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Insect Index

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A Dragon-fly, Two Moths, a Spider and Some Beetles, With Wild Strawberries by Jan Van Kessel

"Their angular limbs, their jerky movements, their dry, metallic noises, all suggest either machines that have come to life or life degenerating into mechanism."
C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

The index for all six-legged, two-antennaed, two compound-eyed note  things that make up the largest class in the arthropod phylumnote  and the largest taxonomic group in all the animal kingdomnote .

A very common colloquial term for insects in general is "bugs", whereas actual bugs are insects in the order Hemiptera.

Tropes that pertain to insects, insect-themed characters, and things often associated with insects go here.

Sub-index of Invertebrate Index.

See Arachnid Tropes for tropes pertaining to another class in the arthropod phylum.


  • Ants:
    • Amicable Ants: Ants depicted as heroic or friendly.
    • Ant Assault: Ants depicted as dangerous or troublesome.
    • Ant War: War between social insects, often ants.
    • Strong Ants: Ants are so strong, they can carry away pretty much everything.
  • Antlion Monster: A monster that waits for its prey at the bottom of a pit.
  • Bees: Factual information about real-life bees.
    • Bee Afraid: Bees depicted as scary, dangerous or antagonistic.
    • Bee-Bee Gun: A gun that shoots bees.
    • Bee People: Fantastic races with a eusocial hive-like society similar to real-life bees and ants.
    • Hornet Hole: Beehive levels in video games
    • Scary Stinging Swarm: Chased by a swarm of angry, stinging insects.
    • Stock Beehive: A fictional beehive that looks like a mix between Real Life beehives and paper-covered wasp nests.
    • Virtuous Bees: Bees associated with community, hard work, and sacrifice.
  • Beetle Maniac: Characters who have a great curiosity and interest in beetles.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Giant insects.
  • Boys Like Creepy Critters: When boys adore things like insects, spiders, or lizards.
  • Bug Buzz: Insects that make a hideously annoying buzzing sound
  • Bug Catching: A pastime hobby involving catching and later releasing insects.
  • Bugs Herald Evil: Insects as a signal of a bigger evil.
  • Bug War: A war involving Insectoid Aliens.
  • Bug Works: An index of works focusing on insects and other bugs.
  • Cartoon Bug-Sprayer: An Old-fashioned canister bug sprayer with a hand pump still commonly used in animation.
  • Chirping Crickets: Cricket chirps are heard to emphasize the dead silence in response to a character telling a bad joke or saying something that would warrant shocked stares.
  • Cicadian Rhythm: When hearing cicadas means it's summer.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Cockroaches depicted as vile and unpleasant creatures.
  • Creepy-Crawly Torture: Using insects as a torture device.
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: Giant, vicious dragonflies.
  • Flea Episode: An episode centered on a character who has fleas and tries to get rid of them.
  • Flies:
    • Beelzebub: Famed demon prince and Lord of the Flies.
    • Flies Equals Evil: The arrival of flies, mosquitoes, wasps, or other creepy crawlies to indicate something horrible is about to happen.
    • Fly Crazy: Someone gets bothered by an insect and goes to desperate lengths to try and kill it.
    • Fly in the Soup: A recipient at a restaurant having a bowl of soup, only for them to call out to the waiter that there's a fly in their soup.
    • Messy Maggots: Something gross can be easily be pictured as even grosser if swarms of maggots are covering it, while characters that happen to be maggots themselves have this gross trait often magnetized towards them in their personality.
    • Super Fly Reflexes: Someone catches a fly or another tiny creature mid-flight to show off their amazing reflexes.
  • Four-Legged Insect: Species of animal portrayed with fewer legs than they have in real life.
  • Friend to Bugs: Somebody who likes insects.
  • Hive Caste System: Insectoid aliens or similar creatures using specialized castes of their own race for a war.
  • Humans Are Insects: Higher life forms see humans as insignificant and unintelligent vermin.
  • Insect Gender-Bender: When insects have abilities that conflict with their gender.
  • Insect Queen: An insect that is treated as royalty.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Aliens that look like bugs.
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers: Two characters based on the Japanese rhinoceros beetle and the stag beetle.
  • Lepidopterans:
  • Lice Episode: An episode features people getting lice.
  • Lighting Bug: Glowing bugs used as a light source.
  • Mantis Mating Meal: Female praying mantises eating their mates after mating.
  • Mechanical Insects: Bugs with mechanical aspects or machines designed after bugs.
  • Monstrous Mandibles: Adding arthropod-style mouthparts to something to make it look scary.
  • Mosquito Miscreants: Mosquitoes being portrayed as either evil or annoying.
  • Pest Controller: Someone with the ability to command pests to do their bidding.
  • Pupating Peril: Cocoons, chrysalises and pupae used to convey fear and looming danger.
  • Scarab Power: Scarab beetles associated with divinity, magic, or power in general.
  • Slaying Mantis: Praying mantises portrayed as badass and scary.
  • Somewhere, an Entomologist Is Crying: Factual inaccuracies about land-based arthropods (insects and arachnids) in a work of fiction, usually because they make the story work better.
  • Swallowed a Fly: When a fly or other small insect accidentally winds up in someone's mouth.
  • The Swarm: A scary, all-devouring horde of locusts or grasshoppers.
  • Synchronized Swarming: Swarms of living creatures moving in synchronization.
  • Termite Trouble: Termites portrayed as a terrifying invisible force that rapidly disintegrates wood.
  • Thunder Beetle: Beetles being used as symbols of thunder and lightning or given actual electrical powers.
  • Tough Beetles: Beetles portrayed as strong and heavily armored.
  • Wicked Wasps: Wasps portrayed as mean or evil.