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These invertebrates, which include bees, butterflies, and ants, have hard exoskeletons and six legs. Most have wings. Insects are the largest animal group on the planet, with over 925,000 identified species.

Image for Halesochila taylori

Caddisfly

Halesochila taylori

Caddisflies have wings shaped like a tent and antennae that give a moth-like appearance. However unlike moths, caddisflies spend most of their lives living in the water as larvae. Their larvae build a protective case around themselves from pebbles, sand and plant material. See macroinvertebrate guide for the larval form.
Image for Aquarius remigis

Common Water Strider

Aquarius remigis


photo credit: Gavin Slater

Common water striders use surface tension to “walk on water.” Their legs have tiny hairs that repel water and capture air. By repelling water, the tiny water striders stand on the surface of the water and the hairs allows them to glide easily. They eat insects such as mosquitos.
Image for Pyrrharctia isabella

Isabella Tiger Moth

Pyrrharctia isabella


photo credit: Gavin Slater

The Isabella tiger moth, whose larva is called the banded woolly bear, is widely distributed throughout much of North America. Unlike many caterpillars, this species is a generalist that feeds on a wide variety of herbaceous vegetation.
Image for Scaphinotus angusticollis

Narrow-Collared Snail-Eating Beetle

Scaphinotus angusticollis


photo credit: Gavin Slater

Scaphinotus angusticollis is a predacious ground beetle found west of the Cascade Mountain Range. Having a narrow head and long mouth parts allow this beetle to reach into the snail's shell so it can consume the entire soft body. They also eat slugs and the occasional berry.
Image for Helophilus fasciatus

Narrow-Headed Marsh Fly

Helophilus fasciatus


photo credit: Gavin Slater

The narrow-headed marsh fly is a syrphid fly and is much loved by gardeners. The adults pollinate while their larvae are predators on soft-bodied insects such as aphids. They have the coloration of wasps so predators leave them alone. This is called Batesian mimicry.
Image for Ophiogomphus severus

Pale Snaketail Dragonfly

Ophiogomphus severus


photo credit: Vic Berthelsdorf

The Pale Snaketail habitat is rivers and streams with moderate current in forested and open landscapes, as well as large sandy lakes. The larvae feed on aquatic insects, small fish and tadpoles while the adults eat soft-bodied flying insects such as mosquitoes, flies, moths and mayflies. See the macroinvertebrate guide for the larval form.
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Red-Legged Grasshopper

Melanoplus femurrubrum


photo credit: Gavin Slater

The red-legged grasshopper is a generalist and feeds on a wide variety of forbs and grasses depending on what is available in the habitat. They undergo gradual (simple) metamorphosis and the nymphs that hatch look like the adult except for their smaller size and lack of wings.
Image for Coccinella septempunctata

Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle

Coccinella septempunctata


photo credit: Gavin Slater

More often called a ladybug, the seven-spotted lady beetle is not a true bug; it’s a beetle with hard elytra or wing covers. The larvae look scary but they are quite harmless unless you are an aphid. The adults and larvae are great for pest control.
Image for Diabrotica undecimpunctata

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Diabrotica undecimpunctata


photo credit: Michael O'Loughlin

The spotted cucumber beetle is a species of beetle that is native to most of North America including Washington. It can be a major agricultural pest in North America in both the larval and adult stages of their life cycle.
Image for Leptoglossus occidentalis

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Leptoglossus occidentalis


photo credit: Gavin Slater

The western conifer seed bug feeds on the sap of developing cones on conifers such as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. To get to the sap, they use their long proboscis that is kept folded under their body when not in use.
Image for Apis mellifera

Western Honey Bee

Apis mellifera


photo credit: Gavin Slater

The western honey bee is not native to North America. It was brought to the continent centuries ago for its honey and wax production. It is used in agriculture for pollination and is classified as livestock like cows and horses.
Image for Ochlodes sylvanoides

Woodland Skipper

Ochlodes sylvanoides


photo credit: Gavin Slater

The woodland skipper butterfly lives in grassy areas along streams. woodlands, and home gardens. The larval food are grasses and they go through complete metamorphosis, with the first stage caterpillar hibernating and the adults emerging from cocoons in fall.

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