insect

An insect is commonly called a bug. Flies, bees, spiders, and wasps are all insects.

Insects are the most numerous type of animals on Earth — and also some of the least popular. These tiny, air-breathing arthropods always seem to be where you don't want them. Mosquitoes, ants, and bees can ruin a picnic. Moths ruin clothes. Spiders scare the heck out of people. Cockroaches are disgusting and extremely hard to kill. It's no wonder insects aren't as popular as cats or dogs.

DEFINITIONS OF: insect

1

n small air-breathing arthropod

Types:
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social insect
an insect that lives in a colony with other insects of the same species
ephemeral, ephemeron
anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day in its winged form
holometabola, metabola
insects that undergo complete metamorphosis
defoliator
an insect that strips the leaves from plants
pollinator
an insect that carries pollen from one flower to another
gallfly
any of various insects that deposit their eggs in plants causing galls in which the larvae feed
mecopteran
any of various carnivorous insects of the order Mecoptera
collembolan, springtail
any of numerous minute wingless primitive insects possessing a special abdominal appendage that allows the characteristic nearly perpetual springing pattern; found in soil rich in organic debris or on the surface of snow or water
proturan, telsontail
any of several minute primitive wingless and eyeless insects having a cone-shaped head; inhabit damp soil or decaying organic matter
beetle
insect having biting mouthparts and front wings modified to form horny covers overlying the membranous rear wings
web spinner
any of a small order of slender typically tropical insects that nest in colonies in silken tunnels that they spin
louse, sucking louse
wingless usually flattened bloodsucking insect parasitic on warm-blooded animals
bird louse, biting louse, louse
wingless insect with mouth parts adapted for biting; mostly parasitic on birds
flea
any wingless bloodsucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap
dipteran, dipteron, dipterous insect, two-winged insects
insects having usually a single pair of functional wings (anterior pair) with the posterior pair reduced to small knobbed structures and mouth parts adapted for sucking or lapping or piercing
leaf miner, leaf-miner
any of various small moths or dipterous flies whose larvae burrow into and feed on leaf tissue especially of the family Gracilariidae
hymenopter, hymenopteran, hymenopteron, hymenopterous insect
insects having two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor specialized for stinging or piercing
worker
sterile member of a colony of social insects that forages for food and cares for the larvae
termite, white ant
whitish soft-bodied ant-like social insect that feeds on wood
orthopteran, orthopteron, orthopterous insect
any of various insects having leathery forewings and membranous hind wings and chewing mouthparts
phasmid, phasmid insect
large cylindrical or flattened mostly tropical insects with long strong legs that feed on plants; walking sticks and leaf insects
dictyopterous insect
cockroaches and mantids
bug
general term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate
bug, hemipteran, hemipteron, hemipterous insect
insects with sucking mouthparts and forewings thickened and leathery at the base; usually show incomplete metamorphosis
heteropterous insect
true bugs: insects whose forewings are membranous but have leathery tips
homopteran, homopterous insect
insects having membranous forewings and hind wings
psocopterous insect
small soft-bodied insect with chewing mouthparts and either no wings or two pairs
ephemerid, ephemeropteran
short-lived insect
plecopteran, stone fly, stonefly
primitive winged insect with a flattened body; used as bait by fishermen; aquatic gilled larvae are carnivorous and live beneath stones
neuropteran, neuropteron, neuropterous insect
insect having biting mouthparts and four large membranous wings with netlike veins
odonate
large primitive predatory aquatic insect having two pairs of membranous wings
trichopteran, trichopteron, trichopterous insect
caddis fly
thysanuran insect, thysanuron
primitive wingless insects: bristletail
thysanopter, thysanopteron, thysanopterous insect
an insect of the order Thysanoptera
earwig
any of numerous insects of the order Dermaptera having elongate bodies and slender many-jointed antennae and a pair of large pincers at the rear of the abdomen
lepidopteran, lepidopteron, lepidopterous insect
insect that in the adult state has four wings more or less covered with tiny scales
pupa
an insect in the inactive stage of development (when it is not feeding) intermediate between larva and adult
imago
an adult insect produced after metamorphosis
queen
the only fertile female in a colony of social insects such as bees and ants and termites; its function is to lay eggs
scorpion fly
any of various mecopterous insects of the family Panorpidae of the northern hemisphere having a long beak and long antennae; males have a tail like that of a scorpion except it is not venomous
hanging fly
any of various mecopterous insects of the family Bittacidae
tiger beetle
active usually bright-colored beetle that preys on other insects
