Arizona Insects

Arizona’s insect population is booming and we’ve put together some great materials to help you enjoy these underappreciated little critters. Take a look at the videos below and get outside to learn all about the diverse insects in Arizona!  

Bug Night at Kartchner Caverns! 



Check out the video about a recent pipevine swallowtail butterfly release at the park! The pipevine swallowtail butterfly feeds on the poisonous pipevine plant as a caterpillar and as a result they are poisonous as adults. Birds and animals know this and usually choose something else for breakfast. Other butterfly species have adapted a form of mimicry so would-be predators think they’re poisonous too! So, there you go…even other butterflies think the pipevine swallowtail is cool because of their killer personality!


There are a few different species of crickets throughout Arizona. The most commonly seen species is probably lurking in the landscaping around your home and alerting you of its presence with a continuous chirping in the evenings. House crickets make this sound by rubbing their wings and legs together to attract a mate. They snack on flowers and leaves in the desert brush and are attracted to artificial light, which is why you tend to find them near your home!

Cave crickets are less likely to be keeping you up at night from your garden, and as the name implies, are usually found in underground spaces like wells, burrows, and even Kartchner Caverns State Park, where they become dinner for bats and other fauna inside the caves! Also called camel crickets, these are different from house crickets in one big way—they don’t have wings! Even so, they can jump several feet when disturbed. They’re not likely to act in self-defense despite a sword-like protuberance from females’ abdomens like a tail or stinger; it’s for laying eggs under the surface of the ground. Craft a cave cricket model using the video from Kartchner Caverns below!  

Keeping Bugs Away

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