Most of the animal species found in the rainforest are invertebrates, including insects, arachnids (such as spiders and scorpions), and worms.

Amazingly, about one quarter of all animal species that have been named and described by scientists are beetles. More than 500,000 kinds of beetles are known to exist, many of them from the world’s rainforests.

Rainforest invertebrates come in an incredible array of sizes, ranging from organisms that can sit on a pinhead to the goliath beetle of Africa, which can weigh nearly a quarter of a pound (110 grams). Some Bornean stick insects—which are experts in disguise—can attain a length of more than 20 inches (50cm).

Below you will find some photos of rainforest insects. Please note there is more extensive information about rainforest insects, including specific species, at the main rainforest site.

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Review questions

  • What are examples of invertebrates from the rainforest?
  • What is the largest group of insects?
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