8 Common Insects You Can Find in Nevada (2024)

Thousands of insect species live in Nevada!

Types of insects in Nevada

Trying to list them all would be impossible. So below, you will find the most common and abundant bugs that live in Nevada. I did my best to find an array of different types, such as bees, beetles, flies, mantises, ants, etc.

Also, this article ONLY lists INSECTS. Please check out these other ID guides if you are searching for something else:

8 Common Insects in Nevada:


#1. Common Green Bottle Fly

  • Lucilia sericata

Types of insects in Nevada

  • Adults have metallic blue-green or copper-green bodies.
  • They have black hair on their backs, black legs, and antennae. Transparent wings with light brown veins.
  • They’re slightly larger than houseflies.

The Common Green Bottle Fly is one of the most common and well-known insects in Nevada.

These bugs are not many people’s favorite, but they have some critical jobs in forensic, veterinary, and medical science! Their larvae or maggot stage can help scientists determine the time of death in investigations.

In their natural habitat, Green Bottle Flies are essential aids in decomposition, feeding on carrion and feces.

Surprisingly, they’re also pollinators. Some plants, like the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), have adapted to attract them with flowers that have the color of drying blood and an odor of rotting meat.

These flies are incredibly prolific. A single female fly may produce 2,000 to 3,000 eggs in her lifetime. They reproduce quickly, too, completing their lifecycle in just 2 to 3 weeks.


#2. European/Western Honey Bee

  • Apis mellifera

Types of insects in Nevada

  • They are primarily red or brown with black bands and orange-yellow rings on their abdomens.
  • They have hairy thoraxes and slightly hairy abdomens.

The Western Honey Bee is one of the most common insects in Nevada.

Unlike most bee species, Western Honey Bees form perennial colonies which survive for years. These colonies comprise about 30,000 to 80,000 bees, most of which are female, including the queen and worker bees.

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Defending the hive can cost these bees their lives. When a Western Honeybee stings, usually its barbed stinger becomes lodged in its target. The attached venom sac and musculature are pulled from the bee, resulting in the bee’s death.

Foraging is hard work! A single worker bee flies at about 15 miles per hour and usually visits 50 to 100 flowers in a single trip.

Despite all this effort, the average worker only produces about 1.5 teaspoons of honey in her lifetime.

This honey is tasty for humans but is also essential for the hive. Workers feed honey to the larvae and feed on it themselves during the winter in temperate climates.


#3. Monarch

  • Danaus plexippus

Types of insects in Nevada

  • Monarch butterflies have a wingspan of roughly 4 inches (10 cm).
  • Their recognizable coloring is a “stained glass” pattern of orange with black veins. White dots line the outside edge of the wings.
  • Caterpillars are plump, with black, white, and yellow bands and tentacles on each end of its body.

Monarchs are easily one of the most recognized insects in Nevada!

They are famous for their color pattern and migration. Look for Monarchs anywhere there is milkweed, which is the only food the caterpillars eat.

Most people are familiar with the declining population of Monarchs. Planting milkweed and other native flowering plants is the best way to help them.

Interestingly, Monarchs are toxic to most animals and at the very least, taste bad! This poison comes from the caterpillar’s diet, which is almost entirely made up of milkweed. Toxins from the milkweed plant stay in them, producing a bitter taste and poisonous effects.

During migration, usually in mid-September, you may even see groups of hundreds flying south!

YouTube video

#4. Seven-Spotted Ladybug

  • Coccinella septempunctata

Types of insects in Nevada

  • They have red bodies with six black spots and one big black mark on the middle of their wings (hence their name).
  • The head is black with two white dots.
  • They are also known as Seven-spotted Ladybird and C-7.

When you think of ladybugs, you probably picture something similar to the Seven-spotted Ladybug!

Almost everyone loves them because of the MASSIVE amounts of aphids they eat. This makes them very useful in controlling the pest population of aphids in grasslands and farms.

Surprisingly, this insect is NOT native to Nevada.

They were introduced here from Europe as a biological control against aphids. Interestingly, while they are thriving in North America, Seven-spotted Ladybugs are declining in their native ranges in Europe.

Check out this video of the Seven-spotted Ladybug, as it is an eating machine!

