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Department of Entomology

Department of Entomology
123 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004

785-532-6154
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entomology@ksu.edu

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Common Insect Orders in Kansas

Note: The following orders are consistent with Bugguide.net as of August 2015. Older references may define orders differently.

ORDER

COMMON NAMES

CHARACTERISTICS

WINGS

MOUTHPARTS

METAMORPHOSIS

Microcoryphia

Bristletails

Long antennae and two or three long tails (cerci) off end of abdomen

None

Chewing

None

Zygentoma

Silverfish, Firebrats Long antennae and two or three long tails (cerci) off end of abdomen none chewing none

Ephemeroptera

Mayflies

Triangular shaped wings, with hind wings much smaller than forewings. Usually have two or three long tails off end of abdomen

Two pair

Chewing, but reduced

Incomplete

Odonata

Damselflies,
Dragonflies

Often fairly large insects with membranous wings and huge compound eyes. Legs of adults modified to catch prey so they can't really walk or run

Two pair

Chewing

Incomplete

Plecoptera

Stoneflies

Wings nearly equal in length, but hind wings larger than forewings. Wings folded flat over body when at rest. Antennae long

Two pair

Chewing

Incomplete

Phasmida

Walkingsticks

Long-legged, sticklike insects

Wings either greatly reduced or lacking

Chewing

Gradual

Orthoptera

Crickets, Grasshoppers, and Katydids

Normally fairly large insects. Front wings long and leathery, hind wings broad & membranous, folded under front wings. Antennae usually long and slender. Legs often modified for jumping, grasping or digging

Two pair or wingless

Chewing

Gradual

Dermaptera

Earwigs

Forceps on abdomen; front wings short & leathery, hind wings membranous

Two pair or wingless

Chewing

Gradual

Mantodea

Mantids

Generally fairly large, elongate insects with front legs modified for grasping

Two pair or wingless

Chewing

Gradual

Blattodea

Cockroaches and termites

Oval, flattened insects with long antennae and legs adapted for running

or

Workers and soldiers are wingless, reproductives shed wings after mating. If winged, the fore and hind wings are nearly equal in size and shape. Thorax is broadly attached to the abdomen

Two pair or wingless

Chewing

Gradual

Psocodea

Barklice, Booklice,  Parasitic Lice

If winged, the wings are folded roof-like over back

or

Parasites of birds and mammals

Two pair, wingless, or one pair

Chewing or sucking

Gradual

Hemiptera

True Bugs

and

Aphids, Leafhoppers, Planthoppers, Scale Insects, Cicadas

Base of front wings leathery, rest of wing membranous. Often with distinctive triangular area near the middle of the back between the wings and the prothorax

or

Wings held roof-like when at rest

Two pair or wingless

Sucking

Gradual

Thysanoptera

Thrips

Tiny insects with fringes of hair on wings. Wings fold flat over body when at rest

Two pair

Rasping-sucking

Intermediate

Neuroptera

Lacewings, Antlions, Mantidflies

Wings with many veins and cross veins, held roof-like over back when at rest

Two pair

Chewing

Complete

Megaloptera

Dobsonflies, Alderflies and fishflies

 

Two pair

Chewing

Complete

Coleoptera

Beetles

Front wings form hard shell-like cover over abdomen and the membranous hind wings

Two pair or wingless

Chewing

Complete

Hymenoptera

Ants, Bees, Sawflies, Wasps

Front wings are noticeably larger than hind wings. Wings often with hooks to interlock when in flight. Many are thread-waisted (having a narrow connection between the thorax and abdomen)

Two pair or wingless

Chewing or Chewing-lapping

Complete

Trichoptera

Caddisflies

Membranous wings with numerous hairs or sometimes scales held roof-like over back

Two pair

Chewing but reduced

Complete

Lepidoptera

Butterflies, Moths, Skippers

Scales on wings

Two pair

Siphoning

Complete

Mecoptera

Scorpionflies

Wings may be flat of roof-like, some males have scorpion-like tail. Mouthparts located at the end of a beak-like structure

Two pair or wingless

Chewing

Complete

Diptera

Flies, Midges, Mosquitoes

Second set of wings reduced to halteres

One pair or wingless

Sucking or sponging

Complete

Siphonaptera

Fleas

Small insects. Body flattened from side to side

Wingless

Sucking

Complete