20 Insects with Long Tails (A to Z List with Pictures)

Insects with Long Tails

Examples of insects with long tails include the American pelecinid wasp, Baetis bicaudatus, blue-winged olive, brown drakes, and earwigs.

Long-tailed insects are found in a variety of habitats all over the world. From the tropical rainforests of Central and South America to the deserts of Africa and Australia, these creatures have adapted to a wide range of environments.

While they come in many different shapes and sizes, all long-tailed insects share one common feature: a long, slim abdomen that tapers to a point at the end. This distinctive shape helps them to stand out from other types of insects, and it also serves an important function.

Examples of Insects with Long Tails

1. American Pelecinid Wasp

Scientific NamePelecinus polyturator
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeArgentina through Canada, in woodlands, grasslands, and gardens

The American pelecinid wasp is a large, black and white insect that can be found in wooded areas across the United States. It has a long, narrow body with a small head and thorax.

The abdomen is very long and slender, tapering to a point at the end. Females have a stinger at the end of their abdomen, while males do not.

The American pelecinid wasp is a solitary creature that preys on other insects, such as beetles and caterpillars.

Related Article: 31 Insects with Wings

2. Baetis Bicaudatus

Scientific NameA Mayfly
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangesouthwestern, northern Canada, the western United States, and Alaska

The long, slim abdomen of a long-tailed insect is an adaptation that helps the creature to move quickly and efficiently through the air. Their long tails act like a rudder, allowing them to change direction quickly and navigate their way through dense vegetation.

Related Article: 25 Insects with Long Legs

3. Blue-Winged Olive

Scientific NameBaetis
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The blue-winged olive is a type of mayfly that is found throughout North America. These insects are named for the olive-green color of their wings, which have a blue tint. Blue-winged olives are typically smaller than other mayflies, with an average body length of only 1/2 inch.

These insects hatch from eggs that are laid in rivers and streams. The larvae, or nymphs, live in the water for several months before emerging as adults. Blue-winged olives are active during the day, and they typically mate and lay eggs in the evening.

4. Brown Drakes

Scientific NameEphemera simulans
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangea variety of celebrated trout waters across North America

The Brown Drake is a mayfly that is found in rivers and streams all across North America. These insects are an important food source for fish, birds, and other animals. The adults only live for a few days, but during that time they mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which develop over the course of several months before emerging as adults.

Brown Drakes get their name from their brownish-colored bodies. These insects are about 1-2 inches long, with long, slender abdomens and two pairs of wings. The front pair of wings are larger than the back pair, and both sets of wings are covered in small hairs

5. Dark Dun

Scientific NameEuphyes vestris
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeNorth America

The dark dun is a species of long-tailed insect that is found in the deserts of Africa and Australia. These insects are black or dark brown in color, and they have a long, slim abdomen that tapers to a point at the end. The dark dun is a predatory insect, and it uses its long tail to help it balance while it stalks its prey.

6. Earwigs

Scientific NameDermaptera
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangeunder and inside leaves, in ground-level debris outdoors, stones, garden mulch, under loose tree bark, and cracks and crevices of trunks

These nocturnal insects get their name from an old wives’ tale that they crawl into people’s ears and bore into their brains. In reality, earwigs are harmless to humans, although they can be a nuisance if they invade your home.

They feed on a variety of plant and animal material, including other insects. Earwigs are found in most parts of the world and are especially common in Europe, where they are often considered to be pests.

7. Ecdyonurus Torrentis

Scientific NameEcdyonurus torrentis
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The long, slim abdomen of the ecdyonurus torrentis helps it to glide through the water with ease. This insect is found in fast-flowing streams and rivers in Europe, where it uses its long tail to help it navigate the currents.

8. Ephemera Vulgate

Scientific NameEphemera vulgata
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangethroughout most of Europe

The ephemera vulgate, or mayfly, is a type of long-tailed insect that is found in many parts of the world. These insects are particularly common in areas with large bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds.

Mayflies get their name from their short life spans; most only live for a day or two. During this time, they go through a complete metamorphosis, changing from an aquatic larva to a winged adult.

9. Flatheaded Mayfly

Scientific NameHeptageniidae
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangelarge, fast-flowing rivers where nymphs live among wood or other solid substrates over the sand in deep water

One of the most common long-tailed insects is the flathead mayfly. These delicate creatures are found near freshwater sources, such as ponds and streams. They get their name from their flat head, which is covered with short, bristly hairs.

