How Many Different Kinds of Insects Are There in the World?

Scientists have discovered and named about 1,000,000 different creatures in the animal world, from insects and worms to reptiles and humans. Of these, more than 800,000 are insects! Each year, from 7,100 to 10,000 new insects are discovered, but scientists believe that anywhere from 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 are still waiting to be discovered.

These small, six-legged creatures include bees, ants, flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, cockroaches, termites, fleas, and beetles. Although some insects annoy us by spreading disease, damaging crops and household items, and biting people and pets, these represent only about 17% of all the 800,000 species.

The rest of the insects serve a very valuable purpose in nature. These serve as food for birds, frogs, fish, and other animals; pollinate crops; destroy other harmful insects; give us honey, bees wax, shellac, and silk; and keep the land clean by feeding on dead animals and plants.

Insects have lived on earth for at least 4,000,000 years. They have survived for such a long time because they are able to adapt to all types of living conditions and temperatures, from freezing to 120° Fahrenheit, and even in vacuum conditions, and will eat almost anything.

One square mile of land contains more insects than the total number of human beings on earth!