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Types of Flying Insects & Bugs (Identification)

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Examples of flying insects include the Christmas beetle, hummingbird moth, cuckoo wasp, green milkweed locust, and the golden tortoise beetle.

Most people think of spiders, flies, or mosquitoes when they think of insects. But the world of insects is large, as there are more than a million insect species on earth (that we know of).

While many of these are crawlers, there are also a lot of fliers. Many of them have probably been in your home at some point.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some flying insects so you can easily identify them.

List of Flying Insects

There is an estimated 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive on earth right now. Insects outnumber us, humans, by a ratio of about 200 million to 1.

Here are seven flying insects that you can spot on nature walks or in your backyard:

  • Christmas Beetle
  • Hummingbird Moth
  • Cotton Harlequin Bug
  • Cuckoo Wasp
  • Green Milkweed Locust
  • Rosy Maple Moth
  • Golden Tortoise Beetle

1. Christmas Beetle

Christmas Beetle
Image Source
Scientific NameAnoplognathus
Common NameChristmas Beetle
Animal OrderColeoptera
DietEucalyptus leaves, grass roots
HabitatWoodland

The Christmas Beetle is a beautiful flying insect found in many parts of the world. It is especially common in Australia, where it is often seen flying around Christmas trees[1]

The beetle has a shiny, hard shell and can be in different colors, including red, green, or brown. It has large eyes and long antennae. As a herbivore, it feeds on leaves.

The Christmas Beetle is a popular insect in Australia and is often kept as a pet. It is also considered to be a good luck charm by many people. The Christmas Beetle is not harmful to humans and is not known to carry any diseases.

2. Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth
Scientific NameMacroglossum stellatarum
Common NameHummingbird Moth
Animal OrderLepidoptera
DietNectar of flowers, honeysuckle, hawthorn, viburnum
HabitatOpen meadows, forest edges, suburban gardens

The Hummingbird Moth is one of the most beautiful flying insects in the world. It is a member of the Sphingidae family and is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

The adult moth has a wingspan of 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) and is black with white stripes on its abdomen. Its hindwings are clear with a dark band at the margin. 

It flies during the day and is attracted to flowers, where it hovers in front of them to drink nectar using its long proboscis.

The caterpillar of the Hummingbird Moth is green with white stripes running along its body. It feeds on a variety of plants, including honeysuckle, lilac, and cherry. When it is ready to pupate, the caterpillar spins a cocoon in which it spends the winter. 

In the spring, the adult moth emerges from the cocoon and begins its search for mates.

3. Cotton Harlequin Bug

Cotton Harlequin Bug
Scientific NameMacroglossum stellatarum
Common NameHummingbird Moth
Animal OrderLepidoptera
DietNectar of flowers, honeysuckle, hawthorn, viburnum
HabitatOpen meadows, forest edges, suburban gardens

The Cotton Harlequin Bug, scientific name Harmonia axyridis, is a beautiful flying insect. It is black and white in color, with black spots on its wings. While native to Asia, it has been introduced to North America, Europe, and Australia. 

This species of bug is considered an agricultural pest in some areas, as it feeds on a variety of crops, including cotton, soybeans, and corn[2]

The Cotton Harlequin Bug is a member of the Family Coccinellidae, which includes ladybugs and other similar species.

The Cotton Harlequin Bug gets its name from the fact that it often feeds on cotton plants. This bug is most commonly found in the southern United States, but can be found in other parts of the world as well. 

It is a relatively new species in North America, having only been introduced in the late 1970s.

4. Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasp
Scientific NameChrysididae
Common NameCuckoo Wasps
Animal OrderHymenoptera
DietNectar and honeydew
HabitatUrban areas, forests and woodlands, and heath

The cuckoo wasps are small, solitary wasps found in gardens and parks across Europe. They get their name from their habit of laying eggs in the nests of other insects, such as bees and wasps. 

Wasps in this genus are known for their vibrant colors, spanning from emerald green to deep blue.