Flathead mayflies are among the first insects to hatch in the spring, and they are an important food source for fish. The adults live for a few days, during which time they mate and lay eggs.

10. Giant Burrowing Mayfly

Scientific NameHexagenia limbata
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeNorth America and India

The giant burrowing mayfly is the largest member of the long-tailed insect family. Measuring up to 7 centimeters in length, this species is found in Australia and New Zealand.

As its name suggests, the giant burrowing mayfly spends most of its life underground, emerging only to mate. Females lay their eggs in water, after which the larvae hatch and sink to the bottom. There, they live for up to two years before pupating and emerging as adults.

11. Green Mayfly

Scientific NameEphemeroptera
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangethroughout North America and worldwide

The Green Mayfly is a type of long-tailed insect that is found in North America. These creatures are typically green in color, although they can also be brown or yellow. They have two pairs of wings, and their abdomens are long and thin.

12. Green Drakes

Scientific NameEphemera guttulata
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangethe Harriman State Park

The long abdomen of a long-tailed insect provides extra surface area for the absorption of oxygen. This is especially important for insects that live in areas with high temperatures and low levels of oxygen, such as deserts. The extra surface area also helps to keep the insect’s body cool by allowing evaporation to occur more readily.

13. March Brown Mayfly

Scientific NameRhithrogena germanica
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangethroughout North America and worldwide

The mayfly is a delicate-looking creature with a long, slender body and two pairs of wings. The front pair is larger than the back pair and helps the mayfly to fly. The mayfly’s long tail helps it to balance in the air as it flits about.

14. Megarhyssa Macrurus aka Giant Wood Wasp

Scientific NameMegarhyssa macrurus
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangeacross the eastern half of the United States, reaching into the extreme south of Canada near the Great Lakes

One of the largest long-tailed insects is the giant wood wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus). Native to North America, this species can reach lengths of up to 3.8 inches (9.7 cm), making it one of the largest wasps in the world!

Despite their fearsome appearance, giant wood wasps are actually harmless to humans. These gentle giants only use their powerful jaws to drill holes into tree trunks, where they lay their eggs.

15. Minnow Mayfly

Scientific NameBaetidae
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangesouth-central Utah

The mayfly is a small, delicate insect with a wingspan of less than 2.5 cm (1 inch). The body is divided into three main parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen. The head contains the eyes, antennae, and mouthparts.

The thorax is composed of three segments, each of which bears a pair of legs. The abdomen is long and slender, and it ends in a pair of tail-like structures called cerci.

16. Silverfish

Scientific NameLepisma saccharina
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangebasements, attics, kitchens, and bathrooms

One of the most common long-tailed insects is the silverfish. These small, silvery-grey creatures are found in homes all over the world. Silverfish are attracted to damp, dark places, such as basements and closets. They feed on a variety of things, including paper, glue, and even clothing.

17. Small Minnow Mayfly

Scientific NameBaetidae
Type of AnimalInsect
Rangefast-flowing rocky substrates in cold, clear, high-gradient streams

The small minnow mayfly is a type of long-tailed insect that is found in North America. It gets its name from the fact that it resembles a small fish, and it is often mistaken for one.

The small minnow mayfly is brown or olive in color and has two pairs of wings. It is a good swimmer and can often be found near streams and ponds.

18. Speckled Spinner

Scientific NameCallibaetis ferrugineus
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeWorldwide

The speckled spinner is a type of long-tailed insect that is found in the rainforests of Central and South America. This brightly colored creature has a long, thin abdomen that tapers to a point at the end.

19. Tisza Mayfly

Scientific NamePalingenia longicauda
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeHungary

The Tisza mayfly is a freshwater insect that is found in Central and Eastern Europe. It gets its name from the Tisza River, where it is commonly found. The Tisza mayfly is particularly notable for its long tail, which can be up to twice the length of its body.

20. Yellow Mayfly

Scientific NameHeptagenia sulphurea
Type of AnimalInsect
RangeNative from Europe

The yellow mayfly is a type of long-tailed insect that is found in North America. These insects are often seen near rivers and streams, where they lay their eggs in the water. The larvae of the yellow mayfly are important food for fish, and the adults are often used as bait by fishermen.

Conclusion

Insects with long tails can be found all over the world. While they may look different, they serve a common purpose: to help insects fly and balance. Some of these insects use their tails for balance, while others use them for steering.

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