Bolton Library and Museum Services


Insects are very successful organisms, with about 1.5 million named species and probably several million more that have yet to be named. About 75% of all known animals are insects and even in Britain we have more than 23,000 species.

Insects are members of the Arthropods, which are all animals with jointed legs and their skeleton on the outside. Other members of this group include Crabs, Woodlice, and Spiders, but it is only insects that have wings.

The size of insects helps to make them as successful as they are. They can live in habitats that are not available to larger animals, such as leaf litter. They are found in huge numbers in tropical forests, but also live in deserts, rivers, on the tops of mountains, on the seashore – almost anywhere in fact!


At one time or another most people find insects and other unwanted guests in their house. Sometimes the ‘creepy crawly’ is a nuisance, but quite often it is not a cause for concern.

view pests

Mimicry and camouflage

The best way for an insect to hide from something that wants to eat it, or sneak up on its dinner, is to pretend to be something else! So, looking like a stick, a leaf, or a flower is very useful!

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