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Sap beetles


These little insects are 1.5 to 12 mm long, with an oval but sometimes almost square or rectangular shape. The body is often somewhat flattened and shiny. Their colour varies from brown to black with irregular yellow-orange, yellowish or red marking.

Silverfish and firebrats


The silverfish and firebrats that we find indoors belong to two species that are similar in shape, but not in colour.

Common silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) are wingless and have a flattened, carrot-shaped body. They have two long antennae on the head and three tail-like appendages at the tip of the abdomen. These insects are covered with metallic grey scales that give them their silvery colour.

Firebrats (Thermobia domestica) can be distinguished by their brownish beige colouring and light and dark markings that give them a mottled appearance.



Cockroaches are insects with a flattened, oval and brown or black body. The head is almost fully covered by the pronotum (part of the thorax shaped like a shield) and has two long, very mobile antennae.

These insects usually have two pairs of wings and an abdomen with two more or less developed appendages, called cerci.

Green darners

Anax junius

These large dragonflies are 6.8 to 8.4 cm long with a wingspan of more than 9 cm. The thorax is green and the abdomen is bluish to dark brown. The extremely mobile head has short antennae, well-developed mouthparts and two huge compound eyes. The face is yellowish-green with a “bull’s eye” pattern on the forehead.

The four membranous wings are wide at the base. The abdomen is slender, flexible and cylindrical.



Dragonflies are divided into two groups: the suborder Anisoptera, which rest with their wings outspread, and the suborder Zygoptera, also called damselflies, which rest with their wings folded together over their backs.

Adults are often strikingly coloured with wings that feature distinctive banded patterns. The head has two large compound eyes and very short antennae. All dragonflies possess two pairs of membranous wings that are larger in suborder Anisoptera than in suborder Zygoptera. The abdomen is long and slender.

The aquatic odonate larva is equipped with unusual mouthparts that form a grasping hinged labium that can be rapidly extended to capture prey; at rest, it is folded away under the head.

Flies and mosquitoes


Most insects in the order Diptera are fairly easy to recognize, because of their characteristic shape. They have a single pair of membranous wings. The second pair is reduced to small knobbed structures called halters. A few dipterans have no wings at all. Insects in this order have large compound eyes, and their mouthparts are adapted for licking and sucking.

The larvae, also called maggots in some cases, look like small worms.

This huge group consists of about 100,000 species divided into two suborders, depending on the size of their antennae:


These insects have longer antennae. They generally look like mosquitoes, with long legs, slender bodies, a fairly fragile appearance and segmented antennae.


These dipterans have shorter antennae and are shaped like house flies, with stockier bodies and fewer antenna segments.

Modest sphinx moths

Pachysphinx modesta

These are large moths, with a wingspan of 9 to 14 cm. The forewings are marked with bands alternating between grey and brown. The hindwings are reddish, and bluish-grey at the base.

Mature female caterpillars can reach 9 cm. Male caterpillars are generally shorter (7.5 cm).

Hummingbird moths

Hemaris thysbe

These stocky moths have a wingspan of 3.8 to 5.5 cm and a relatively long proboscis. The narrow, pointed forewings are much larger than the hindwings. All four wings have patches free of scales, except on the veins. These transparent sections are surrounded by a border varying in colour from purplish-red to dark brown. The base of the wings and the front half of the body are olive green, as is the abdomen, which also has reddish bands.

Sphinx moths


These moths, with a wingspan of 3 to 20 cm, have stocky bodies and long, colourful aerodynamic wings. They have powerful muscles for flying and beat their wings very rapidly.

Several species have a long proboscis that they use to suck up nectar from flowers with deep corollas.

Some sphinx moths have no scales on part of their wings, and resemble large bumble bees.

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