Sunday, 11 March 2012


I'm fascinated by insects and love photographing, or at least attempting to photograph them. But it’s always a challenge, especially in Scotland.

First of all, you need to find the insect in the first place.  And being Scotland it is invariably windy and rainy which means that the insects are usually cowering under a leaf somewhere rather than preening themselves in full view on top a leaf in the sunshine.

Then, once you’ve actually managed to find one, you have to be able to stick your camera as close to it as possible whilst the leaf is blowing wildly in the wind and before the insect jumps, flies, burrows, scuttles or hides away - or before it simply takes fright and plays plain dead!

Please note that all photos were taken “au natural” and no insect was injured in the process. Unlike some photographers, I don’t feel the need to get the ideal shot by sticking a pin through them, beating bushes or setting traps to gather them, or as I’ve seen suggested, sticking them in the fridge to make them more “docile” – tempting though it may be.

Here is a collection of the insects I have managed to snap with a short ditti of “interesting” information to go with each. Hopefully, this will help you to identify a Scottish insect.

I know that identifying a species for sure often can't be done without dissecting the poor beast. Some of my identifications will therefore be less than certain.  As a very amateur entomologist and an even more amateur photographer, all tips, corrections, thoughts and comments are very welcome and I will be happy to make any necessary changes.

I hope you enjoy this site!!

How To Blog Me

1. Click on the '[number] comments' prompt above the word 'Home' lower down this page.
2. Scroll up until you see a white box.
3. Type your comments/queries/observations into this box.
4. Click on the drop down arrow beside 'Select profile...'.
5. Select 'Anonymous' or log into the appropriate profile.
6. Click 'Publish' and come back soon to see my reply.

Newly Added Insects



A brief guide to identifying Scottish insects colloquially known as 'bugs'. Photographs of all the insects are included to aid identification of the various species and brief information has been included about the insects, their habitat, eating habits and distinctive features. Almost all Scottish insects also live in Britain but many British insects only live in England. This website is dedicated to Scottish insects only although it will be a useful guide to which will apply to most of the UK. Many people call insects bugs but bugs are in fact a subset of insects, which is why they are often referred to as true bugs.


  1. Brilliant site!
    Love it!
    Can you name a turquoise insect with yellow spots?
    Thank you!

    1. Many thanks for your nice comments about my site! I think the insect you are looking for is a Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris). It's a beautiful beetle, but unfortunately I haven't found one yet, so I don't have a picture of it on my site.

  2. HI, Can you help me identify a fly/wasp?

  3. Hi, Its flying into a small hole under window cill carrying part of a leaf, it deposits part of leaf into hole, then flys out to get more and continues this. What is it? It looks a little bit like wasp? But only one of them. I am in glasgow, is this typical of such thing in glasgow? Thanks.

  4. Many thanks for your post which has really made me think! Whilst there are some solitary digger wasps, these tend to nest in the ground and stock their nest with paralysed insects. So I think the insect you saw is more likely to be a leaf-cutter bee (which look quite wasp-like) as these are also solitary and cut semi-circles out of leaves which they take back to their nests for their larvae. Leaf-cutter bees can be found throughout the UK and often nest in holes in wood, so this would fit with your insect flying into a hole under a window sill.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of leaf-cutter bees, but you'll find plenty of examples if you Google it. Please let me know if you think this might be it!

  5. Hi, I have an enquiry about spiders. I just went to put some washing out and there is a little black one on my washing line and there is a cluster of little things moving around a small part of the line but they look like little caterpillars. They are minute Do you know if are they baby spiders, I don't want to kill a whole family of them if it is.

  6. Thanks for your post. Don't suppose you're able to send me a photo of the things you've found? I don't know very much about spiders, but I think baby spiders look like tiny spiders rather than caterpillars. The caterpillar-like things could be insect larvae of some sort. Hopefully they'll go elsewhere on their own and you'll not have to kill them, but you probably don't want them laying eggs on your clothes. Might best to dispose of the washing line if they're still there after a few days.

  7. Thanks for your reply. My washing was ok. Its a rotary dryer so kept washing away from it. I did try to take a photo on my phone but it wasn't clear. It is quite wet today but if they are still there, I will ask my husband to take a picture with his camera which has a good zoom on it and try and send it to you

  8. Thanks again - it is very difficult to get clear photos when the things are so tiny - but it's good fun trying! If the camera has a macro setting, it would worth trying that. If your husband manages to get a good shot, I'd love to see it.

  9. I was wondering if you could help IV been having problems with my drains and since then my house has been infected with these insects that are like midges they come in fly about and die

    1. Sorry to hear about your problem. I'm no expert on how to deal with this sort of thing - I suggest that you should seek professional help from the likes of Rentokil. If you want me to try to help to identify these insects

  10. please send me a photo. Thanks and good luck.

  11. hya could you possibly give me an email contact addy, as i would like your advice.

    sincere thanks in advance
    my email is

  12. I tried to email you, but I got a failure message I'm afraid. Is this email address the right one? Many thanks.

  13. Hi
    Lovely site & pics, full of general info - well done insectsofscotland! I am a ML teacher working on a "Creepy-Crawlies Project" for very young Primary School kids ( P1-2 ) trying to teach them the names of various insects in French etc ... This is fun for me as well, and I would like to request your permission to use some of your images ( of lacewings in particular. )
    If I can, I will be more than happy to credit/ recommend your Website for the pics, as I believe it is fun and of educational value.
    Thanks in advance, and keep enjoying your entomological studies!

  14. Thank you very much for your very kind comments. I am happy for you to use any of my images. Thank you also for offering to credit my Website and I would appreciate it if you were to do that . Hope you and the kids have lots of fun - I wouldn't have a clue what any of the names are in French - they must be clever kids!