List of Nighttime Feeding Insects

Written by misty barton
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List of Nighttime Feeding Insects
Moths are attracted to light because of a biological response called phototaxis. (moth image by Wong Siew Tung from

There are a number of different bugs which crowd around your back porch light when you turn it on at night. These bugs are nocturnal and are actively feeding during the night hours. In many cases nocturnal behaviours are a defence mechanism, allowing insects to feed on plants while avoiding their natural predators.

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June Bugs

The June bug is a common insect during the late spring and summer months. The beetle is most active and feeds primarily at night. Its diet consists of plant life, and it typically shows a preference for buds and flowers or garden vegetables. The June bug hatches from eggs which are buried the previous year deep in the earth. During its larval stage, the June bug is a large white grub commonly found when tilling the garden in the spring and is a favourite food of both birds and fish. To avoid becoming prey, grubs stay in the ground feeding on organic compost in the soil until they moult into their adult form. The adult is golden brown to black in colour and can reach a length of 2 inches with a set of functional wings protected by a hard shell. In some cultures, the June bug is considered a delicacy and is believed to have medicinal properties.


Moths make up 95 per cent of the Lepidoptera class of insects, which contains both moths and butterflies. These nocturnal insects use their mouth proboscis to feed on plant nectars, largely preferring flowers. Each moth has a body size that is, to a large extent, proportional to the size of its proboscis. The proboscis length is specific to the flowers that make up that moth's primary diet. When appropriate nectar flowers are not available, a moth may feed on decaying fruits, urine, dew, and tree sap. Moths experience a complete metamorphosis; they must go through an egg, larva, and chrysalis stage before reaching maturity.


There are more than 2500 types of mosquitoes in the world, 200 of which are found in the United States. All mosquitoes are members of the fly family with two wings and a scaled body. An active nocturnal insect, the mosquito primarily feeds on fruit nectars. Mosquitoes are a major problem for both animals and humans because they carry disease and can pose serious risks to health. Only the female mosquitoes, however, pose a health threat. The females alone have a proboscis that is capable of penetrating the skin. Males can be distinguished from females by their antenna, which are covered in hair and appear feathery.

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