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The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Bugs

Bugs encompass a wide range of small creatures that range from insects to spiders to actual "true bugs." The sight of bugs often inspires a squeamish feeling from some, yet not all bugs are bad or as scary as they seem. Although some bugs can be pests in terms of destroying plants and crops, spreading disease and germs, biting humans and scarring you while on a park bench, there are a large number of bugs that are beneficial to the environment. These bugs are good for the ecosystem and help the environment by eating or otherwise destroying pests, aiding in the recycling of waste such as animal dung, and helping with the breakdown of leaves, wood, etc. Bugs are also very crucial in helping flowers, vegetables, fruits, and other plants by spreading pollen. People with an interest in learning about bugs will find plenty of fascinating types and species as well as a wealth of information about them and their place in the environment.

  • Giant Water Bug: The article on this page is for the giant water bug that is a part of the order hemiptera. The information on the page includes information regarding their appearance, where they live, and where they lay their eggs. The range of prey that fall victim to the giant water bug are also a part of the content on this page.
  • Milkweed Bug: This page on the Missouri Botanical Garden website features milkweed bugs. These bugs are considered true bugs, and readers can learn about their life cycle and how they affect humans. Pest management strategies are found on this page as well.
  • Beneficial Insects and Related Arthropods: A Clemson University fact sheet lists a number of beneficial bugs. The fact sheet discusses and explains the difference between parasites and predators, which are the two categories of beneficial bugs. Conservation of these insects and arthropods is also included.
  • American Cockroaches: Read about the American cockroach by clicking on this link. The page that opens includes a description and behavior information, the damage they can cause, life history, and management.
  • Bedbug Fact Sheet: This is an informational PDF fact sheet that educates readers about bedbugs. Information includes what they are, what a bite feels like, how to recognize an infestation, and any associated dangers. Readers are also taught how to get rid of the bugs. Some of the information is specific to New Jersey, but a majority of the information is general in nature.
  • Fleas: A one-page PDF fact sheet on fleas describes flea larvae and adult fleas, the most common flea, and flea control. Both an illustration and picture of a flea are also included.
  • Subterranean Termite Biology and Behavior: Learn all about subterranean termites from castes to secondary reproductives to feeding and moisture needs. Information about swarming behavior is also included on this page.
  • Rice Insect Fact Sheets: Aphids: A fact sheet on the LSU AgCenter website provides information on aphids, such as their life cycle and damage that they may cause. The page is also suitable for people who are looking for information on how to manage them.
  • Arachnida: From the beginning of this article, readers are given an idea of what falls under the canopy of arachnids, including ticks and mites. Arachnids in general are discussed, including their diet.
  • Spiders: Arachnids: On this page, the reader is given the taxonomy of arachnid, a basic drawing of the anatomy of a spider, and an overview of several different types of arachnid, including the hooded tick spider, vinegaroons, and scorpions.
  • The Difference Between a Butterfly and a Moth: Find out the answer to the question, "How can you tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth?" The page provides the answer by telling readers how to identify which one is which based on wings, anatomy, and whether or not it makes a cocoon or chrysalis. There are also "fascinating facts" listed on the page about both moths and butterflies.
  • Featured Creatures: Monarch Butterfly: The distribution, description, life cycle, enemies, and conservation status of Danaus plexippus, also known as the monarch butterfly, can be found on the page that is associated with this link.
  • Tiger Swallowtail: Papilio glaucus, or the tiger swallowtail, is the species of butterfly that is outlined on the page that opens upon clicking this link. Readers will learn about their habitat, host plants, energy resources, similar species, and flight period.
  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth: Readers curious about Eastern tent caterpillar moths will find a wealth of information by clicking on this link. The information on the page includes how many eggs the moth lays and when they hatch. In addition, readers can also learn about the silk tent that the caterpillars build for protection, how they feed, and how long they stay in their cocoon. Predators and the moth's relationship with humans are also covered on this page.
  • Stinging Caterpillars: Click on this link to learn about stinging caterpillars. The page lists several different species, some of which have links to photos.
  • Assassin Bugs and Ambush Bugs: The University of Kentucky entomology case file for the assassin and ambush bugs teaches about what they are, their life cycle, their ecology, and their status as a pest. Readers are also given assassin bug facts and myths associated with it.
  • Watch Out for Stinging Biting Insects: Click this link and learn about the more unusual stinging bugs. The insects that are covered on this page included velvet ants, saddleback caterpillars, and wheel bugs.
