Insects are by far the most diverse and ecologically important group of animals in land habitats.

What are insects?

Insects are everywhere.

Insects are creatures that have bodies with three segments that are protected by a hard shell. They have three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. A lot of insects also have two pairs of wings.

Insects are very helpful to us - many help with pollination of plants so that they can create fruits for us to eat, and make seeds to grow more plants. Insects are very important in agriculture, medicine, forensics and more, and are the inspiration for many science and engineering projects.

We take insects for granted because they are everywhere in our lives. Yet exploring the insect world can be easy, rewarding and educating, especially for children. Many biologists and insect scientists just started off as curious young people who went outside to see what was there.

There are over 24,000 insect species in the United Kingdom, with hundreds in almost every garden and green space.

In this guide, we show the main groups or orders of insects, and highlight some common insect species.