You will need
- Paper and pens
- A place to find bugs – either a museum or a park
What to do
Our list includes
- Write a list of bugs that you want to find. You can download our list or find it below, or even make your own!
- Do some research on any words you’re not sure about, see this link to find out about the orders of insects and other bugs.
- Go to a museum or a park and try to find all the bugs on your list. If you’re in a park, remember not to touch the bugs as some can bite and sting – just look for them.
- Tick each bug off the list when you find them. If you like, you can record your sighting with a photo.
- An insect that lives in a society
- An insect with four pairs of wings
- An insect that pollinates flowers
- An insect from the order Orthoptera
- An insect from the order Hemiptera
- An insect from the order Diptera
- An insect from the order Hymenoptera
- An insect from the order Lepidoptera
- An insect from the order Coleoptera
- An insect larva, or immature insect
- Tracks from a bug
- A bug home or nest
There are millions of different insect species in the world, and many have not been named scientifically. In the scavenger hunt, you can see the huge variety that exists in the world of bugs. Some have legs and crawl, others have wings and fly. Some have wings and still crawl a lot of the time, like cockroaches.
Part of what identifies an insect is their appearance. To tell other people the discoveries you made, you can describe their appearance using words, or record it using photos or drawings. Scientists do the same thing, because sharing knowledge is so important for learning new things.
When looking for new insect species, scientists will first do some research and read about what kind of insects have already been discovered. They also learn about classification, the way insects are grouped together by their similarities and differences. Once scientists have learned a lot about insects, they can look for new species in the environment.
If the scientists think they found something new, they may take a sample to keep in a collection. When they get back, they can check it under a microscope and do more research to compare their discovery to other species. It’s not always easy to make sure you have found a new species!
New species can even be found inside museum collections! Sometimes, when somebody goes to check a sample, what they find is not the species it was labelled as. That’s one reason why museum collections are so valuable.
Find out which insects to look for in the insect orders
, like Orthoptera and Coleoptera.
Can you identify invertebrates with this key?