Field Guide

Land Invertebrates

Showing 1 - 10 of 21 results
Media
Green June beetle on goldenrod
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cotinis nitida
Description
The green June beetle is a common type of scarab beetle in Missouri. These large, metallic green beetles buzz loudly when they fly. They are attracted to ripe and rotting fruit and compost piles.
Media
Two Asian lady beetles, one orange with several black spots, the other red with no spots
Species Types
Scientific Name
Harmonia axyridis
Description
The multicolored Asian lady beetle was imported to America to help control aphids. It is now well established and has become a nuisance, especially in fall when large numbers of them enter homes for shelter.
Media
Seven-spotted lady beetle on a flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nearly 500 species in North America north of Mexico
Description
Lady beetles are beloved for many reasons. Farmers like the way they devour injurious aphids and scale insects. Everyone else appreciates their bright colors and shiny, compact bodies.
Media
V-marked lady beetle crawling on a flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Neoharmonia venusta
Description
The V-marked lady beetle, one of our many native lady beetles, is very attractive. The pattern and coloration can vary greatly among individuals, but most in this species have a V on the back.
Media
Ninebark calligraphy beetle on cluster of ninebark flower buds
Species Types
Scientific Name
Calligrapha spiraea
Description
The ninebark calligraphy beetle is one of nearly 40 North American calligraphy beetles, named for the scrawly markings on their backs. Most calligraphy beetles require particular host plants.
Media
Flat-faced longhorn beetle crawling on wood
Species Types
Scientific Name
Acanthoderes quadrigibba
Description
The four-humped flat-faced longhorn has no true common name, but its markings are distinctive. It plays an important role in breaking down rotten wood and enriching soils.
Media
Ivory-marked beetle crawling on bark
Species Types
Scientific Name
Eburia quadrigeminata
Description
The ivory-marked beetle is a longhorned beetle whose larvae bore deep into the heartwood of a variety of deciduous trees, including oak, hickory, maple, cherry, ash, elm, and more. It can live for 40 years.
Media
image of Rhubarb Weevils mating
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lixus concavus
Description
The rhubarb weevil has a dusty, bright yellow coating and feeds on rhubarb, dock, thistles, and other plants in the smartweed or buckwheat and sunflower families.
Media
image of Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle crawling on dead leaves
Species Types
Scientific Name
Subfamily Cicindelinae (about 100 species in North America)
Description
Dizzyingly fast runners and fliers, tiger beetles are remarkable, and often very colorful, insect predators.
Media
Swamp milkweed leaf beetle on a leaf it has chewed on.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Labidomera clivicollis
Description
The swamp milkweed leaf beetle is found on the various milkweeds it eats, often in grassy areas or on roadsides. The exact pattern of orange and black varies among individuals.
See Also
Media
Photo of a Yellow-Collared Scape Moth
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cisseps fulvicollis
Description
The yellow-collared scape moth is more often “orange-collared.” And whether you think it looks more like a firefly or a wasp, it’s still a moth!
Media
image of Plume Moth on blade of grass
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nearly 150 species in North America north of Mexico
Description
Slim, delicate plume moths are instantly recognizable by their T-shaped silhouette, long legs, and muted shades of tan and brown. It can be hard to separate the various species.
Media
Photo of an Isabella Tiger Moth
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pyrrharctia isabella
Description
Not many people know the adult Isabella tiger moth when they see one, but we’re all acquainted with its caterpillar, the woolly worm, or woolly bear.

About Land Invertebrates in Missouri

Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.