The term 'bug' is often misused to represent all manner of insect (bug refers to an insect that can only use its mouthparts to bite or suck). With over 80,000 species categorically identified throughout the world, the term "bug" does not apply to insects as a whole.
Insects can be both harmful and helpful for humans for they pollinate plants or make honey and even keep pest populations under control while they can also infect individuals, destroy crops and kill livestock. The circle of life, therefore, becomes a complicated formula and one can agree that there is more going on than meets the eye. As such, insects represent a vital part of our active ecosystem which requires respect.
The InsectIdentification.org database currently features (424) insects, bugs and spiders commonly found throughout North America. While primarily centering on the United States, this listing also includes insects found in Canada as well as Mexico. Entries are listed below in alphabetical order.