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Here are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to insects in the Living World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Investigate insects found in New Zealand to answer questions about classification, conservation and biosecurity.

Native insects

The islands that make up this country are home to a vast number of species found nowhere else in the world. Learn about some of our native insects.

New Zealand's unique ecosystems – Introductory article with links to media, articles and activities.

Glow-worms – Article

Cave wētā – Article

Wētā – Article

Building homes for tree wētā – Activity

Redesigning wētā houses – Article

Vegetable caterpillar – Article

Fred the thread – Article

Our elusive native butterflies – Article

New Zealand native butterflies – Article

Monarch butterflies – Article

Middle Earth wasps – Article

Honeydew ecosystem (scale insects) – Article

Insects and forest ecosystems – Article

Honeydew: The Food of the Ngahere – Video

Constructing food webs (scale insects) – Activity

Insect mihi – Activity

Moth collecting – Activity

Identifying bugs – Activity

Rearing insects – Activity

Make a wanted poster – Activity

Honey bees

Honey bee are the most important pollinators of many cultivated food crops and other flowering plants.

Pollination – Introductory article with links to media, articles and activities

Pollination role-plays – Activity

Honey to heal – Introductory article with links to media, articles and activities

Bees – fun facts – Article

Bee-friendly insecticides – Article and audio

Honey bee heroes – Article

Honeybees and Mānuka trees – Article

People are doing heaps for kauri, kiwi and kākāpō but nothing for endemic butterfly species, yet insects are crucial to the ecosystem.

Jacqui Knight


Almost all of the butterflies in New Zealand are native and most are endemic. Compared to big, colourful species from other countries, our native butterflies are small and secretive.

Investigating butterflies – Introductory article with links to media, articles and activities

Difference between butterflies and moths – Article

Butterfly defense mechanisms – Article

New Zealand butterfly origins – Article

White butterflies – Article

Establishing butterfly transects – Activity

Tagging monarch butterflies for science  – Activity

White butterfly lifecycle  – Activity

Monarch butterfly lifecycle – Interactive

Butterflies (lower primary) – Unit plan

Butterflies (upper primary) – Unit plan

Innovative idea

Plant & Food Research and Etec Crop Solutions – Pheromone-based-Insecticide – Video

Where we’re controlling insects without the side effects that other control tactics seem to have is a very satisfying thing personally because it’s helping to green New Zealand even further.

Dr Max Suckling

Biosecurity and biocontrol

Insects are both an issue and a solution when it comes to protecting New Zealand's natural and primary production environments.

Introduced pests:

White butterflies – Article

German and common wasps – Article

Whangarei fruit fly find a worry – Article

Eradicating southern saltmarsh mosquitoes – Article

Biocontrol success stories:

Irish wasp to the rescue – Article

Weevils eat pesky buddleia weeds – Article

Related information

Dung beetle mania – Article

Dung beetles released on farms – Article

Hi tech drones copy nature’s design – Article

NZ’s fish-eating spider – Article

Poison comes in small packages – Article

Tree lobsters’ convergent evolution – Article

Deformed bee wing virus – Image

Gum leaf skeletoniser – Image

Wasp versus ant – Image

Useful link

Insects of New Zealand has a range of products that provide information and quality drawings of 50+ insect species.


    Published 2 July 2015, Updated 12 July 2016 Referencing Hub articles