33 Insects with Antennae (A to Z List with Pictures)

Insects with Antennae

Examples of insects with antennae include ants, aphids, bees, beetles, and booklice.

Insects can be found on every continent and come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. One common trait among insects is their possession of antennae. These thin, flexible appendages are used for sensory purposes, helping the insect to smell, taste, and feel its way around the world.

In some cases, the antennae also serve as a means of communication, allowing insects to signal their intentions to other members of their species. While they may not be the most glamorous creatures on the planet, insects are an essential part of the natural order.

Let us take a look at some insects with antennas and what they use them for.

Examples of Insects with Antennae

1. Ants

Scientific NameFormicidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

One of the most prolific and ubiquitous insects, ants are found on every continent except Antarctica. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but all ants have a pair of antennae protruding from their head.

The primary function of an ant’s antennae is to help it navigate its environment. The antennae are covered with sensory receptors that allow the ant to detect changes in its surroundings.

This information is then relayed to the ant’s brain, which processes it and helps the ant to make decisions about where to go and what to do.

Related Article: 13 Insects that Look Like Leaves

2. Aphids

Scientific NameAphidoidea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These small, plant-sucking insects have antennas that help them to find food sources. The antennae are also used to detect the presence of predators, allowing the aphids to take evasive action when necessary.

3. Bees

Scientific NameAnthophila
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The antennae of bees are important for helping them navigate their way around the world. The bees use their antennae to pick up on various smells, tastes, and textures. This information is then used to help the bee find its way to the flowers it needs to pollinate.

4. Beetles

Scientific NameColeoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The majority of beetle species have two pairs of wings, the front pair being hard and protective while the back pair is membranous and used for flying. Beetle antennae are long and thin, often with a club-like structure at the end. These appendages are used to help the beetle smell its food and detect potential mates.

5. Booklice

Scientific NamePsocoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These tiny insects are often found in damp places such as bookshelves and basements. They use their long antennae to help them find food, which consists primarily of mold and mildew.

6. Butterflies

Scientific NameRhopalocera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The antennae of butterflies are often brightly colored and quite noticeable. These appendages are important for balance, as well as for helping the butterfly to locate mates. The antennal tips of male butterflies also contain special structures that release pheromones, chemicals used in insect communication.

7. Caddisflies

Scientific NameTrichoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These delicate-looking insects are actually quite tough. The adults have segmented bodies and long, thin antennae. They use these antennae to sense their surroundings and to find mates.

8. Cicadas

Scientific NameCicadoidea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Cicadas are a type of insect that is well-known for their loud, droning song. Male cicadas use their antennas to produce this sound, which they do by rubbing them together. The noise is used to attract mates and ward off potential predators.

9. Cockroaches

Scientific NameBlattodea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Cockroaches are one of the most commonly recognized insects, and they are also one of the oldest. These pests have been around for over 280 million years and can be found in almost every corner of the globe. Cockroaches are typically nocturnal creatures and use their long, thin antennae to help them navigate in the dark.

10. Common Flies

Scientific NameMuscidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Flies are perhaps the most well-known insects with antennas. The antennae of a fly are used to detect movement, helping the fly to avoid predators and locate potential mates. The antennae also play a role in balance, allowing the fly to keep its body steady as it moves.

11. Crickets

Scientific NameGrylloidea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The antennae of crickets are long and thin, and they use them to help them find their way around in the dark. The insects are also able to use their antennae to communicate with one another.

12. Damselflies

Scientific NameZygoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These delicate creatures can be found near ponds and streams. They use their long, thin antennae to help them detect the subtle movements of prey.

13. Dragonflies

Scientific NameAnisoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These flying insects are easily recognized by their long, slender bodies and large, transparent wings. Dragonflies use their antennae to detect the movements of their prey, swooping in for the kill when an opportunity arises.

14. Earwigs

Scientific NameDermaptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These small, dark-colored insects get their name from the fact that their hind wings are shaped like human ears. Their antennas are long and thin, and they use them to help locate food as well as mates.

15. Fleas

Scientific NameSiphonaptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These small, wingless insects are well-known for their ability to jump great distances. They use their long hind legs to propel themselves through the air, while their antennae help them to orient themselves and land safely.

16. Grasshoppers

Scientific NameCaelifera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Grasshoppers are perhaps the most well-known insects with antennas. These creatures use their long, thin antennae to detect sound waves, helping them to avoid predators and locate mates.

17. Ladybugs

Scientific NameCoccinellidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Ladybugs are one of the most recognizable insects, thanks in part to their brightly colored shells. These beneficial creatures help to control populations of destructive pests, such as aphids. Ladybugs use their antennae to detect the presence of prey.

