Here are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to insects in the Living World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.
Investigate insects found in New Zealand to answer questions about life cycles, classification, conservation and biosecurity. Start by watching our webinar All about insects.
The Super Insects article has all of Countdown’s Super Insect teacher resources available as free downloadables – including an overview poster, 10 activity cards and a cross-curricular activity bonus.
- Native insects
- Life cycles
- Honey bees
- Innovative ideas
- Biosecurity and biocontrol
- More on insects
- Useful links
The islands that make up this country are home to a vast number of species found nowhere else in the world. Learn about some of our native insects.
What’s so special about insects? – article
Insect taxonomy – article
Aquatic insect life – article
Insects – physical characteristics – article
Label the insect – activity
Label the wētā – interactive
Label the cicada – interactive
The five most diverse insect orders – interactive
New Zealand aquatic insects – interactive
New Zealand's unique ecosystems – introductory article with links to media, articles and activities.
Glow-worms – article
Cave wētā – article
Wētā – article
Building homes for tree wētā – activity
Redesigning wētā houses – article
Vegetable caterpillar – article
Fred the thread – article
Science and literacy – using Fred the Thread – activity
Discovering new species – collection of resources based on Fred the Thread
Our elusive native butterflies – article
Middle Earth wasps – article
Insect antennae – article
Honeydew ecosystem (scale insects) – article
Insects and forest ecosystems – article
Constructing food webs (scale insects) – activity
Insect mihi – activity
Moth collecting – activity
Identifying bugs – activity
Rearing insects – activity
Make a wanted poster – activity
City of bugs – Connected article
Insect life cycles have many similarities and differences, making them an ideal way to learn about life processes.
New Zealand native butterflies – article
Monarch butterflies – article
White butterfly life cycle – activity
Monarch butterfly life cycle – interactive
Rearing moths to observe life cycles – activity
Vegetable caterpillar fungi – video
Parasitoid wasp life cycle – article
Honey bee are the most important pollinators of many cultivated food crops and other flowering plants. See our bees topic for more.
Pollination – introductory article with links to media, articles and activities
Pollination role-plays – activity
Honey to heal – introductory article with links to media, articles and activities
The Buzz of bees – article
Bees – fun facts – article
Bee-friendly insecticides – article
Honey bee heroes – article
Honeybees and Mānuka trees – article
People are doing heaps for kauri, kiwi and kākāpō but nothing for endemic butterfly species, yet insects are crucial to the ecosystem.Jacqui Knight
Almost all of the butterflies in New Zealand are native and most are endemic. Compared to big, colourful species from other countries, our native butterflies are small and secretive. See our butterflies and moths topic for more.
Investigating butterflies – introductory article with links to media, articles and activities
Butterfly defense mechanisms – article
New Zealand butterfly origins – article
White butterflies – article
Establishing butterfly transects – activity
Tagging monarch butterflies for science – activity
– unit plan
– unit plan
Ahi Pepe MothNet project – introductory article with links to media, articles and activities
New Zealand moths – article
Difference between butterflies and moths – article
Making moth identification guides – article
Our collection Kaitiakitanga and moths includes information and ideas about the pepe and pūrerehua of Aotearoa as well how children are learning about how to protect these amazing, secretive creatures.
Insects are used by science to inspire and solve a number of problems.
Where we’re controlling insects without the side effects that other control tactics seem to have is a very satisfying thing personally because it’s helping to green New Zealand even further.Dr Max Suckling
Insects are both an issue and a solution when it comes to protecting New Zealand's natural and primary production environments. For more, browse the range of resources under the biosecurity and biocontrol topics.
- White butterflies – article
- German and common wasps – article
- Whangarei fruit fly find a worry – article
- – article
- Fighting a little bee mite – article
Biocontrol success stories:
- Bioforce – breeding bugs for biocontrol – article
- Irish wasp to the rescue – article
- Weevils eat pesky buddleia weeds – article
Find out what insects are in your local environment with these activities:
- Pollinator counts – insects and flowers
- Yellow pan traps – monitoring flying insects
- Pitfall traps – monitoring ground-dwelling insects
- Heath moth traps for monitoring moths
- Establishing butterfly transects
- Tagging monarch butterflies for science
Global Earth Challenge is an international citizen science project that has a section on monitoring insect population changes.
New Zealand’s fish-eating spider – article
Tree lobsters’ convergent evolution – article
Deformed bee wing virus – image
Gum leaf skeletoniser – image
Wasp versus ant – image