  • House Cricket: The habitat, predators, population, size, and facts about the cricket are topics that are briefly covered on this Ask the Biologist page of the ASU School of Life Sciences website.
  • Camel Crickets: Ceuthophilus spp., or Camel cricket, arthropod museum notes on this page include information such as what the adult camel cricket looks like and where they are found. The reader will also learn when they are most active.
  • Ant Formicidae: On the National Geographic website, people can read about ants. The queen or queens are discussed, as are male ants and how ants communicate. Several species of ants are included on this page, including Allomerus decemarticulatus, which is a species of Amazon ant, and Anoplolipis gracilipes, or the yellow crazy ant.
  • Six New Dracula Ant Species Discovered in Madagascar: The article that opens upon clicking this link is on the website for the Discovery Network. The page discusses the discovery of Dracula ants in Madagascar.
  • Ants (Formiidae) of the Southeastern United States: Dracula Ants: Pictures and images of Dracula ants, including the worker ant, are found here. Further information on the page includes natural history, habitat, and identification.
  • Spider Mites in the Landscape and Nursery: On this page, readers are given information about spider mites, predatory mites, and eriophyid mites. These are all mites that affect plants. The page includes background and management information.
  • Order of Hexapoda: Flies: Information on flies and their larva is covered on this page, which also includes a number of pictures.
  • Chinese Mantids: Tenodera Aridifolia: The history of the Chinese mantid is the first topic discussed on this page that is dedicated to the insect. Their habitat, mating habits, nymphs, and more are also included on the page. There are also numerous photographs of the insect.
  • Earwigs: Biology, habits, and management of earwigs are the topic of discussion on this AgriLife Extension page.
  • European Earwig (Forficula auricularia): A PDF fact sheet from the Utah State University Cooperative Extension has a wealth of information for people with an interest in this particular earwig. Feeding habits and injury, life history including egg and nymph stages, and management are discussed.
  • Damsels and Dragons: Insect Order Odonata: Dragonflies and damselflies are the topic of discussion on the page that this link opens. Following an introduction, readers are given information regarding the breeding habits of both, maturation, adult behavior, and identification.
  • Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher): Readers interested in this small dragonfly may click on this link for information. A description of both the naiad and the adult as well as diet, habitat, and ecology information are covered on this page.
  • Ladybug (Cocinellidae): Videos, links and information about the ladybug include the distribution, habitat, and diet of the bugs.
  • Coccinellidae: This is a brief description of lady beetles. The overview notes that there are more than 5,000 species around the world.
  • Arthropods: Dung Beetle: Information on the dung beetle is provided by the San Diego Zoo. This link opens to the zoo website, which discusses the three different varieties of dung beetles and more.
  • 20 Questions About Fire Ants: Assistant professor Kelly Loftin at the University of Arkansas answer questions regarding fire ants. Images are also a part of this PDF.
  • Chiggar: Trombicula alfreddugesi: These bugs, which are a type of mite related to spiders, and their habits are described in some detail on this page. A chart documenting its prey, predators, and shelter is also included as a part of the information found on the page.
  • Sowbugs, Millipedes, and Centipedes in the Home: These non-harmful arthropods are are discussed individually in detail. Readers also learn non-chemical ways to manage these bugs.
  • Grape Leafhopper: A PDF explains the grape leafhopper. When reading the information in this document, readers learn about the adults, eggs, and nymphs. Injury to plants caused by the bug and control measures are also a part of the document.
  • Fruit Fly Identification and Life Cycle: Click this link to view a PDF brochure on fruit flies. The brochure covers the life cycle of the fruit fly and explains how to identify different species of fruit flies, including the Mediterranean, Oriental, and Melon fruit fly.
  • Common Woodlouse: The origin of the common woodlouse and a description are a part of the information found on this link to the Slater Museum of Natural History/University of Puget Sound website.
  • Millipedes: The BBC Nature Wildlife page on millipedes focuses on this particular anthropod. The page includes just a brief amount of information, including the size, number of species, and what is the largest known millipede.
  • Giant African Land Snails Fact Sheet: This fact sheet explains what Giant African land snails are and why they are a threat to U.S. agriculture. The Giant snails include three native African species of snails, Achatina fulica, Achatina achatina, and Archachatina marginata, all of which are discussed in this PDF.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart