Collective Nouns for Insects

Collective Nouns for Insects 🐞

List of Collective Nouns for Insects 🦋 Insect Plurals

ADDucation’s list of collective nouns for insects also includes the names for immature/infant insects along with the singular and plural spellings for insects. The first list of collective nouns was published in “The Book of St Albans” circa 1500 and it wasn’t definitive – it was based on folklore, humor and the whim of the publisher and it’s the same today. New collective terms of venery are made up all the time (e.g. “minibeasts” instead of “bugs”) which either stand the test of time or fall into disuse like “a fall of woodcocks” – the English language constantly evolves to meet our requirements.

  • ADDucation’s collective nouns for insects list compiled by Joe Connor and last updated Dec 31, 2022 @ 2:43 pm.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort collective nouns for insects. Reload page for original sort order. Resize your browser to full screen and/or zoom out to display as many columns as possible. Click the ➕ icon to reveal any hidden columns.. Start typing in the Filter table box to find collective nouns for insects, bugs & beetles inside the table.

Insect Young / immature / offspring baby infant called? Collective nouns a group of insects or arachnids[1] Insect Plurals
Insect (generic) Larva or Nymph A flight of insects, a plague of insects, a swarm of insects, a horde of insects, a rabble of insects. Insects
Ant 🐜 Antling An army of ants, a colony of ants, a nest of ants, a bike of ants, a swarm of flying ants. Ants
Bee 🐝 Larva A grist of bees*, a hive of bees, a swarm of bees, a flight of bees and a bike of bees (bike is old English word for next, colony and swarm). Bees
Beetle🐞 Grub A group of beetles is called a colony of beetles or a swarm of beetles, Beetles
Butterfly 🦋 Caterpillar (Larva) A rabble* of butterflies, a rainbow of butterflies*, a kaleidoscope of butterflies*, a swarm of butterflies*, an army of caterpillars. Butterflies
Click Beetle Wireworm (Larva) A colony of click beetles. Click Beetles
Cockroach Nymph An intrusion of cockroaches. Cockroaches
Dragonfly Nymph A cluster of dragonflies. Dragonflies
Fly Maggots (Larva) A business of flies, a hatch of flies, a cloud of flies, a swarm of flies. Flies
Gnat Larva A horde of gnats, a cloud of gnats, a swarm of of gnats. Gnats
Grasshopper, Cricket 🦗 Nymph A cloud of grasshoppers, a cluster of grasshoppers. Grasshoppers
Hornet Larva A bike of hornets, a nest of hornets. Hornets
Hoverfly (Syrphidae) Maggots (Larva) Hoverfly itself is a collective term for over 6000 winged insects in  Syrphidae family. The often mimic wasps and bees. Hoverflies
Ladybird, Ladybug, Lady Beetle 🐞 Larva A loveliness of ladybugs. Ladybirds, Ladybugs, Lady Beetles
Louse Nymph A flock of lice, a colony of lice, an infestation of lice. Lice
Locust Nymph A plague of locusts, one of the best known collective nouns for insects. Locusts
Midge Larva A bite of midges*. Midges
Mite[1] Larva A mite of mites. Mites
Mosquito 🦟 Larva A scourge of mosquitoes*. Mosquitoes
Moth Caterpillar (Larva) A whisper or flutter of moths. A universe of moths. Moths
Sawfly (Symphyta) Caterpillar (Larva) Sawfly itself is a collective term for over 8000 winged insects whose caterpillar-like larvae often clump together in the Symphyta order. Adult sawflies don’t have a “wasp waist” but often mimic wasps and bees. Sawflies
Scorpion[1]🦂 Scorpling (Nymph) A bed of scorpions, a nest of scorpions. Scorpions
Spider[1] 🕷🕸 Spiderlings (Larva) A cluster of spiders*, a clutter of spiders*. Spiders
Stick Insect Nymph A bushel of stick insects*. Stick Insects
Termite Nymph A brood of termites, a colony of termites, a nest of termites, a swarm of termites. Termites
Wasp Larva A nest of wasps, a plague of wasps, pail or swarm of wasps. Wasps

See also: Terms of Venery for People… | Collective terms for Birds… | Names for groups of animals…

* Notes: [1]Arachnids are NOT insects, they are included in this list of collective nouns for insects for your convenience. Some collective nouns for insects are poetic terms. There’s no official collective nouns committee, or authority, which approves new collective nouns so you can invent them yourself. Many collective nouns for insects only appear in lists of collective nouns – we only add new collective nouns if we can find references in published literature or other authority websites.

FAQs About Insects 🦋 🔽

Frequently Asked Questions About Collective Nouns for Insects

Is there an inclusive collective term for groups of small creatures which includes insects, worms, spiders, bees and so on?

Minibeasts has taken over from “creepy-crawlies” in the UK, which avoids the negative connotations. Bugs is commonly used in the USA but feels less inclusive of worms, spiders etc.

How many species of insects are there?

So far over 1.3 million species have been catalogued and named. Estimates for the total number of species vary widely so we do not know but probably a total somewhere between 2 and 10 million species.

What is a person who studies insects called?

An entomologist. Entomology is the scientific study of insects.

Are Spiders insects?

Spiders are not insects they are Araneae, part of the class of arachnids.

What is the difference between Spiders and Insects?

Insects have three body parts and three pairs or six legs. Spiders have two body parts and four pairs or eight legs.

What is the definition of an insect?

Any small arthropod (animal without a backbone) with six (three pairs) of jointed legs and a body (supported by an external skeleton) segmented into three parts:

  • Head, with a pair of antennae
  • Thorax with one or two pairs of wings
  • Abdomen.

What are baby/young/offspring/immature/ insects called?

  • Larvae for insects which form cocoons and change form completely (holometabolous life cycle)
  • Nymphs for insects which grow wings as they grow bigger but don’t change form (hemimetabolous life cycle)
  • Familiar names for infant insects include; caterpillars which are butterfly larvae, maggots which are fly larvae and grubs which are beetle larvae.
What is the key difference between insect larvae and nymphs?

Both are infant insects and all insects molt, by shedding their exoskeleton, to become adults:

  • Larvae molt in a single step by metamorphosis (e.g. caterpillar to butterfly) to become adults
  • Nymphs molt in stages, anything from two to sixty molts to become adults (e.g. stick insects molt between 6 and 9 times).

ADDucation Lists Related to Collective Nouns for Insects:

  • Collective nouns for insects in German: Namen von Tiergruppen…
  • Help improve ADDucation’s list of collective nouns for insects by adding your comments below…

3 responses to “Collective Nouns for Insects 🐞”

  1. MK says:

    Man is also in woman, you know? Human is a relatively new word so “mankind” was actually gender neutral.

  2. DW says:

    HUmankind and Nature (not Mankind). How hard is it to add two letters, to stop pretending that masculine-only words, which were coined when only men had agency in the world, are OK in the 21st century?

    • Joe Connor says:

      Good point. I hadn’t really thought about it until your comment. We have a new website in progress and I’ll make that change when it launches.

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