looks very different than ours, so when looking at them up close, remember all those tiny details like antennae on their head that let them feel everything around us while using keen eyesight above theirs’.

As someone who loves exploring the outdoors, I’ve learned not to be scared of the bugs I find.

The first step to admiring bugs you can see! 

  • Bring a notebook and pencil,
  • Take a magnifying glass or camera (Ipad/Phone) with you on your expedition.
  • Bug spray will make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved in the process.

Strange Places, Insects Hide in your Backyard.

Discovering the hidden world of bugs is easier than you think. All you need to do is find a patch of greenery, then start looking in plants and trees for insects.

Fun Insect Facts Kids : Black and Yellow Juvenile lubber grasshopper.
Black and Yellow Juvenile lubber Grasshopper on plant photo by https://unsplash.com/@gyostimages

Vegetable gardens are excellent places because many beetles like this habitat type; fence sides make ideal hunting grounds—shady habitats next to water sources such as rivers or lakes near your location.

Where old wood heaps, leaves, and thick grass conceal areas on tree trunks beneath them with all sorts of fabulous creatures hiding inside, waiting just for someone awesome enough like yourself!

Should You Collect Insects

The only downside to capturing living insects is that they cannot stay alive forever. If you’re not feeling too squeamish about it, the best way would be to catch the bug in a jar or cup and go out into nature with them- releasing their little friend back where they found them as a thank you. For being such an exciting subject of study!

How to Collect Insects

Fun Insect Facts Kids Catching bugs in the backyard with a net
Photo by 161090945 / Bugs Kids © Joshua Marquez | Dreamstime.com Catching bugs in the backyard with a net

To see these marvels up close, you only need a net and some jars with holes punched in the lids. But if you want to be fancy, there are several interesting bug-catching gadgets on the market: butterfly nets, pop-up cages, and even bug viewers that allow for a more intimate viewing of insects without touching them! 

Start with these resources to experience a whole new world underfoot.

  • Bug Jar: This is a great way to see the insects living in your area.
  • Insect Mesh or butterfly Nets: Help you avoid touching them with your hands if possible.
  • Gloves: Instead of just using bare hands! To make it more exciting and engaging.
  • Magnifying Glass: Also help examine leaves and spot the tiniest creatures.
  • Bug Identifying Apps: Often developed by local governments, so check out some helpful apps Google Play and below:

Some things to think about while doing bug study and investigation:

  • Be patient with the critters since they are essential in their outside environment.
  • You should never interact with insects without making sure they are safe.
  • Try not to pinch bugs. Just hold them between a flat palm.
  • Release the insects and consider what other plants or animals might be in your backyard.

What Insects Should you Leave?

Bugs live in a unique and mysterious tiny world. They can either be harmless or cause discomfort to people, so you must know what kind of bugs live in your area before going on a bug hunt!

Although Winton Night, a 15-year-old student, shows us how to deal with these insects, I don’t recommend it unless you know what you’re doing and have researched them, as Winton does in the video below. Centipede lovers in Australia. It looks like a lot of fun.

Be mindful of your geographic location when thinking about potentially hazardous crawlers. You’ll want to correctly identify the insect so that you will learn how to detect them and stay safe and keep others around safe.

It’s important to remember that not all bugs are harmless. Some tiny creatures, like spiders and beetles, wasps or bees, can sting you! Mosquitos also rank among the most annoying pests of them all. They don’t just annoy us with their buzzing sound but carry dangerous diseases too!

10 Backyard Bugs

10 Fun Facts about 10 of the Most Common Backyard Creepy Crawlers

Ants

Ants are industrious creatures that work together to accomplish tasks. They may well be encountered in various parts of the world and come in over 12,000 varieties! Some species use their antennae to communicate with other ants using vibrations from underground, while others create chemical signals called pheromones for communication purposes. Researchers have even discovered how they behave aboard space stations- where eight colonies were observed hunting in microgravity aboard the International Space Station.

Fun Insect Facts Kids : Ant with heavy load. Ants are super strong
Ant with a heavy load. Photo By https://unsplash.com/@tumbao1949

Tiny ants you usually see crawling around on the ground are strong! They can carry more oversized items up to 50 times heavier than themselves.

