19 Insects with Six Legs (A to Z List with Pictures)

Insects with Six Legs

Examples of insects with six legs include ants, bed bugs, beetles, bumblebees, and butterflies.

One of the defining features of insects is their number of legs – most species have six. All insects have six legs. They make up a group of arthropods called the hexapods – meaning six legs.

Six legs give insects a wide base of support, allowing them to stand on even the smallest of surfaces. Additionally, six legs provide a large surface area for muscle attachment, giving insects greater strength and agility.

Their small size also means that six-legged insects can move quickly and efficiently through difficult terrain. Indeed, the insects’ seemingly simple design is a testament to their evolutionary success.

Let’s look at insects with six legs and what makes them different from other animals.

Examples of Insects with Six Legs

1. Ants

Scientific NameFormicidae
Type of AnimalInsect

Ants are one of the most common and successful groups of insects. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and can live in a wide range of habitats.

There are more than 12,000 species of ants, and they vary widely in size, color, and behavior. Some ant species are solitary, while others form large colonies with millions of individuals.

Ants are social creatures and live in colonies that can range in size from a few dozen individuals to millions. Each colony has a hierarchy, with a queen at the top and workers below. The workers are sterile females that care for the young, build the nest, and gather food.

Related Article: 33 Insects with Antennae

2. Bed Bugs

Scientific NameCimex lectularius
Type of AnimalInsect

These small, parasitic insects feed on the blood of humans and animals. Bed bugs are wingless and have six legs.

They are reddish-brown in color and range from 5 to 7 mm in length. Bed bugs are skilled at hiding and can be difficult to eliminate once they’ve infested an area.

Related Article: 14 Insects with Lots of Legs

3. Beetles

Scientific NameColeoptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Beetles are a type of insect that have six legs. They are often considered to be pests, as they can damage crops or spread diseases. However, there are many different types of beetles, and some are actually beneficial to humans.

For example, the ladybug is a type of beetle that eats aphids, which are harmful to plants.

Related Article: 34 Poisonous Bugs

4. Bumblebee

Scientific NameBombus
Type of AnimalInsect

Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the western honey bee, for producing honey.

Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea and are presently considered a clade, called Anthophila. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are undescribed and the actual number is probably higher.

They occur on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants

Related Article: 25 Insects that Are Attracted to Light

5. Butterflies

Scientific NameRhopalocera
Type of AnimalInsect

Butterflies are insects with six legs. They have two pairs of wings that are covered in tiny scales. Butterflies use their wings to fly long distances and to mate.

Related Article: 25 Insects with Complete Metamorphosis

6. Cockroaches

Scientific NameBlattodea
Type of AnimalInsect

Cockroaches are one of the most commonly known insects with six legs. They are also one of the oldest, dating back over 280 million years.

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that spend the day in dark, hidden places. At night, they come out to forage for food. Cockroaches are omnivorous, meaning they will eat just about anything.

Cockroaches are also extremely resilient creatures. They can withstand high levels of radiation and even survive without food for up to a month.

Cockroaches are one of the most successful insects on the planet due to their adaptability and resilience.

Related Article: 30 Insects that Are Decomposers

7. Crickets

Scientific NameGrylloidea
Type of AnimalInsect

Crickets are a type of six-legged insect that is closely related to grasshoppers. They are typically brown or black in color, and have long antennae.

Crickets are known for their “singing” behavior, which is produced by rubbing their legs together. This produces a chirping sound that is used to attract mates and ward off predators.

Crickets are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts. They typically feed on plants, but some species are known to be cannibalistic.

Related Article: 9 Insects that Walk on Water

8. Dragonflies

Scientific NameAnisoptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Dragonflies have six legs, but they also have two pairs of wings. This gives them a very stable flight, as well as the ability to hover and change direction quickly.

Their large eyes give them excellent vision, and they are able to see in all directions at once. Additionally, their long, thin bodies make them aerodynamic and allow them to fly swiftly and gracefully.

Dragonflies are predators, and they use their quick reflexes and sharp eyesight to hunt down other insects.

Related Article: Blue Dragonfly Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

9. Earwig

Scientific NameDermaptera
Type of AnimalInsect

One of the most distinctive features of the earwig is its pincers, or forceps, which are located at the end of its abdomen. These forceps are used for defense, as well as to capture prey.

While most earwigs are brown or black, some species are brightly colored. Earwigs range in size from less than 1/8 of an inch to over 1 inch in length.

Earwigs are found on every continent except Antarctica. They live in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and gardens.

