Last Updated on Saturday, 08 May, 2021 06:57:19 AM

Fauna of Borneo  >  Insects of Borneo

This page contains pictures and information about insects that we found in Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island.
Insecta (Insects)

Tiger Mosquito
Asian Tiger Mosquito of Sabah


The order Neuroptera is relatively small, containing only about 4,000 known species. Most members are predaceous, and some species are highly beneficial to man. Neuroptera of the family Chrysopidae, for example, feed voraciously on such pests as mites, aphids, corn earworms, and thrips. Included in the Neuroptera are such com- mon insects as the ant lions, alderflies, Dobsonflies, and lacewings.
The Neuroptera vary considerably in size and appearance, but their structure is fairly consistent in most species. Their most distinguishing structural features are four large transparent or translucent wings, decorated with intricate patterns of veins and cross- veins. The name Neuroptera means "nerve- winged," and refers to these patterns of venation.
Often beautifully colored, the wings are of about equal size and are usually held over the neuropteran's body when the in- sect is not in flight. Neuroptera of the small family Coniopterygidae, sometimes called dusty wings, are unusual in that their wings do not display the intricate venation found in the rest of the order; as a result, they are difficult to identify.
Most adult neuropterans have mobile heads, chewing rather than sucking mouth- parts, well-developed mandibles, long multi- segmented antennae, and protruding eyes. In a few species the eyes are missing. The thorax varies in shape according to the species. The front legs are strong and used to grasp the insect's prey. The hind legs are often extremely long.
The Neuroptera undergo complete meta- morphosis. The larvae are elongated and somewhat flattened, and are found on the ground, in topsoil, and in trees. The larvae of ant lions and lacewings are equipped with long, sickle-shaped jaws. In these Neuroptera the mandibles and maxillae are grooved in such a way that when they are held together they form two long tubes. The larvae stab their prey with these tubes and then inject the captured animal with a toxic secretion. The tubes are then used to suck the body fluids of the conquered prey. In some species, the larvae are parasitic. Larvae of the family Mantispidae, for example, are found in the egg sacs of spiders.
The larvae of some species pupate in cells in the topsoil, but most weave silken co- coons. Unlike most other insects, neuropterans spin silk from material secreted by the excretory Malphighian tubes rather than from material produced by modified salivary glands. The Neuroptera spend most of their lives as larvae. The adults have a brief life span, and are usually seen at dusk or flying around lights during the night. The males emit odors in order to attract the females.
An exotic neuropteran is Necrophilus arenarius. Its larvae develop in the galleries of the pyramids, and find prey there.

Cricket (insect)

Crickets, family Gryllidae, are related to grasshoppers, and more closely related to katydids or bush crickets (family Tettigoniidae).
They have flattened bodies and long antennae.
There are about 900 species of crickets. They are often confused with grasshoppers because they have a similar body structure including jumping hind legs.
Crickets are harmless.

The Bees

A diverse and abundant insect group in Sabah.
There are five species of honeybees in Sabah, of which two are common among the local community.
Honey produced by the cultured honeybees and also the giant wild honeybees is very much sought after by the local people as health food. The brood is also claimed to be highly nutritious, and is often taken raw, or cooked in porridge or rice.
Honeybee breeding in Sabah is practiced by the Rungus community at northern Sabah and also the Kadazandusun community at the Kinabalu foothills. The giant wild honeybee often nests on the ‘mengaris’, the tallest tree species in Sabah.

A female Ceratosolen fusciceps, the fig wasp that pollinate Ficus racemosa fig tree species widely distributed from India to Australia.

Fig wasps are wasps of the superfamily Chalcidoidea which spend their larval stage inside figs.

There are two groups of Fig Wasps the Pollinators and Non-pollinators:
1- Pollinators in the  family Agaonidae,
2- Non-pollinators belong to several families within the superfamily Chalcidoidea,

Pollinating fig wasps are gall-makers (膽囊製造者), the remaining types either make their own galls or usurp 侵佔 the galls of other fig wasps

Most wasps have two pairs of wings--one pair of larger front wings and one pair of smaller hind wings.

Most female wasps have a stinger that contains venom. As opposed to bees, most wasps do not have much hair on their bodies.






Calliphoridae  Family
Calliphoridae Family


Tephritidae Family
Tephritidae Family


Syrphidae Family
Syrphidae Family


Phoridae Family
Phoridae Family



Soldier Fly
Soldier Fly

Beetles are second to butterflies and moths in terms of popularity. However, beetles constitute the largest and most diverse order of insects. The body is usually armoured with its hard forewings and some are often brilliantly coloured. The largest in Sabah, a giant longhorned beetle can grow up to 100 mm. Many of the larger beetles are attracted to light and thus can be easily spotted at various nature resorts in Sabah, such as Kinabalu Park, Poring Hot Springs and Danum Valley. Among the common ones are the three-horned beetles, stag beetles and also the long-horned beetles.
The bees, wasps and ants are yet another diverse and abundant insect group in Sabah.
You may say that ants are small and insignificant. So, there’s nothing special to observe. Perhaps it is true to a certain extent, to appreciate the beauty of this tiny living creature. However, tourists who walk in the rainforests would not have missed the giant forest ant (otherwise you wouldn’t have been into the Sabah rain forest!). It is one of the largest ant species in the world! During daytime, some worker ants can be observed foraging solitarily on the ground. It is actually a nocturnal species where thousands of them would march up to the forest canopy in search of food. The best time to observe this is at dusk, at the base of a fairly large dipterocarp tree in the forest such as at Danum Valley, Sepilok Forest Reserve or Poring Hot Springs.

Dobsonflies and Fishflies-Corydalidae
Brown Lace-wings-Hemerobiidae
Mantid Flies-Mantispidae
Common Lacewings-Chrysopidae
Ant Lions-Myrmeleontidae


Ichneumon sp BORNEO
Stephanidae sp BORNEO

An Stephanidae wasp (Crown Wasp) with red head, Borneo Island
Body length = 27mm
Ovipositor length = 32mm
Total body length = 59mm

The intimidating female Stephanidae Wasp has a tremendously long ovipositor for egg-laying, not for stinging.



Family Corinnidae Medmassa insignis 婆羅洲島中塊蛛
Spider species of Borneo

Animal in Sabah including wildlife

Identification Guide to common Red Dragonfly in Sabah
Common dragonflies in Borneo Island

(Information of Dragonflies of Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan)

Damselflies in Borneo


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Insects of Borneo