lady beetle, ladybeetle, ladybird, ladybird beetle, ladybug
small round bright-colored and spotted beetle that usually feeds on aphids and other insect pests
carabid beetle, ground beetle
predacious shining black or metallic terrestrial beetle that destroys many injurious insects
firefly, lightning bug
nocturnal beetle common in warm regions having luminescent abdominal organs
long-horned beetle, longicorn, longicorn beetle
long-bodied beetle having very long antennae
chrysomelid, leaf beetle
brightly colored beetle that feeds on plant leaves; larvae infest roots and stems
carpet beetle, carpet bug
small beetle whose larvae are household pests feeding on woolen fabrics
clerid, clerid beetle
predacious on other insects; usually brightly colored or metallic
lamellicorn beetle
beetle having antennae with hard platelike terminal segments
elater, elaterid, elaterid beetle
any of various widely distributed beetles
water beetle
any of numerous aquatic beetles usually having a smooth oval body and flattened hind legs for swimming
whirligig beetle
aquatic beetle that circles rapidly on the water surface
Xestobium rufovillosum, deathwatch, deathwatch beetle
bores through wood making a ticking sound popularly thought to presage death
weevil
any of several families of mostly small beetles that feed on plants and plant products; especially snout beetles and seed beetles
blister beetle, meloid
beetle that produces a secretion that blisters the skin
bark beetle
small beetle that bores tunnels in the bark and wood of trees; related to weevils
rove beetle
active beetle typically having predatory or scavenging habits
Anoplophora glabripennis, Asian longhorned beetle
a beetle from China that has been found in the United States and is a threat to hardwood trees; lives inside the tree; no natural predators in the United States
Pediculus humanus, common louse
head or body louse
Pediculus capitis, head louse
infests the head and body of humans
Pediculus corporis, body louse, cootie
a parasitic louse that infests the body of human beings
Phthirius pubis, crab, crab louse, pubic louse
a louse that infests the pubic region of the human body
Menopon gallinae, Menopon palladum, chicken louse, shaft louse
a louse parasitic on poultry
Pulex irritans
the most common flea attacking humans
Ctenocephalides canis, dog flea
flea that attacks dogs and cats
Ctenocephalides felis, cat flea
flea that breeds chiefly on cats and dogs and rats
Tunga penetrans, chigger, chigoe, chigoe flea
small tropical flea; the fertile female burrows under the skin of the host including humans
Echidnophaga gallinacea, sticktight, sticktight flea
parasitic on especially the heads of chickens
gall gnat, gall midge, gallfly
fragile mosquito-like flies that produce galls on plants
fly
two-winged insects characterized by active flight
bee killer, robber fly
swift predatory fly having a strong body like a bee with the proboscis hardened for sucking juices of other insects captured on the wing
fruit fly, pomace fly
any of numerous small insects whose larvae feed on fruits
hippoboscid, louse fly
bloodsucking dipterous fly parasitic on birds and mammals
mosquito
two-winged insect whose female has a long proboscis to pierce the skin and suck the blood of humans and animals
gnat
any of various small biting flies: midges; biting midges; black flies; sand flies
fungus gnat
mosquito-like insect whose larvae feed on fungi or decaying vegetation
fungus gnat, sciara, sciarid
minute blackish gregarious flies destructive to mushrooms and seedlings
crane fly, daddy longlegs
long-legged slender flies that resemble large mosquitoes but do not bite
bee
any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species
queen bee
fertile egg-laying female bee
soldier
a wingless sterile ant or termite having a large head and powerful jaws adapted for defending the colony
worker bee
sterile bee specialized to collect food and maintain the hive
wasp
social or solitary hymenopterans typically having a slender body with the abdomen attached by a narrow stalk and having a formidable sting
Mutillidae, family Mutillidae
a family of wasps
chalcid, chalcid fly, chalcid wasp, chalcidfly
any of various tiny insects whose larvae are parasites on eggs and larvae of other insects; many are beneficial in destroying injurious insects
ichneumon fly
hymenopterous insect that resembles a wasp and whose larvae are parasitic on caterpillars and other insect larvae
sawfly
insect whose female has a saw-like ovipositor for inserting eggs into the leaf or stem tissue of a host plant
ant, emmet, pismire
social insect living in organized colonies; characteristically the males and fertile queen have wings during breeding season; wingless sterile females are the workers
dry-wood termite
any of various termites that live in and feed on dry wood that is not connected with the soil
Reticulitermes flanipes
destructive United States termite
Reticulitermes lucifugus
destructive European termite
Mastotermes darwiniensis
Australian termite; sole living species of Mastotermes; called a living fossil; apparent missing link between cockroaches and termites
Mastotermes electromexicus
an extinct termite found in amber in southern Mexico
Mastotermes electrodominicus
