Insects and minibeasts

Image: Chorus Cicada or Kihikihi by Sid Mosdell on Flickr

We have selected these resources to support you when you need information on all aspects of insects and minibeasts in New Zealand and around the world. Included are links on insect conservation, insect hotels, lifecycles and Māori myths and legends on insects. SCIS 1525154

The Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation's exploring nature with children booklet - In your own backyard, includes information on mini beasts and guidelines for creating a weta motel.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Digital NZ

This site provides access to thousands of pictures, video, sounds and objects from New Zealand museums, libraries, galleries, archives and private institutions. To discover sets and items use the search term Insects – New Zealand

Suggested Level: primary, intermediate


This science learning hub site contains groups of related resources about earthworms including their role, habitat, adaptations, and also information on New Zealand earthworms.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Te Ara: Explore Insects and other Invertebrates

Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, is a trusted and reliable source of information on insects and minibeasts. Included is a link to Maori myths and legends about insects.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Help Buglife save the planet

Conservation is the key issue for this charitable trust link. Beside links on habitats of insects there are useful links on how insects help us and why we need to protect them.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Insects and spiders of New Zealand / Aotearoa

Explore this site in either Te Reo or English and learn about insects and spiders found in New Zealand/Aotearoa.

Suggested level: primary


To discover information on the school work site ManyAnswers use the search term insects.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Provides definitions of minibeast, an insect, an arachnid and explores groups of minibeasts, plus a game to build your own super bug.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

Rearing insects

With this activity, students write a guide for rearing moths based on a video of Dr Robert Hoare who rears moths from eggs and caterpillars in the laboratory. The Learning Science Hub also has an excellent interactive of the monarch butterfly life cycle, a student activity on the white butterfly life cycle.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate

What is this bug?

Landcare Research has an extensive link that children can use to identify and research insects, snails, worms and spiders etc. in New Zealand. The link includes lifecycles of these insects.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Encyclopaedia Britannica Online offers comprehensive information on various aspects of insects at junior and more advanced levels. School login (username and password) is required.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Have you thought about using fiction with your class to support your topic? The following are some suggestions for your students (and you!) to read and enjoy.

Old Huh-Hu, by Kyle Mewburn, 2009 (picture book)
The Very hungry caterpillar, by Eric Carle, 1969 (picture book)
Wings, by Raymond Huber, 2011 (junior fiction)


Cicada Life Cycle – Sir Attenborough’s Life in the Undergrowth. YouTube. 5.18

Killer Bees – National Geographic Channel. Youtube. 3.38.