Insect challenge

This Nature Challenge was created by Seek (by iNaturalist):

Your mission:

Insects populations are declining around our planet, partly because crops and buildings replace their habitats and are then sprayed with bug-killing pesticides. We need insect pollinators for our crops and wild plants to flourish, and many amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals depend on insects for food. Seek out the insects around you and show them some love!

Find 10 different insects.

What is Seek? And how do you participate?

Seek (by iNaturalist) is a kid-safe app that helps you get outside and explore your local plants, animals, and fungi. Ask your parent or educator to visit the iNaturalist website to learn more. Or, they can click here for more information.

New challenges are released at the start of each month. To participate, you will need access to the app on a phone or tablet device. You can seek out plants, animal, and fungi in your backyard, local park, or nature reserve. Give it a go and become a naturalist today!

What is an insect?

Bees, flies, beetles, moths, ants, and termites are some types of insects.

Most of the world’s organisms are insects! There are at least 1 million species of insects but scientists believe that there may be millions more species yet to be discovered.

Insects are invertebrates. They don’t have a backbone (spine) or internal skeleton like we do. Instead their bodies are supported by an exoskeleton.

Insects have 6 jointed legs. They have segmented bodies made up of three parts: a head, thorax, and abdomen.

Read these stories to learn more about some amazing insects!

How many legs does a caterpillar have?

Earth is home to quadrillions of ants

Do all bees make honey?

Are butterflies a type of moth?

Some traits of butterflies

Art challenge: beetle coloring!

Beetle coloring

To share your art with us, parents or guardians can email us using the contact information on our About Us page.

How can you help insects?

Build an insect hotel

We need bees. How can you help?

August Species of the Week!

Meet a new species each week related to the challenge.

Week 1: European mantis

European mantis

Image: © Robin Gwen Agarwal (CC BY-NC) via iNaturalist

Week 2: unicolor snail-eating beetle

Images: © hakie (CC BY-NC), © Bert Harris (CC BY-NC), via iNaturalist

Week 3: eastern dobsonfly

Images: © Brent Baker (CC BY-NC), © Matthew Tobey (CC BY-NC), © Jared Gorrell (CC BY-NC), © Michael J. W. Carr (CC BY-NC), via iNaturalist

Learn more about the eastern dobsonfly with this University of Florida learning resource

Week 4: chestnut/banded angle

chestnut angle butterfly

Images: © Lovish Garlani (CC BY-NC), via iNaturalist

You may like these stories and activities

Take the cockroach quiz!

Where are the insects? Look up!

Image by Brian Brown/Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Keep a nature journal!

*Mongabay Kids is not responsible or content published on external sites