Humorous Names of Insects
Here’s a short list of funny bug names we came up with on the fly.
- Aha ha (said the Entomologist when he discovered this wasp)
- Happy-face spider (markings of a smiley face on its back 🙂 )
- Bullet ant (not so funny, painful sting that lasts up to 24 hours)
- Dung beetle (feeds on, rolls around in, and breeds in animal feces)
- Earwig (ground-up earwigs used to treat ear disorders long ago)
- Stinkbugs (offensive odor when disturbed or crushed)
- Samurai wasp (a rare insect warrior happy to kill stinkbugs!)
- Giant water bug toe-biter (up to 4-inches long with a painful appetite for toes)
- Pieza kake (Naming this small furry fly was a piece of cake!)
- Peidole harrisonfordi (ant)
- Leucothoe Eltoni (crustacean)
- Litarachra lopezae (mite)
- Synalpheus pinkfloydi (shrimp)
- Scaptia beyonceae (horse fly)
- Cnemaspis Jackieii (lizard)
- Dendropsophus ozzyi (tree frog)
- Draculoides bramstokeri (scorpion)
Buttercup Oil Beetle
The term of endearment (what’s up, buttercup?) might come to mind. But this bug’s name comes from its preference for eating buttercup weeds found across the Pacific Northwest. When threatened or squeezed, it emits a toxic oily-like substance that irritates human skin and causes painful blisters. Watch your pets. Ingesting this beetle could prove fatal for dogs and cats.
Bee-like Flower Scarab Beetle
This beetle’s black and white coloring, together with its hairy body, fools predators into thinking it could sting (like a wasp or bee). Fortunately, it’s a harmless garden visitor.
You probably guessed right about the reason for this bug’s name. The dots, dashes, and swirls on its back resemble the strokes of a calligraphy pen.
Festive Tiger Beetle
Have you ever thought of a beetle as festive? These beetles are all dressed up in shimmering ruby red with metallic emerald green heads.
You might see them strolling the streets and sidewalks of your neighborhood, looking for a party (where a meal of ants or other tiny insects is served).
Case-Bearing Leaf Beetle
This bug name comes from the protective cases the larvae build from debris to protect themselves. Their head and front legs protrude from the case, allowing them to walk around.
American Carrion Beetle
Carrion, as in decaying flesh. Yes, it’s as gross as it sounds. These beetles feed on delicacies like raw animal flesh, fly maggots, fungi, and rotting fruit. They’re often mistaken for bumblebees as they fly around your property.
Blue Death-Feigning Beetle
Some bug names are just common sense. This beetle is indeed blue. And it feigns (pretends) death when it feels threatened. It rolls onto its back and curls up its legs to appear lifeless, and will stay in this position for hours until it feels safe.
Hey, what do you call a spider with 8 eyes? A spiiiiiiiider!
Bowl and Doily Weaver Spider
They named this bug after the distinct look of its web. A “bowl” shape sits on top of a lacey sheet of web resembling a “doily”. The spider waits patiently for dinner upon its lace placemat, protected beneath the bowl. Prey gets entangled, bitten, and injected with venom.
Comb-like hairs on its ‘ankles’ fling strands of web at prey that’s snared in its web. This is the same spider that bites Spiderman (Peter Parker), giving him spidey powers. This spider’s sticky web collects dust, as well as prey, and is therefore mimicked in scary movies and Halloween decorations.
Pacific Folding Door Trapdoor Spider
Often sold as a pet in the Pacific Northwest, this spider does not spin a web. Instead, it burrows underground and creates a ‘trap door’ that it unfolds to enter and exit its lair.
Spiders Named After Famous People
- Aptostichus angelinajolieae (trapdoor spider) – Angelina Jolie
- Filistata maguirei (crevice weaver spider) - Tobey Maguire
- Tasmanicosa Hughjackmani (wolf spider) - Hugh Jackman
- Paradonea presleyi (velvet spider) – Elvis Presley
- Bumba lennoni (tarantula spider) – John Lennon
Bees and Wasps
Most species of wasp are aggressive when they feel the slightest threat and can be dangerous. But some wasps (like the Blue Mud Dauber) are mellow, rarely sting humans, and even pollinate flowers. We call them wanna-bees!