While they are generally considered pests, earwigs are not harmful to humans. In fact, some species of earwigs are even considered beneficial, as they help to control populations of harmful insects.

10. Fleas

Scientific NameSiphonaptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Fleas are small, wingless insects that are adapted for jumping. They have powerful hind legs that are used to propel them through the air. Additionally, their bodies are covered in fine hairs that help them move rapidly and easily through fur or feathers.

What makes fleas different from other insects is their mouthparts. Fleas have a long, thin proboscis that they use to pierce the skin of their hosts and suck their blood. This specialized mouthpart allows them to feed on hosts without being detected.

11. Flies

Scientific NameDiptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Flies are one of the most familiar insects to us, and they are also one of the largest groups of insects. They are found in nearly every habitat on Earth and can be distinguished by their two pairs of wings.

Flies have a very short life cycle – the adult fly lives for only a few weeks. During this time, they mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch and the larvae (or maggots) feed on organic matter. After a few days, the larvae transform into pupae. The pupae then develop into adults, and the cycle begins anew.

12. Gnats

Scientific NameDiptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Gnats are one of the most annoying insects around, and they’re also one of the smallest. They’re so small, in fact, that they can often slip through screens and other barriers designed to keep them out.

Gnats are attracted to light, which is why you often see them near windows or flying around lamps. They’re also attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, which is why they sometimes seem to follow us around.

Gnats are mostly harmless, although their bites can be irritating. Some species of gnat can carry and transmit diseases, but these are rare in North America.

13. Grasshoppers

Scientific NameCaelifera
Type of AnimalInsect

Grasshoppers are one of the most well-known six-legged insects. They are characterized by their long hind legs, which they use for jumping.

Their diet consists mostly of plants, though they will also eat small insects and other animals.

While they are not considered pests, grasshoppers can cause damage to crops if their population gets too large.

14. Honey Bees

Scientific NameApis
Type of AnimalInsect

Honey bees have six legs, two pairs of wings, compound eyes, and antennae. They are covered in hair and have a distinctive yellow and black striped pattern.

Honey bees are important pollinators of crops and wildflowers. They collect nectar and pollen from plants to make honey.

Bees are social insects that live in colonies. A colony can have up to 60,000 bees.

Bees communicate with each other using a variety of methods, including dancing and pheromones.

15. Lice

Scientific NamePhthiraptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Lice are small, wingless insects that live in the hair of humans and other animals. They feed on blood and cause intense itching.

There are three types of lice: head lice, body lice, and pubic lice. Head lice are the most common type of louse, and they live in the hair on the head. Body lice live in clothing and lay their eggs in seams. Pubic lice live in pubic hair and can also be found in armpit hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes.

Lice are parasites that must feed on blood to survive. They cause intense itching and can lead to secondary infections if left untreated.

16. Mantids

Scientific NameMantodea
Type of AnimalInsect

Mantids are a type of six-legged insect that is easily recognizable by their long, slender bodies and large, compound eyes. Mantids are predators that use their powerful front legs to capture and kill their prey.

Mantids are not considered to be true bugs, as they do not have the characteristic sucking mouthparts that true bugs have.

17. Mosquitoes

Scientific NameCulicidae
Type of AnimalInsect

As we all know, mosquitoes are small, flying insects that can be a nuisance. They are also capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria.

What makes mosquitoes different from other insects is their long, thin legs. These legs allow them to walk on water and reach small crevices to feed on blood.

Mosquitoes also have wings that are covered in tiny scales. These scales give them lift and allow them to fly long distances.

18. Moths

Scientific NameLepidoptera
Type of AnimalInsect

Moths are a type of insect that have six legs. Moths are nocturnal creatures and are often attracted to light. They typically have a wingspan of 2 to 12 cm.

Moth larvae, or caterpillars, can be destructive to crops and clothing. Some species of moth are considered pests, while others are valued for their silk or as pollinators.

19. Stick Bugs

Scientific NamePhasmatodea
Type of AnimalInsect

These insects are called stick bugs or walking sticks. As their name suggests, they look like sticks.

Stick bugs use their long legs to help them blend in with their surroundings. Their bodies are narrow and elongated, allowing them to hide in small spaces. Stick bugs are excellent climbers and can even crawl upside down!

While most stick bugs are brown or green, some species are brightly colored. The pink and purple stick bug, for example, is found in Australia.


There are more than a million different species of insects with six legs. They can be found in every corner of the globe, from the coldest polar regions to the hottest deserts. Insects are an incredibly important part of the ecosystem and play a vital role in the food chain.

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