How many insect species are there?

While insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, we don’t have a very accurate count on the number of species. There are over one million named species, but many scientists estimate the number of unnamed species to be as high as 30 million. Even considering only the million or so insects that we have formally classified, this number still represents over half of all known living organisms. When we consider the total possible number of insects (maybe more than 30 million), these would represent up to 90% of all known animals. Note: Wikipedia cites the most current estimates of unnamed insects to be between 6-10 million.

Some of the numbers of insects by species are:

  • Beetles, 360,000
  • Butterflies and Moths: 170,000
  • Flies: 120,000
  • Bees, wasps and ants: 110,000
  • True bugs: 82,000
  • Grasshoppers: 20,000
  • Dragonflies: 2,000