Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
American Lady butterfly on milkweed
American Lady on Milkweed

Insects & Arachnids

Find information about a variety of insects and arachnids—including ticks—found in Massachusetts.

A ladybug dangles on a bright green leaf.

© Ron Desrosiers


Both native and non-native species of ladybugs abound in New England. 

Western Conifer Seed Bug on tree needles
Western Conifer Seed Bugs © Dawn Dailey O'Brien, Cornell University, Bugwood.org

Western Conifer Seed Bugs

Residents of Massachusetts may see this large, brown home invader come fall. 

Winter Moth on tree bark
Winter Moth © Milan Zubrik, Forest Research Institute - Slovakia, Bugwood.org

Winter Moths

The Winter Moth is an invasive insect that can wreak havoc on our trees. 

Cicada on Sunflower
Cicada © Betty Anne Bevis


Nine species of cicadas have been documented from Massachusetts. The most common is the "Dog Day" Cicada.

Blue dragonfly on wood
Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly © Kim Nagy

Odonates (Dragonflies & Damselflies)

Dragonflies and damselflies that make up the order Odonata are the largest insects you’re likely to see in Massachusetts.

An ant is silhouetted as it crawls along a surface.

© Matthew DiRocco

Carpenter Ants

About 600 species of ants reside in the United States, but none is perhaps more infamous than the large black carpenter ant.

Asian Long-horned Beetle
Asian Long-horned Beetle via USDA

Asian Longhorned Beetles

Shiny black with bright white spots, the non-native Asian longhorned beetle feeds on a wide range of trees to the point of destruction.

Dog Tick on a leaf
Dog Tick


Get the facts about ticks—their appearance, life cycle, how to identify them, and what to do if you find one.

Butterfly on flower

Butterfly Atlas

The first systematic statewide butterfly atlas undertaken in North America focuses on butterfly status in the year 1990.

A Japanese Beetle crawls on a leaf.

© Shaylee Moreno

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetle grubs make up about 90% of the white grubs that live in Massachusetts lawns.

A Hummingbird Moth extends its proboscis into a cluster of white blossoms.

© Naoshige Uchida

Hummingbird Moth (Clearwing Moth)

Hummingbird Moths are members of the sphinx moth family, which have heavy bodies and long front wings.

carpenter bee on yellow flowers
Carpenter Bee © Simi Rabinowitz

Bees & Wasps

Bees and wasps can inspire fear. However, they are vitally important to nature and to our economy. 

three spongy moths laying eggs on tree bark
Spongy Moths © John Ghent/Bugwood.com

Spongy Moths

The Spongy Moth is a highly invasive, non-native moth that defoliates hundreds of acres of forests across the country.

tent caterpillars
Tent Caterpillars © Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org

Native Nuisance Moths

There are some native moth species that defoliate trees; the damage is typically aesthetic and not harmful.

Dark image with a flrefly lighting up a wet leaf


Fireflies are neither bugs nor flies; they are actually beetles that light up using a chemical reaction in their lower abdomen.

A Monarch butterfly rests amid goldenrod at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wachusett Meadow, Princeton, MA © Mathew Boisvert

Monarch Butterflies

Monarchs are well known for their vibrant orange wings with black veins and black borders with a white polka dot outline.