Moths

Moths are insects related to butterflies. They can be found in many colors and sizes, though most moths come out at night when it’s darker outside. Moths typically live for about one month! 

Some moth caterpillars provide food sources for some humans, while other moths have a knack for impersonating animals so as not to be eaten themselves!

Kids Fun Bug Facts : Brown and White Moth
Brown and White Moth Photo by https://unsplash.com/@cholewinski

Moths have no noses but can still smell out potential mates and foods. Male moths are especially adept at sensing chemicals because of the large antennae on their heads which collect molecules from the air to be smelled later by receptors in the moth’s head.

Bees

The bee buzzes through the flowers, zooming in and out of her path. She is quickly gathering nectar to feed hungry larvae and make honey. As night approaches, worker bees return home with full pollen baskets strapped on their backs while others load up for another day’s work at a flower patch near you!

Fun Insect Facts Kids: Honey Bee collecting
Honey Bee collecting photo by https://unsplash.com/@kunal_au

Their wings beat 200 times every second as they fly 25km/h around your garden, pollinating plants and producing food for all of us humans that love honey so much!

The queen bee can lay up to 2,500 eggs in just one day. That’s an astounding rate of about 100 eggs per hour! If it takes 21 days for a larva to become an adult honeybee, she may as well be laying over 1 million baby bees every year.

Spiders

The spider’s legs are unlike our insect buddies; they belong to the Arachnid family. Except for Antarctica and a few other locations, you can find spiders in virtually every environment on Earth. Vast majorities of distinct species exist! Some use webs to capture prey while others attack or leap at them from a close distance out of nowhere because most spiders prefer being nocturnal creatures, but some shine bright when it gets dark outside too!

The reason why spiders are not insects is because they belong to the class Arachnida.
The reason why spiders are not insects is because they belong to the class Arachnida. Photo by https://unsplash.com/@epan5

Yes, you read it correctly: spider silk is solid. It may seem fragile, but this is simply owing to its thinness. A spider’s web of threads as thick as a pencil could stop an aircraft in flight!

Spiders have blue blood because of a copper-based molecule. Unlike humans, spiders don’t use iron to link oxygen molecules with other cells in the body. This difference is what gives them their distinctive blue blood!

Dragonflies

Dragonflies use their feet to hunt for prey, and in one Harvard University study, they caught 90-95% of what they targeted. Adult dragonflies eat insects like mosquitoes, which reduces the population each day.

What do you think? Can the pea outrun a dragonfly’s vision in this fascinating video?

A healthy adult can consume 300 mosquitoes per day! Dragonflies have two sets of wings with distinctive wing muscles that allow them to fly sideways or hover for a minute up to an hour-long period at speeds as fast as 18 mph (29 kph). They lay eggs in water where larvae live for two years before emerging into adults.

Praying Mantis

Praying mantis eyes can have a wide field of vision and be focused on one thing at once. They use their foveas which assist them in tracking, but only mantises can see 3D images. Studying the praying mantis may lead scientists to research robotics.

They also hunt by leaping onto prey with incredible accuracy- contorting their body mid-air to land perfectly on the target. At the same time, it eats beetles, crickets, or grasshoppers for dinner! A life span is just one year long for this carnivorous insect; you’ll find five large eyes that swell up when going after food, even though those necks seem slackened during prayer time.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches could indeed endure for up to a week without their heads! Cockroach brains are in the first segments of their abdomens, and they have about 200 different types of nerve cells.

 Hand holding Cockroaches
Photo by ID 118143076 © Anan Punyod | Dreamstime.com

The cockroach is a cold-blooded insect that can live for extended periods without food. Some facts about these bugs include: they can survive being immersed in water for up to 30 minutes and, if necessary, hold their breath so as not to lose any more fluids than need be. These insects may also have the ability to transmit diseases throughout the home when left unchecked rapidly!

Grasshoppers

The heaviest grasshopper on record weighs in at 121 grams – That’s more than the weight of a small pumpkin!

They can leap up to three times their total length. If you put your hand out and measure it, these creatures could hop away from you before your arm even reaches its entire length.

Grasshoppers on green leaves in nature
Photo by ID 141489371 © Puripat Penpun | Dreamstime.com

Their mouthparts are specialized so that they can eat plants like alfalfa or wheatgrass as well as things we would typically think of as being food sources such as honeydew melon rinds or crawfish tails.”