YouTube video

#5. Convergent Lady Beetle

  • Hippodamia convergens

Types of insects in Nevada

  • Oval, dark orange body with as many as 13 black spots that vary in size.
  • The head is black with two white spots.

This species is a common native insect in Nevada.

Convergent Lady Beetles live in a wide variety of habitats. Look for this pretty species in your yard or garden. Unfortunately, in certain areas, they are being outcompeted and replaced by the invasive Asian Ladybeetle.

Convergent Lady Beetle Range Map

convergent ladybug range map

Both adults and larvae feed on aphids, but adults also eat whiteflies, insects, pollen, and other plant materials.

During colder weather, Convergent Lady Beetles form large groups called aggregations. They do this to mate and stay warm during hibernation!

convergent ladybug aggregations

When these ladybugs are in their large groups, they are collected and sold in garden centers as a source of pest control. However, they usually fly away once the person purchases and releases them. Hopefully, they put a buyer-beware notice on the container! : )


#6. European Mantis

  • Mantis religiosa

European Mantis (Mantis religiosa)

  • Adults typically measure 1.7 to 3.5 inches (4.2 to 8.8 cm) long.
  • Adults may be shades of green, yellow, brown, or occasionally black.
  • They have triangular heads and distinct “bull’s eye” marks on their forearms.

These funny-looking insects are native to Europe but have established themselves in Nevada. They’re the classic “praying mantis” you are probably familiar with.

European Mantises rely on this excellent camouflage as part of their ambush hunting strategy. Their specially adapted, spiked forearms help them snatch any prey that happens by including other mantises.

YouTube video

Female mantises have earned a nasty reputation for eating their mates. Thankfully, for the males, this only happens about 30% of the time.

Males must try to approach females without being spotted. They use a “stop and go” tactic, as mantises are good at spotting movement but not stationary objects.

If a female spots an approaching male, she’ll eat him, starting with his head. Oddly, males can sometimes still mate headless. 🙂


#7. Pallid-winged Grasshopper

  • Trimerotropis pallidipennis

Pallid-winged Grasshopper (Trimerotropis pallidipennis)

  • Adults may grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long.
  • Adults are variable in color but are primarily gray or gray-brown with dark bands on their forewings and yellowish hind tibiae.
  • Their hind wings are long, narrow, and pale yellow with greenish or bluish at the base and a narrow dark band.

These drably colored grasshoppers typically live in deserts or dry areas with sparse vegetation and bare ground like roadsides, vacant lots, and fields. Their coloration helps them blend in with the ground.

Some of the Pallid-winged Grasshopper’s behavior in Nevada is dependent on temperature.

They tend to spend time foraging when temperatures are 75–90 °F (24–32 °C) and breed when they are 86–104 °F (30–40 °C).

Occasionally, Pallid-winged Grasshoppers will have localized population booms that can cause severe damage to vegetation and crops. These outbreaks may last a year or two.

Rainfall is a major factor in the survival of Pallid-winged Grasshopper eggs. The large outbreaks of these grasshoppers are associated with above-average rainfall levels in the previous fall, winter, and early spring.


#8. Yellow-faced Bumble Bee

  • Bombus vosnesenskii

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  • Adults have bright yellow faces, partially yellow thoraxes, and primarily black bodies with a yellow segment on their lower abdomen.
  • They have short, even hair that covers their entire bodies.
  • Female workers have pollen baskets on their back legs.

Yellow-faced Bumble Bees are one of the most common insects in Nevada.

Interestingly, they emerge earlier in the year than other bee species. Scientists believe this has given them a distinct advantage over other bees in urban areas like San Fransisco, where nest space and food are limited.

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These bees are also essential pollinators. Yellow-faced Bumblebees pollinate greenhouse tomatoes more efficiently than human workers. It’s thought that they time their visits better than humans, pollinating the flowers when they’re most receptive.

Researchers have found that tomatoes pollinated by Yellow-faced Bumble Bees are of higher quality, including fruit weight, height, minimum and maximum diameter, grade, and seed count.


Learn more about the bugs that live in Nevada:

Check out these ID guides that focus specifically on different insect families in Nevada.


Do you need additional help identifying insects in Nevada?

If so, check out this excellent ID guide!


Which of these insects have you seen in Nevada?

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