18. Lice

Scientific NamePhthiraptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These tiny parasites are known for their ability to infest the scalps of humans and other mammals. While they feed on blood, they also use their antennae to help them move around their host’s body.

19. Locust

Scientific NameAcrididae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The locust is a winged insect that is closely related to the grasshopper. These insects are known for their voracious appetites and their ability to strip a field of crops in a matter of minutes. Locusts use their antennae to detect the presence of other members of their species. This allows them to swarm in huge numbers when conditions are right.

20. Mantids

Scientific NameMantodea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The mantid is a predatory insect that uses its long, thin antennae to help locate potential prey. The two antennal appendages are also used to sense the movements of nearby prey, enabling the mantid to strike with astonishing accuracy.

21. Mayflies

Scientific NameEphemeroptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Mayflies are a type of insect that is known for their short lifespan. The adult mayfly only lives for a few hours or days, and during that time, it does not eat. Instead, the mayfly mates and then dies.

The antennae of the mayfly are used to help it locate a mate. The mayfly will release pheromones into the air to attract other mayflies. Once it has found a mate, the mayfly will use its antennae to touch and caress its partner.

22. Mosquitoes

Scientific NameCulicidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These pesky insects are well-known for their role in transmitting diseases such as malaria and Zika. Mosquitoes have thin, elongated antennae that help them to locate their victims by detecting the carbon dioxide that they exhale.

23. Moths

Scientific NameLepidoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The antennae of moths are long and thin, with a slightly feathery appearance. These appendages are important for helping the moth to navigate at night when their vision is not as sharp. The antennae also play a role in detecting potential mates, as they are covered in special sensors that can pick up on pheromones.

24. Scarabs

Scientific NameScarabaeidae
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These ancient beetles were revered by the Egyptians and thought to be sacred. The sensorial role of their antennae is unknown, but they were likely used to help the beetle find its way around.

25. Scorpion Flies

Scientific NameMecoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Scorpion flies are found in temperate regions throughout the world. They get their name from their long, curved abdomen, which resembles that of a scorpion. Male scorpion flies have particularly large and showy antennae.

These appendages are used to impress potential mates and ward off competing males. Females also have antennae, but they are much shorter and less conspicuous.

26. Silverfish

Scientific NameLepisma saccharina
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These small, wingless insects are common household pests. They get their name from their silver-gray color and fish-like appearance. Silverfish are nocturnal creatures that feed on paper, clothing, and other organic materials. They have two long antennae that they use to navigate in the dark and locate food sources.

27. Snakeflies

Scientific NameRaphidioptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Snakeflies are a type of winged insect that can be found in wooded areas across the Northern Hemisphere. These creatures get their name from their long, snake-like necks. While most insects have two pairs of wings, snakeflies only have one.

The front pair of wings are hard and leathery, while the back pair is delicate and membranous. Both pairs of wings are used for flight. Snakeflies use their long antennae to sense their surroundings and locate prey.

28. Termites

Scientific NameIsoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These small, wingless insects are often considered pests due to their ability to cause considerable damage to wooden structures. Termites live in large colonies that can number in the millions. The members of a colony communicate with one another using pheromones, chemical signals that are picked up by the antennae.

29. Thrips

Scientific NameThysanoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

These tiny insects are just 1-2 mm in length and can be found in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and yellow. Thrips feed on plant sap and are considered to be pests by farmers as they can cause extensive damage to crops. The antennae of thrips are long and thin, with up to 25 segments.

30. Ticks

Scientific NameIxodida
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Ticks are small, parasitic creatures that attach themselves to the skin of their host and feed on their blood. They have a pair of long, thin antennae that they use to sense the presence of a potential host. Once they have located a suitable target, they will insert their feeding tube into the skin and begin to draw blood.

31. Walking Sticks

Scientific NamePhasmatodea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Walking sticks are a type of insect that is found in wooded areas. They are noted for their long, thin bodies and antennae. The antennae of walking sticks are used to help the insect balance as it walks along branches and twigs.

32. Wasps

Scientific NameHymenoptera
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The antennae of wasps are long and thin, with a slightly curved shape. These appendages are used to detect smells, helping the wasp to locate food and identify potential mates. The antennae also play a role in communication, with different movements and positions being used to convey different messages.

33. Weevils

Scientific NameCurculionoidea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

Weevils are a type of beetle that are easily recognized by their long, curved snouts. These snouts are actually extended versions of the weevil’s antennae. Weevils use their antennae to burrow into plant matter in search of food.

Conclusion

Insects use their antennae for a variety of purposes, including navigation, communication, and finding mates. The antennae are covered with sensory receptors that allow the insect to detect changes in its surroundings. This information is then relayed to the insect’s brain, which processes it and helps the insect to make decisions about where to go and what to do.

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