Insects & Invertebrates

Love them or hate them, insects are all around us. Insects have six legs, three body segments, typically two pairs of wings, and a shell or exoskeleton. True bugs are a type of insect. They have a mouth shaped like a straw, which most use for sucking juices from plants. There are millions of species of insects, of which about 80,000 are true bugs.

Invertebrates is a much larger classification–actually more than 95% of all animal species on earth–and includes insects. In addition to insects, arachnids, mollusks, crustaceans, jellyfish and worms are all invertebrates, so this serves as a catch-all for tiny creatures you might come across here in Westchester, that you might think are insects.

Species of Insects & Invertebrates

Coming Soon

Citizen Science

Track butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies and more with local and national citizen science projects!

Resources, Events and Ideas

  • Identify your find by reviewing pictures of over 600 insects that call New York home, or narrow it down using BugFinder.
  • If you’re interested in identifying insects by sound, check out this resource for singing insects like cicadas, crickets, and grasshoppers.
  • Check out this fascinating and sobering article about the decline in insect life worldwide from the New York Times. A must read.
  • You’ve seen the ubiquitous pill bug (aka roly poly), but did you know it’s actually a crustacean? Check out this quick video from PBS’ Deep Look.
  • Lots of nature centers host pond scoops or stream stomps where you can get up close and personal with the macroinvertebrates that dwell in water. Check the Nature Calendar for upcoming dates.