Insects (English Vocabulary)

ESL Vocabulary for Insects

The following page has learning games and example sentences using the following 17 words from the "insects" category:
Learning about insects is important for discussions about nature, biology, and environmental conservation.

Memory Game

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  • Your mission is to pair pictures with their correct titles in as few a clicks as possible.
  • Click on a card to turn it. Next, try to find its partner by clicking on a second card. (If you fail to find a match with your second click, both cards will turn again.)
  • This is a memory game as well as a vocabulary-learning game.
  • Click on your first card to start. Good luck!
Scoring System

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Example Sentences


worm icon

a long, legless invertebrate that typically lives in soil and plays a vital role in breaking down organic matter

Easy Examples

  • A worm is a long, wiggly creature with no legs.
  • Worms live in the soil and help the earth.
  • Worms are often used for fishing bait.

Harder Examples

  • Worms are often used as bait for fishing.
  • She observed earthworms burrowing into the damp earth after a rain shower.
  • Worm composting is an eco-friendly way to recycle kitchen waste.


ant icon

a small, social insect known for its strong sense of teamwork and complex colony structure

Easy Examples

  • An ant is a tiny insect that lives in colonies.
  • Ants work together to build nests and find food.
  • Ants are very strong for their size.

Harder Examples

  • Ants work together to gather food and build intricate underground nests.
  • They watched a line of ants carrying tiny crumbs back to their colony.
  • Ant colonies can contain thousands or even millions of individual ants.


bee icon

a flying insect known for its role in pollination and honey production by collecting nectar from flowers

Easy Examples

  • A bee is a flying insect that collects nectar from flowers.
  • Bees make honey from the nectar they gather.
  • Bees are important for pollinating plants.

Harder Examples

  • Bees are crucial to the pollination of many plants, including fruit trees.
  • She admired a field of colorful wildflowers buzzing with bees.
  • Beekeepers tend to hives to harvest honey and beeswax.


beetle icon

a diverse group of insects with a hard exoskeleton and front wings that often serve as protective covers

Easy Examples

  • A beetle is a small insect with a hard shell.
  • Beetles come in many colors and shapes.
  • Some beetles can fly, while others cannot.

Harder Examples

  • Beetles are found in various habitats and come in a wide range of sizes and colors.
  • He discovered a colorful beetle with intricate patterns on its back.
  • Beetles are known for their ability to adapt to different environments.


butterfly icon

a delicate flying insect with colorful wings, often associated with metamorphosis from a caterpillar

Easy Examples

  • A butterfly is a colorful insect with delicate wings.
  • Butterflies go through a transformation from caterpillars.
  • Butterflies are beautiful and often found in gardens.

Harder Examples

  • Butterflies are a symbol of transformation and beauty in many cultures.
  • She marveled at a garden filled with fluttering butterflies of all colors.
  • Butterfly migrations can cover thousands of miles.


caterpillar icon

the larval stage of butterflies and moths, typically with a soft, elongated body and distinct segments

Easy Examples

  • A caterpillar is a worm-like larva of a butterfly or moth.
  • Caterpillars eat leaves and grow before becoming butterflies.
  • Caterpillars can have different patterns and colors.

Harder Examples

  • Caterpillars feed on leaves and build silk cocoons before undergoing metamorphosis.
  • They found a caterpillar with vibrant stripes crawling on a plant.
  • Caterpillars are known for their rapid growth and appetite.


centipede icon

a many-legged arthropod with a segmented body, often found in damp or dark environments

Easy Examples

  • A centipede is a long insect with many legs.
  • Centipedes are fast movers and often live in dark places.
  • Centipedes are carnivorous and eat other small creatures.

Harder Examples

  • Centipedes are carnivorous and hunt small insects and invertebrates.
  • He spotted a fast-moving centipede darting across the forest floor.
  • Centipedes have numerous pairs of legs, each with a single claw.


cockroach icon

a common household insect known for its resilience and ability to adapt to various environments

Easy Examples

  • A cockroach is a flat, brown insect that can be a pest.
  • Cockroaches are known for being resilient and hard to kill.
  • Cockroaches are not liked in homes.