Ladybugs

Fun Insect Facts Kids: Ladybug climbs a flower a good friend in the garden
Ladybug climbs a flower photo by https://unsplash.com/@greg_rosenke.

Ladybugs are tiny, but they’re mighty in the garden. You’ll find them eating aphids and other pesky bugs that can ruin your crops all summer. But these little guys don’t just come out to play when it’s time for harvest–they lay their eggs on plants like roses, even near houses!

Take a closer look at how ladybugs protect themselves from predators with a yellow fluid release or hardshell wing coverings versus soft shell wings, which allow more flexibility (and cute spots!)

Help Scientists Study Bugs

Becoming a citizen scientist can be as simple as counting the number of bugs we see in our backyard or around town. Your contribution counts! 

Conservation campaigns are devoted to counting insects and bug identification tools from government agencies like USDA’s APHIS or NZ Land Research, which protect us by studying these creatures and their habitats.

by getting involved, you can

  • Learn and explore bugs in your backyard and maybe discover new species.
  • Save Insects that are very important as pollinators for healthy ecosystems, even crops we eat.
  • Help control pesky insects like mosquitoes.

The UK Butterfly count is one such initiative where citizens can help scientists collect data on butterfly populations annually. The butterfly counts are even going on in Central and North America to the Caribbean, which helps with research and provides a fun outing for those participating.

Liverpool, L. (2021, July 24). Let’s count butterflies. New Scientist, 3344, 51.

Fun Insect Facts Peacock Pansy Butterfly
Peacock Pansy Butterfly Found in all regions of Thailand Photo by ID 21005601 © Glomnakub | Dreamstime.com

Conclusion

“So, whether you’re a parent seeking a new fun backyard pastime for your kid or yourself with children who want to collect live specimens and create bug displays in their homes. Or suppose you simply enjoy life through different lenses by learning about the mysterious world of bugs that many people don’t know anything about. In that case, I hope this article will have given you a start on some fun, interesting facts.”

There are tons of websites for bug lovers – check them out below this post in the resources section.

Sources of Information – APA

Videos

Angel Mar. (2016, September 25). Trithemis kirbyi – Orange-winged dropwing [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQSH4au83ac

Winton Night. (2019, November 6). Catch N Keep – GIANT Centipedes/Scorpions/Spiders #3 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL9X2BUgN-k

BBC Earth. (2015, November 20). How Do Dragonflies See the World? | Animal Super Senses | BBC Earth [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5XUdvBO_TE

Apps

What is this bug? (2021). [A interactive tool to help you identify bugs found around New Zealand.]. Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/tools-and-resources

Insects of South Africa (1.3.1). (2019, July 8). [Insects of South Africa is an app designed for any insect enthusiasts.]. Google Play: Insects of South Africa. https://mydigitalearth.com

Sullivan, J. (2019, September 24). Helpful websites for exploring NZ nature ·. I Naturalist NZ. https://inaturalist.nz/pages/links_nz

Websites

Hadhazy, A. (2015, August 29). 20 Startling Facts About Insects. Livescience.Com. https://www.livescience.com/52022-startling-facts-about-insects.html

National Geographic Society. (2021). Insects Pictures & Facts. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/topic/insects

Science, E. (2018, August 28). Insects and Arthropods. Easy Science For Kids. https://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-insects/

National Geographic Kids. (2021, July 5). 25 cool facts about bugs! https://www.natgeokids.com/za/discover/animals/insects/15-facts-about-bugs/

London Wildlife Trust. (2021). Bugs | London Wildlife Trusthttps://www.wildlondon.org.uk/

Insect Identification. (2021). Insect, Bugs and Spider Identification – North America. Www.InsectIdentification.Org. https://www.insectidentification.org/

Team, T. F., & Team, T. F. (2021, June 9). 10 Weird Australian Insects You Won’t Believe Exist. Fantastic Services Group. https://fantasticservicesgroup.com.au/blog/10-weird-bugs-in-australia/

William Walton, W., & Hoddle, M. (2021). Asian Tiger Mosquito. Center for Invasive Species Research. https://cisr.ucr.edu/invasive-species/asian-tiger-mosquito

