Classify Insects Zoom in on True Bugs

Take the Name-a-Bug Challenge

•Study the bug's appearance
•Examine its scientific name
•Read about its characteristics
•Then, concoct the perfect common name for this bug, write a short explanation of your reasoning, and email it

Scientific Name: Phoenicocoris rostratus

• The white polka dots on this true bug’s head and wings are actually groups of hair.
• They’re usually found in wooded areas.
• They like to eat Pine trees.
• These true bugs are native to the Western U.S. and Canada.

(Photo © Schwartz & Stonedahl, 2004)

An insect’s name often holds clues to its anatomy, habitat, or behavior. All plants and animals have a scientific name and some also possess a common name.

While writing a professional paper, a scientist might identify a buzzing insect as Musca domestica. But if the scientist went to a restaurant and found this insect in her bowl of soup, she’d call it a “common housefly” and complain to the waiter.

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 Bug Name

 Why is this the perfect name for this bug?

First Name Only   Last Initial   Your Age


Getting Started
To help you think of a creative name for this bug, try these tips:

• Experiment with different languages: for example, “rouge” means red in French.
• Consider prefixes: “tri-” for three, or “mega-” extra large.
• Imagine the kind of job this insect might have if it were human.
• Read new bug names created by other students.