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Press Release



High res images (with captions) available from the following link


The little things that run the world

National Insect Week 2016

20-26 June 2016



There are more than 24,000 species of insect in the UK, which is more than all the other animals, plants and fungi species added together. Insects are pollinators, predators, pests, parasites and prey, and their study is an essential part of food production, conservation, medicine and our understanding of life on Earth.

National Insect Week is taking place 20-26 June 2016 to promote the importance of insects in the UK and worldwide. Scores of organisations, hundreds of events, thousands of people and millions of insects will come together to celebrate insects during the week.

There will be over 500 events for all ages around the country, from bug hunts and bumblebee safaris to insect photography courses and art exhibitions. Each event will encourage people to discover some amazing insects and why they truly are the little things that run the world.

The week is coordinated by the Royal Entomological Society and supported by more than 60 partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects. You will find fun videos, articles and photographs on the interactive website, which gives visitors all the information they need to get involved and provides a place to learn more about some fascinating insects and the entomologists that study them.

Royal Entomological Society Director of Outreach and Development, Dr Luke Tilley said:  “Insects may be small, but they have a huge impact on the natural world. There are a wide range of activities offered during National Insect Week by local and national organisations which will enable children and adults alike to explore the wonderful world of insects for themselves.”

The week will be launched at ZSL London Zoo on Monday 20th June where guests will learn about the huge number of events taking place. There will be an exhibition in the BUGS exhibit, Insects in Depth by scientific artist Alan Shaw, featuring three-dimensional close-ups of some weird and wonderful insects. This unique display will be making its world public debut at ZSL London Zoo this National Insect Week and beyond. Visitors will be kitted out with special 3D glasses to get up close and personal with the little things that run the world. There will also be bug hunts for children at the launch, led by Jess French (BBC Minibeast Adventure with Jess)

The National Insect Week photography competition will be launched on Monday 20th June with categories for under and over 18’s. Previous competitions have attracted some stunning entries, which can be viewed in galleries on the National Insect Week website.

As part of National Insect Week 2016, the Royal Entomological Society has published INSTAR a new online magazine for young entomologists, age 7+.



Editors notes

High res images (with captions) available from the following link

All National Insect Week enquiries to Luke Tilley [email protected] or 07912180844

If you would like to attend the launch at ZSL London Zoo on Monday 20th June and talk to entomologists, see the exhibition and learn more about NIW contact Holly Bestley [email protected] or 0207 449 6288

National Insect Week

National insect week is a biennual event organised by the Royal Entomological Society to encourage people of all ages to learn more about insects. It is supported by a large number of partner organisations across the UK with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects. Over 500 events will be taking place nationwide, supported by online activities and learning resources. Find out more at Follow National Insect Week on Twitter at @insectweek or on Facebook at /nationalinsectweek

Royal Entomological Society

The Royal Entomological Society is one of the oldest entomological societies in the world. Many eminent scientists of the past, including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, have been fellows. The Society organises regular meetings for insect scientists, as well as hosting international symposia and events for the public. It publishes journals and books as well as identification guides. It has fellows and members all over the world. The aim of the Society is “the improvement and diffusion of entomological science”.

 Did You Know?

•             Approximately 1.5 million insect species have been described and named worldwide and there are more than 24,000 species in the UK alone, found in almost every habitat.

•             Earwigs intricately fold and tuck their hindwings under tiny forewings, inspiring the design of satellite solar panels.

•             It has been estimated that 10 quadrillion ants live on the planet at any given moment. That's about 1.4 million ants per human.

•             Dragonflies have been on earth for 300 million years.

•             Aphids (greenfly) give birth to live young and without the need of a male, producing clones. If their food was unlimited and there were no natural enemies, one female aphid could form a layer 149 km deep over the surface of the earth in one year.

•             Ladybirds can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime, a gardener’s best friend.

Quick links

The full events map –

Videos -

Learning resources -

Photography competition –

NIW partners –

INSTAR new magazine for young entomologists -  

Use of RES Images

Photographs or graphics distributed by the Royal Entomological Society (RES) to support this media release may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the persons in the image or facts mentioned in the media release or image caption. Reuse of the picture requires further permission from the RES ([email protected])


Did you know?

Most travelled

Painted Lady butterflies fly annually from North Africa to the UK, occasionally Monarch butterflies cross from America.

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