These glittering, colorful wasps deposit their eggs in the nests of other insects. The larvae then eat the larvae and food cache of the original nest owner. If that isn’t cuckoo enough, they are named after the Old World Cuckoo Birds, who practiced the same odd parenting strategy. Not to be confused with the Cuckoo Bee!
Cow Killer Wasp
Their name derives from the fact that a sting is potent enough to kill cattle. The female cow killer is wingless. They lay eggs in bumblebee nests, and the larvae eat the larvae of the bumblebee.
Sweat Bees are attracted to human sweat and will hover close to you, or even land on you, to drink the salty liquid off your skin.
Some common bug names make little sense at all. For instance, the velvet ant is a wasp! And a nasty one at that. Don’t be fooled by its ant-like, wingless body or be tempted to pet its glistening, velvety red and black ‘fur’. The velvet ant won’t hesitate to deliver a potent and painful sting.
They did not name Formica ants after kitchen countertop material. In fact, they rarely invade kitchens. Most often, you’ll find them destroying the vegetation around large outdoor mounds they build in wooded areas. They named this ant for its scientific family, Formicidae.
Carpenter Ants are the largest ant species on the continent! Contrary to popular belief, they don’t eat wood; they live in it. Named for their carpentry skills (chewing through wood to build nests), contacting a pest exterminator will save you a lot of money in drywall replacement and structural repairs.
Flying Bug Names
Croach® is a no-fly zone, by the way.
Black Saddlebags Skimmer
This dragonfly has two black blotches on its lower wings that resemble the saddlebags used on horses and mules.
Blue Dasher Dragonfly
Sounds like one of Santa’s reindeer, but the Blue Dasher is one of the most common species of dragonflies found in the U.S.
Neither a salmon nor a fly, but a member of the stonefly family of bugs. The larvae live in water. Sensitive to pollution, the sight of many adults nearby indicates a healthy and clean water system.
The tips of their wings are bent downward, making them appear to have a broken back. But don’t feel sorry for them. These bugs can fly, and they transmit a plant parasite that deforms flowers.
You won’t find these bugs appearing in the 1993 Dan Aykroyd movie. They get their common name because of their faces, which are pinched into a cone shape.
Big Dipper Firefly
It seems natural that this member of the firefly family should take its common name from a constellation in the night sky. Like all fireflies, they use bioluminescence to produce light.
Aphrodite Fritillary Butterfly
Entomologists appropriately named this orange and black butterfly after the Greek goddess of love and beauty. If you plant violets, milkweeds, and thistles in a small area of your yard, you will tempt these butterflies onto your property.
Grizzly means “sprinkled or streaked with gray”. So you may have guessed that this bug name doesn’t refer to grizzly bears, but to the gray color of its body.
Some bug names evoke mythical heros in movies, novels, and video games. But this Dragonhunter is so-named because it hunts smaller dragonflies.
Red Cross Shield Bug
This is a member of the stink bug family, and yes, they can be stinky. Their name comes from the reddish cross on their back. Unlike its namesake, this bug won’t come to your assistance during a natural disaster.
Lone Star Tick
You might think this bug originates from the Lone Star state of Texas. But its name comes from the white or yellow star-shaped dot on its back. Humans and dogs bitten by this tick can develop Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis.
Bug Names Listed by State
Want more? Here’s a guide to the most popular bugs listed by state. Remember that insects don’t respect man-made borders, so you’ll find many we mention in almost every part of the United States. Fortunately, Croach® Pest Control has offices established in many locations in the United States.
If some of these bugs are unwanted pests on your property, get in touch with Croach® for a free pest control inspection.Free Pest Inspection