Cuckoo wasps are parasitic insects, meaning they live off the host insect. When the cuckoo wasp lays its eggs in the nest of another insect, the larvae hatch and feed on the host’s food. This can kill the host insect or damage its health.

5. Green Milkweed Locust

Green Milkweed Locust
Image Source
Scientific NamePhymateus viridipes
Common NameGreen Milkweed Locust
Animal OrderOrthoptera
DietHighly toxic plants such as Secamone alpinii
HabitatGrasslands in the eastern and northern edge of South Africa

The green milkweed locust is found in many parts of the world. It gets its name from the green color of its body and the milkweed plant that it eats. 

The locust is a member of the grasshopper family and is related to the crickets.

The Green Milkweed Locust is about two inches long and has a wingspan of three to four inches. The body is green with black stripes running along the sides. The hind legs are long and powerful, allowing the locust to jump great distances.

6. Rosy Maple Moth

Rosy Maple Moth
Scientific NameDryocampa rubicunda
Common NameRosy Maple Moth
Animal OrderLepidoptera
DietLeaves of host trees such as silver maple and turkey oak
HabitatRich, moist, decidious forests

The Rosy Maple Moth is a beautiful flying insect that is native to North America. This moth gets its name from the rosy color of its body and the maple tree leaves that it often feeds on. 

It is a small moth, with a wingspan of only 2-3 centimeters. Even though they are small, these moths are easy to spot because of their vibrant pink or light purple colors. 

These moths are active during the day and are often seen flying around flowers in search of nectar.

The Rosy Maple Moth has a lifespan of only 2-3 weeks. During this time, the moth will mate and lay its eggs on the undersides of maple leaves[3]. The eggs hatch into caterpillars which will then feed on the leaves for about 2 weeks before pupating into moths. 

Although the Rosy Maple Moth is not considered a pest, its caterpillars can sometimes cause damage to maple trees.

7. Golden Tortoise Beetle

Golden Tortoise Beetle
Image Source
Scientific NameCharidotella sexpunctata
Common NameGolden Tortoise Beetle
Animal OrderColeoptera
DietFoliage and the garden vines
HabitatGarden, forests, bushes

The golden tortoise beetle is a beautiful, iridescent insect that is found in North America. These beetles are named for their striking gold and red colors, which resemble a tortoise shell. 

While they are mostly found in the eastern United States, they can also be found in parts of Canada and Mexico.

These beetles are fairly small, only reaching about 1/2 inch in length. They have a rounded shape and their wings are attached to their bodies at an angle, giving them a somewhat triangular appearance. The golden tortoise beetle is not capable of flying, but it can walk or crawl very quickly.

FAQs

What Is The Most Common Flying Black Bug?

The great black wasp is a large, jet-black wasp found in North America. These wasps are predators and help to control populations of other insects, like caterpillars, that damage crops. The great black wasp is not considered a pest as it does not build nests near homes or other structures.

What Is The Most Common Yellow and Black Flying Bug?

The most common yellow and black flying bug is the honeybee. The honeybee is an important insect because it pollinates many of the crops that we eat. Honeybees are also responsible for making honey. Honeybees are relatively small insects. They have a yellow and black striped body with two pairs of wings. Honeybees live in hives with up to 60,000 other bees. There is one queen bee in each hive. The queen bee is the only bee that can lay eggs.

What Is an Example of a Common Red Flying Insect?

Most people are familiar with ladybugs. They are a type of beetle that is often red. Ladybugs are considered to be beneficial insects because they help to control pests in gardens and farms. Some ladybugs even have spots on their wings, which makes them look even more unique.

Are There Any Big Bugs With Wings?

Yes, there are some big bugs with wings. The largest flying insect in the world is the titan beetle (Titanus giganteus), which is found in the tropical forests of South America. This enormous beetle can grow up to six inches long and has massive mandibles that can snap shut with enough force to chop off a human finger.

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