Insects are part of the Animalia (animals) kingdom, Arthropoda (arthropods) phylum and Insecta (insects) class. Although you see a wide range of physical features across insects, they all share some traits in common. All insect species' bodies are divided into three areas -- abdomen, thorax and head. All insects have antennae and six legs. Spiders and ticks aren't insects. Wyoming is home to many types of insects; some are more harmless and even beneficial than others.
Butterflies and Moths
Wyoming's state insect is Sheridan's green hairstreak butterfly (Callophrys sheridanii). Butterflies and moths are part of the order Lepidoptera. Butterfly species in Wyoming include brush-footed butterflies (Nymphalidae), admirals and relatives (Limenitidinae), emperors (Apaturinae), longwings (Heliconiinae), milkweeds (Danainae), snouts (Libytheinae), true brushfoots (Nymphalinae), parnassians (Parnassiinae) and swallowtails (Papilioninae). Many people enjoy attracting butterflies to their yards and gardens by providing appropriate shelter and plants. Various moth species also live in Wyoming, including the Douglas-fir tussock moth and miller moth.
Although not as harmful as other insects can be, most people don't want wasps in their houses. These insects live in Wyoming and are not quite as assertive in their behavior as bees and yellowjackets. Wasps act as parasites to spiders, and do defend against certain harmful creatures.
There are two types of beetles that live in Wyoming, and although these are not harmful in smaller groups, they can wreak havoc when they show up in larger numbers. As its name implies, the carpet beetle eats natural materials like rugs and clothing, and its larvae looks like a millipede. The red flour beetle is very small, measuring less than 1/4 inch, and emits a foul scent when disturbed. This beetle is attracted to food containers and grains.
Best known as those pesky parasites on dogs, cats and humans, fleas are another type of insect residing in Wyoming. They can seriously affect pets' and humans' health and well-being, so it's best to eradicate a flea problem as soon as you notice it. Otherwise, fleas can be quite difficult to eliminate.
Termites live in certain geographic areas of Wyoming, and finding just one of them on your property means it's time to take action immediately to eliminate the colony. Not only can termites negatively affect people's health, they can also cause serious damage to buildings.
Saying "don't let the bedbugs bite" is wise in Wyoming, a state where this type of insect makes its home. Although it's not common to find bedbugs in Wyoming, it's still best to be on the lookout for them and work to eliminate them from your home and surroundings as soon as you spot even one of them.
- State Symbols USA: State Insects
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Insects
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Fleas
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Spider Wasp
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Carpet Beetles
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Red Flour Beetle
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Bedbugs
- University of Wyoming: Insects in the Home--Western Subterranean Termites
- BugGuide: Order Lepidoptera--Butterflies and Moths
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Judy Wilson has writing and editing expertise in health, technology, pets, business and travel. She has contributed to USAToday.com, SFGate.com and numerous other publications. Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed Mini Medical School.