California Academy of Sciences. (2021). Atlas Mothhttps://www.calacademy.org/explore-science/atlas-moth

Lockwood, D. (2019, September 17). How Does Antarctica’s Only Native Insect Survive Extreme Cold? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/science/antarctica-insects-midge-cold.html

Goliathus. (2021, April 3). In Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goliathus

Pallardy, R. & Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. (2016, September 6). List of insects. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-insects-2073946

14 thoughts on “Fun Insect Facts For Kids: Backyard Species”

  1. G’day

    When I was a kid, collecting butterfly was my hobby. I guess you can’t do this now – it is all about conservation. 

    Your website is very informative and entertaining. I am sure any kid will find it interesting as I did. 

    To be a citizen scientist, starting by counting bugs in your own backyard and learning about insect parts and their functions is the way to go. As parents we need to get our kids out of the house more and what better way then to have some fun and at the same time playing our part in saving our home planet all at once. 

    This is one website I will not hesitate to recommend to any kids and parents!

    Best wishes!

    Robin

    Reply
    • Hey, Robin! Thank you for the awesome feedback. I’m so excited that you enjoyed it and understand how this blog is about fun learning opportunities in science and community work.

      We’re just exploring some of these topics outback at home when we need a break from our everyday lives with guardianship, too- blessings are yours now 🙂

      Reply
  2. Thanks for this amazing article you have written here. I have to say that you have done an excellent job here. It is well writte and very well illustrated. I think this is one we shall be bookmarking for furyher reading and future referencwe as it has a lot of fun and exiting facts to get through.

    Reply
    • I’m glad this article engaged you, Kwidzin. Yeah, when I was researching this article, I didn’t know it would be so large! On the contrary, because of that very reason- its size and depth–it’s going to offer something beneficial for people around the planet. When exploring global insects in a fun way with your kids at home, counting butterflies or observing bugs can provide an opportunity to explore nature together while also saving lives since taking note of species could save peoples’ gardens too. Many thanks for your wonderful comments!

      Reply
  3. Kids, as well as adults, find nature to be very interesting, when we study nature it is amazing to watch how these insects live and how they respond to each other. I love watching nature shows because I learn a lot just from watching. When it comes to our backyards we can find many insects in their habitat so to speak. These man-made habitats not only provide a home for them but also a food source and a place to raise their young. Our backyard is like a classroom where we can learn and teach our children also. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • I think you’re right, Norman. The insect world is fascinating, and although most manufactured structures are destructive to the animal kingdom as a whole, we certainly provided better housing and food supply for our creepy crawly friends – insects!

      Reply
  4. I never realized that there are so many bugs in each country. I was fascinated by the variety of friendly bugs that children can catch and release. Living on a farm you become very aware of the cicadas, moths, and dragonflies around you. I really enjoyed your long article with some pictures of these fascinating creatures. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Yes, I covered a lot in this post to convey the core of my ideas; insects maybe both pests and allies, and we can learn a lot from our six-legged creepy crawly in our backyards. Thank you for your input, Lily. Have a fantastic day.

      Reply
  5. When I was young, I use to be scared of insects. I always thought that they would bite me and leave me with some sort of disease haha. I love this article as it educates you that not all insects are bad. I will be sure to share this article with my nephews and nieces. Thank you so much for this 

    Reply
  6. I loved reading about the bugs and insects and all the strange ones found around the world. The strangest one is certainly the Extatosoma Tiaratum, with its perfect camouflage. 

    I grew up in Africa where we had a very big garden with lots of butterflies and ladybirds, and yes all sorts of other creepy crawlies. One of our favorite things in the garden was trying to catch a butterfly with our bare hands, which of course we hardly ever achieved. 

    Kids have an absolute fascination with bugs and insects, and this will help them learn from a young age that insects form an important part of our eco system. Although if I could choose, I would prefer no cockroaches, flies of mosquitoes. Thanks for sharing. 

    Reply
  7. Thanks for this interesting article. Insects are really fascinating creatures. I was most impressed by an ocean insect called Ectatosoma Tiaratum, because it looks like dried leaves. I really enjoyed reading you a long article and learned some new insects, thank you.I plan sto share this post with my friend.

    Reply

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