extinct termite found in amber in the Dominican Republic
grasshopper, hopper
terrestrial plant-eating insect with hind legs adapted for leaping
cricket
leaping insect; male makes chirping noises by rubbing the forewings together
stick insect, walking stick, walkingstick
any of various mostly tropical insects having long twiglike bodies
leaf insect, walking leaf
tropical insect having a flattened leaflike body; common in southern Asia and the East Indies
cockroach, roach
any of numerous chiefly nocturnal insects; some are domestic pests
mantid, mantis
predacious long-bodied large-eyed insect of warm regions; rests with forelimbs raised as in prayer
leaf bug, plant bug
small bright-colored insect that feeds on plant juices
lygaeid, lygaeid bug
a true bug: usually bright-colored; pest of cultivated crops and some fruit trees
coreid, coreid bug
a true bug
Cimex lectularius, bed bug, bedbug, chinch
bug of temperate regions that infests especially beds and feeds on human blood
Notonecta undulata, backswimmer
predaceous aquatic insect that swims on its back and may inflict painful bites
true bug
any of various insects of the order Hemiptera and especially of the suborder Heteroptera
water bug
a true bug: large aquatic bug adapted to living in or on the surface of water
assassin bug, reduviid
a true bug: long-legged predacious bug living mostly on other insects; a few suck blood of mammals
firebug
a true bug: brightly colored bug that can exude a stain
cotton stainer
a true bug: bug that damages and stains the lint of developing cotton
whitefly
minute insect that feeds on plant juices; related to scale insects
coccid insect
scale insects and mealybugs
louse, plant louse
any of several small insects especially aphids that feed by sucking the juices from plants
cicada, cicala
stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings; male has drum-like organs for producing a high-pitched drone
spittle insect, spittlebug
small leaping herbivorous insect that lives in a mass of protective froth which it and its larvae secrete
leafhopper
small leaping insect that sucks the juices of plants
plant hopper, planthopper
related to the leafhoppers and spittlebugs but rarely damages cultivated plants
psocid
small winged insect living on the bark and leaves of trees and feeding on e.g. fungi and decaying plant matter
Liposcelis divinatorius, book louse, booklouse, deathwatch
minute wingless psocopterous insects injurious to books and papers
Plectophera
in some former classifications: name for the Ephemeroptera
dayfly, mayfly, shadfly
slender insect with delicate membranous wings having an aquatic larval stage and terrestrial adult stage usually lasting less than two days
ant lion, antlion, antlion fly
winged insect resembling a dragonfly; the larvae (doodlebugs) dig conical pits where they wait to catch e.g. ants
lacewing, lacewing fly
any of two families of insects with gauzy wings (Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae); larvae feed on insect pests such as aphids
Corydalus cornutus, dobson, dobson fly, dobsonfly
large soft-bodied insect having long slender mandibles in the male; aquatic larvae often used as bait
fish fly, fish-fly
similar to but smaller than the dobsonfly; larvae are used as fishing bait
Sialis lutaria, alder fly, alderfly
dark-colored insect having predaceous aquatic larvae
snakefly
predatory insect of western North America having a long necklike prothorax
mantispid
insect that resembles a mantis; larvae are parasites in the nests of spiders and wasps
spongefly, spongillafly
hairy-bodied insect whose larvae feed on freshwater sponges
darning needle, devil's darning needle, dragonfly, mosquito hawk, sewing needle, skeeter hawk, snake doctor, snake feeder
slender-bodied non-stinging insect having iridescent wings that are outspread at rest; adults and nymphs feed on mosquitoes etc.
damselfly
slender non-stinging insect similar to but smaller than the dragonfly but having wings folded when at rest
caddice fly, caddice-fly, caddis fly, caddis-fly
small moth-like insect having two pairs of hairy membranous wings and aquatic larvae
bristletail
small wingless insect with a long bristlelike tail
Lepisma saccharina, silverfish
silver-grey wingless insect found in houses feeding on book bindings and starched clothing
jumping bristletail, machilid
wingless insect living in dark moist places as under dead tree trunks; they make erratic leaps when disturbed
thrip, thripid, thrips
any of various small to minute sucking insects with narrow feathery wings if any; they feed on plant sap and many are destructive
Forficula auricularia, common European earwig
sometimes destructive to cultivated bulbs
butterfly
diurnal insect typically having a slender body with knobbed antennae and broad colorful wings
moth
typically crepuscular or nocturnal insect having a stout body and feathery or hairlike antennae
chrysalis
pupa of a moth or butterfly enclosed in a cocoon
Type of:
arthropod
invertebrate having jointed limbs and a segmented body with an exoskeleton made of chitin

n a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect

Synonyms:
dirt ball, louse, worm
Type of:
disagreeable person, unpleasant person
a person who is not pleasant or agreeable
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