Bug & Insect Guide for Kids!
Welcome to our resource page for educational material about bugs, insects, critters and anything else that flys or crawls around the house. When properly introduced, insects can be a great way to spark your students’ interest in science. Discovering the ecological importance, and the interdependent relationship between insects and humans. You may not welcome insects into your home, but life as we know it wouldn’t exist without them!
List of common favorites for kids including brief facts and illustration.
BUTTERFLY: Wingspan 3-1/2 to four inches long; wings brownishorange; black to dark brown veins; two rows of orange and/or white spots.
HABITS: Found primarily in meadows, roadsides and sandy areas where milkweeds grow.
DIET: Caterpillars feed on milkweed foliage, flower buds and milky juice; butterflies feed on flowers.
REPRODUCTION: Females lay eggs along migration northward; fully grown caterpillar changes to barrel-shaped, leaf-green pupa with gold dots; process from egg to butterfly takes about four weeks.
OTHER INFORMATION: Butterflies are capable of flying 2,000 miles during southern migration each autumn, often stopping in same rest spots every year.
APPEARANCE: About 1/4 inch long; light gray with four lengthwise stripes on thorax; large reddish compound eyes.
HABITS: May migrate up to 20 miles from birthplace, but most stay within one or two miles; 98% of flies caught in houses are house flies.
DIET: Feed on a wide variety of foods, but prefer liquids containing sweet or decaying material; larvae feed on moist food rich in organic matter.
REPRODUCTION: Eggs laid singly, but in clusters of 75-150; female may lay over 500 eggs in a lifetime; eggs hatch in 10-24 hours; entire life cycle completed in less than seven days.
OTHER INFORMATION: Associated with a number of filth-related diseases.
Apple Maggot Fly
APPEARANCE: 1/4 inch long; shiny black to tan with yellowish-white lines; orange head; wings have black F-shaped bands.
HABITS: Found primarily in orchards and the edges of deciduous woods with native hawthorns, blueberry bushes or western snowberries.
DIET: Adults feed on leaves and fruit; larvae feed on pulp of fruit.
REPRODUCTION: Eggs inserted singly into fruit skin; fully grown larvae tunnel out, drop to the ground and pupate in the soil.
OTHER INFORMATION: Males perform courtship dances, waving their wings while females watch.
FireFlyAPPEARANCE: 1/2 inch long; blackish-brown with dull edges on sides and down middle; above head is rosy pink covering with dull yellow edges and black spot in center.
HABITS: Nocturnal; live in moist places under debris, bark or decaying matter on the ground; on summer nights, blink their yellow lights to attract mates.
DIET: Adults do not feed; larvae feed on insect larvae, slugs and snails.
REPRODUCTION: Eggs are left on damp soil; larvae overwinter, then pupate in moist soil.
OTHER INFORMATION: Female does not fly