Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

What's in a Name


Carolyn Nixon

There are approximately 25,000 species of insects in Illinois and all of them must have names.  While they all have scientific names, such as Arilus cristatus, many of them have common names as well.  Common names of insects can be chosen to describe where they live, what they feed on, an unusual behavior, or they may be named after a person.  Sometimes the common name simply describes its appearance.  See if you can match the following descriptive common names below with the insect drawings on this page. (All drawings are by Carolyn Nixon, INHS.)


1.  wheel bug  ________


2.  lace bug   ________


3.  zebra swallowtail   ________


4.  stag beetle   ________


5.  thirteen-spotted lady beetle   ________


6.  saddleback caterpillar   ________


7.  snout butterfly   ________



1-f, 2-b, 3-g, 4-e, 5-a, 6-c, 7-d




Download PDF

Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

Terms of use. Email the Web Administrator with questions or comments.

© 2019 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
For permissions information, contact the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Staff Intranet