25 June 2012
National Insect Week runs from 25 June to 1 July and aims to raise the profile of Great British insects.
There are plenty of resources on the National Insect Week website to help you find out more about our fascinating six-legged friends and plenty of events to get you up and close and personal with them.
Natural England’s glorious National Nature Reserves (NNRs) play host to all kinds of insects, but one of our favourites is the glow worm. The common glow worm is actually a beetle and its glow serves two purposes: it serves as a warning to predators that the insect is toxic and, in the brightly glowing female, it helps to attract a mate.
During National Insect Week you can come and see glow worms at events on Aston Rowant NNR (27 June), Barnack Hills and Holes NNR (30 June) and Shapwick Heath NNR (29 June). There’s also a chance to find out more about insects in the new eco-classroom at Saltfleetby-Theddlethrope NNR (1 July).
There are a huge number of species of insects – the order Coleoptera (beetles) contains more species than any other order (in fact they may account for almost 25% of all known life-forms). With so many insects, it’s not surprising that many of them are known only to scientists and lack common names.
If you’d like the chance to name some of these anonymous creatures, why not take a look at our Name a species competition? With the Guardian and Buglife, we’re looking to give common names to ten species, four of them insects. You can find out all about the species and how to enter.