• Question: Which is the most urban insect?

    Asked by WilliamW on 30 Jun 2020.
    • Photo: Anabel Martinez Lyons

      Anabel Martinez Lyons answered on 30 Jun 2020: last edited 30 Jun 2020 10:26 am

      Great question, William! The answer differs depending where in the world you go I think. For example, many countries in central and south America as well as central and southeast Asia have cockroaches as a typical insect in cities, whereas in the UK, we host a different set of common urban insects. These include several species of ladybirds, ants, beetles, fleas, moth, flies and spiders. I don’t really have one answer for the ‘most urban’ insect, as in the one that exists more so in urban habitats than natural habitats, but if you have some time have a look through this: http://www.bio-nica.info/biblioteca/Robinson2005UrbanInsects.pdf. It’s basically the official handbook of urban insects around the world, and has some great information about different urban species and how they thrive in urban landscapes.

    • Photo: Paul Eggleton

      Paul Eggleton answered on 2 Jul 2020:

      .I might also suggest the honey bee, as urban environments have given it lots of flowers to collect pollen and nectar from.

    • Photo: Jozsef Vuts

      Jozsef Vuts answered on 2 Jul 2020:

      I would say various species of cockroaches.

    • Photo: Vikki Rose

      Vikki Rose answered on 2 Jul 2020:

      Hi William,

      As Anabel says what insects you find depends on where about in the world you are. There are also different things that attract different insects for example cockroaches love eating up little bits of food and they are well adapted to surviving due to their ancient exoskeleton (basically like having your bones on the outside of your body). This is made of a substance called chitin. To try and get rid of cockroaches some people try and squash them but the exoskeleton protects the cockroach ensuring the bugs can survive and thrive! One of my favourites moths are also attracted to cities due to the high levels of light pollution, this sometimes is not very helpful for moth populations however as the moths spend so long going to the light they forget about important stuff like breeding and eating!

      Many thanks,


    • Photo: Victoria Burton

      Victoria Burton answered on 15 Jul 2020:

      Head or body lice perhaps!? They only live on humans and around 50% of the human population live in urban areas.