Harder Examples

  • Cockroaches are often considered pests in homes and commercial spaces.
  • She used traps to control a cockroach infestation in her kitchen.
  • Cockroaches can squeeze through small cracks and crevices.


dragonfly icon

a large, flying insect with transparent wings and a slender body, known for its agility in the air

Easy Examples

  • A dragonfly is a large insect with transparent wings.
  • Dragonflies are agile fliers and eat other insects.
  • Dragonflies are often seen near water sources.

Harder Examples

  • Dragonflies are skilled predators and feed on other flying insects.
  • They watched dragonflies hovering gracefully near a pond.
  • Dragonflies are often associated with wetland habitats.


fly icon

a common flying insect with a pair of wings and often a source of annoyance or disease transmission

Easy Examples

  • A fly is a small insect with wings that buzz.
  • Flies are attracted to food and can be annoying.
  • Flies can carry germs and disease.

Harder Examples

  • Flies are attracted to food and can carry disease-causing bacteria.
  • She shooed away a pesky fly buzzing around her picnic table.
  • Flies play a role in pollinating some plants and decomposing organic matter.


grasshopper icon

a jumping insect with strong hind legs, often found in grassy areas and known for its distinctive chirping sounds

Easy Examples

  • A grasshopper is a jumping insect with strong hind legs.
  • Grasshoppers make chirping sounds by rubbing their legs.
  • Grasshoppers are known for their jumping ability.

Harder Examples

  • Grasshoppers use their powerful hind legs to leap great distances.
  • He heard the cheerful chirping of grasshoppers in the meadow.
  • Grasshoppers are herbivores and feed on a variety of plants.


ladybug icon

a small, round beetle with bright colors and distinct spots, often considered a symbol of good luck

Easy Examples

  • A ladybug is a small, round insect with spots.
  • Ladybugs are often red or orange with black spots.
  • Ladybugs are considered lucky in many cultures.

Harder Examples

  • Ladybugs are beneficial insects that feed on aphids and other plant pests.
  • She gently released a ladybug onto her garden plants to help control pests.
  • Ladybugs are known by various names, including ladybirds and ladybird beetles.


mosquito icon

a small flying insect known for its itchy bites and its role in transmitting diseases like malaria and Zika virus

Easy Examples

  • A mosquito is a tiny flying insect that bites people and animals.
  • Mosquitoes can transmit diseases like malaria.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to blood and are a nuisance.

Harder Examples

  • Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, where they lay their eggs.
  • They applied mosquito repellent to avoid getting bitten during their camping trip.
  • Mosquito nets provide protection from these blood-feeding insects.


moth icon

a nocturnal flying insect with dull-colored wings, often attracted to light sources at night

Easy Examples

  • A moth is a night-flying insect with feathery antennas.
  • Moths are often attracted to light sources at night.
  • Some moths have patterns on their wings.

Harder Examples

  • Moths are known for their distinctive patterns and muted colors.
  • She discovered a beautiful moth resting on a flower petal.
  • Moths play an essential role in ecosystems as pollinators and prey for other animals.


slug icon

a soft-bodied, slow-moving gastropod mollusk without a shell or with a small internal shell

Easy Examples

  • A slug is a slow-moving, slimy creature with no shell.
  • Slugs are often found in gardens and eat plants.
  • Slugs leave a trail of slime behind them.

Harder Examples

  • Slugs are often considered garden pests because they feed on plants.
  • He set out beer traps to control slug populations in his garden.
  • Slugs move by secreting a slime trail, which allows them to glide smoothly.


snail icon

a slow-moving gastropod mollusk with a coiled shell, often found in gardens and damp environments

Easy Examples

  • A snail is a slow-moving creature with a spiral shell.
  • Snails retreat into their shells for protection.
  • Snails leave a slimy trail as they move.

Harder Examples

  • Snails use their coiled shells as protection from predators and harsh conditions.
  • She observed a snail crawling along a wet leaf after a rain shower.
  • Snails are capable of retracting into their shells for safety.


spider icon

an arachnid with eight legs and the ability to spin silk webs for catching prey and building shelters

Easy Examples

  • A spider is an eight-legged arachnid that spins webs.
  • Spiders catch insects in their webs for food.
  • Spiders are found in many different shapes and sizes.

Harder Examples

  • Spiders are skilled hunters that play a crucial role in controlling insect populations.
  • He carefully relocated a spider from the house to the garden.
  • Spider silk is known for its strength and elasticity.
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