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Tiger moths


This family includes small to medium-sized moths, often quite colourful. The most colourful species are called “tiger moths.” Other species resemble wasps and are known as “wasp moths.” Their caterpillars are usually very hairy and some, like the “woollybear,” are quite well known.

Black flies


Black flies are tiny, stocky flies from 1.4 to 6 mm long. Despite their name, their colour varies depending on the species. Their convex thorax gives them a characteristic humpbacked appearance. The six fairly short legs have white bands in certain species.

The females’ abdomens, which absorb blood meals, are particularly expandable. Their short, sharp mouthparts are adapted to cutting through skin and sucking up blood.



Mosquitoes are small insects with elongated bodies and a pair of V-shaped, forward pointing antennae. The males’ antennae are bushier than the females’.

These insects also have a characteristic long proboscis. Females have very sharp mouthparts for piercing the skin of vertebrates from which they suck blood. Males do not bite and their mouthparts are not as rigid.

Fruit flies

Drosophila melanogaster

These are small brownish-yellow insects about 3 to 4 mm long. Their compound eyes are bright red. They have two broad, oval wings and dark bands on their short abdomen. Males have a dark, rounded extremity, and females have a lighter, pointed one. Males are smaller than females.

Pharaoh ants

Monomorium pharaonis

These are very small ants, varying in colour from pale yellow to brown, with a darker abdomen. The petiole, the part that gives ants their slender waists, has two small nodes.

Adults in the colony belong to different castes. Workers are sterile females from 1.5 to 2.5 mm long. Queens, larger and darker, are from 3.5 to 5 mm. A single colony may have several queens. Males are about 2.8 mm long. Queens and adult males have wings when they emerge.

Carpenter ants

Camponotus spp.

Carpenter ants are black, tinged with red or brown depending on the species. Males are 9 to 10 mm long, with small heads and two pairs of wings. Females are either queens or workers. Future queens have wings.

The queen is usually much larger than the workers, with a well-developed abdomen.

Workers are from 6 to 13 mm long. Their appearance differs depending on their role: nurses, scouts, soldiers, etc.

Social wasps and hornets


Social wasps are insects with extremely narrow waists between the thorax and abdomen. Workers have a stinger at the tip of the abdomen.

There are two subfamilies of social wasps in Quebec. Vespinae, or hornets, are black with yellow or yellowish-white markings on the abdomen, head or thorax. Paper wasps, or Polistinae, are brown, with long legs.


Corydalus cornutus

Dobsonflies have a soft, brownish body. They can grow up to 7 cm long. Two pairs of large wings of nearly equal length with rounded tips are fixed to the insect’s thorax. They are transparent, with spots. On its head are a pair of compound eyes, as well as simple eyes, or ocellae.

Larder beetle

Dermestes lardarius

The dermestid beetle is a dark brown or black beetle whose elytra feature a wide stripe of smaller, lighter hairs that range from yellow to grey or white in colour. This stripe has six black dots in the centre (three on each elytra) that vary in size and shape. Its head has two short, club-shaped antennae. Two pairs of wings are attached to its thorax. Under its elytra are two functional wings which are used when the beetle takes flight. Males and females have similar appearances and measure between 6 and 9 mm.

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