20+ Common Names Of Insects In Tagalog For Nature Enthusiasts

There are different types and names of insects in Tagalog in the Philippines.

Imagine a world without insects, or mga insekto in Tagalog. No more honey bees to pollinate our crops, no more butterflies to brighten up our gardens, and no more ants to remind us to clean up our mess. It’s hard to fathom, right? 

As much as we may find insects pesky at times, they play an incredibly important role in our ecosystems. And in the Philippines they have a rich diversity of insects, each with its unique name in Tagalog

As someone who grew up fascinated by these little creatures, I’m excited to take you on a journey to explore the common names of insects in Tagalog and what they mean to Philippine culture and ecosystems.

Brief History Of Tagalog Insect Names

The history of Tagalog insect names goes way back, all the way to ancient times when Filipinos were already living alongside these little critters. 

And let me tell you, some of the names are seriously clever! One example is tutubi, which is Tagalog for dragonfly and was named after its resemblance to a horsefly. Another one is the cockroach, or ipis in Tagalog — named for its uncanny ability to survive in the dirtiest environments. Talk about resilience, am I right?

Also, some of the names were borrowed from other languages and neighboring countries, like the salagubang, which is Tagalog for beetle and comes from the Malay word salagombang. It’s amazing how these names have evolved and adapted to cultural influences over time. 

Studying the history of Tagalog insect names is not only fascinating, but it also gives us a glimpse into the diverse and rich cultural heritage of our language.

Names Of Insects In Tagalog In The Philippines

Now, let me introduce you to some of the most exciting and unique names of insects in Tagalog you might encounter in the country, along with some information about them. But if you want to learn more Tagalog other than the names of insects, try the Ling app. It’s a fun and educational language app available on Google Play and the App Store.

Termites or anay in Tagalog

Anay (Termite)

Pronunciation: Ah-nay

Termites, also known as anay, can cause significant damage to homes and other wooden structures. They have a caste system with different roles and often build mud tunnels to protect themselves.

Bubuyog (Bee)

Pronunciation: Bu-bu-yog

Bubuyog or bees play an essential role in pollination and producing honey. They live in colonies with a well-defined caste system and have furry bodies covered in tiny hairs.

Gagamba (Spider)

Pronunciation: Gah-gam-ba

Spiders are eight-legged beings that spin webs and immobilize their prey with venomous bites. They come in various shapes and sizes, and some species can change color to blend in with their surroundings. Although they are not technically insects, we thought we should include them in this list.

Ipis (Cockroach)

Pronunciation: Ih-pis

Cockroaches are typical household pests that can be difficult to get rid of. They have a flat, oval-shaped body and are often found in areas where food and moisture are present.

Mosquito or lamok in Tagalog.

Lamok (Mosquito)

Pronunciation: Lah-mok

Lamok or mosquitoes are known for transmitting diseases and are attracted to humans by the carbon dioxide we exhale. They have slender bodies and long, thin legs.

Langaw (Housefly)

Pronunciation: Lah-ngaw

Flies are attracted to food and other organic matter and have large compound eyes that help them avoid predators. They have a buzzing sound and are often found in rooms of Filipino houses and other indoor and outdoor spaces.

Langgam (Ant)

Pronunciation: Lang-gam

Ants or langgam in Tagalog are social insects that work together to forage for food and protect their colony. They have narrow waists and communicate through pheromones.

Paru-Paro (Butterfly)

Pronunciation: Pah-ru -pah-ro

Butterflies play an important role in pollination and have long, thin bodies and large, delicate wings. They undergo a complete metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly.

Cricket or Kuliglig in Tagalog.

Kuliglig (Cricket)

Pronunciation: Kuh-lig-lig

Crickets are small, jumping insects that produce a distinctive chirping sound. They have long, thin bodies and powerful hind legs that allow them to jump up to several times their body length.

Tipaklong (Grasshopper)

Pronunciation: Tih-pahk-long

Grasshoppers are jumping insects that eat large quantities of vegetation, which makes them an important food source for many animals. They have long, slender bodies and large hind legs and can jump up to 20 times their body length.

Salagubang (Beetle)

Pronunciation: Sah-lah-gu-bang

Beetles have a hard exoskeleton that protects them from predators. They play an essential role in pollination and pest control and have a pair of wings covered by a protective shell.

Samba-Samba (Praying Mantis)

Pronunciation: Sahm-ba sahm-bah

Praying mantises are predatory insects with long, powerful front legs used to capture and hold their prey. They also have a unique mating behavior, with the female often consuming the male after mating.

A surot or bed bug is a blood-sucking parasite that typically attacks while you sleep.

Surot (Bed Bug)

Pronunciation: Sooh-rot

Bed bugs are tiny, annoying, parasitic insects that feed on human and animal blood. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies and are often found in Filipino homes and cheap hotels in the Philippines.

Diversity And Characteristics Of Insects In The Philippines

Did you know that the Philippines is home to over 21,000 known species of insects? Yup, you read that right – twenty-one thousand! 

And the best part? Many of these bugs can only be found in this part of the world, which makes this archipelago a treasure trove of creepy crawlies for insect enthusiasts and scientists alike.

Some of the most common insects in the Philippines include beetles, butterflies, flies, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, cockroaches, termites, and mosquitoes. You name it, they got it – from the tiniest buzzing bee to the peskiest bloodsucking mosquito.

Despite their vast numbers and appearance differences, insects share a lot in common. They all have three body segments – the head, thorax, and abdomen – and six legs.

Most insects also have one or two pairs of wings and compound eyes that allow them to see in different directions at once. Plus, many insects go through a metamorphosis as they develop from egg to adult, transforming from one form to another.

Traditional Uses Of Insects In Philippine Culture

In the Philippines, insects have been an important part of the culture for a long time. They’ve been used for all sorts of things, from eating to treating illnesses and even in superstitions and beliefs. Let’s have a closer look at some of them:

Insects As Food

You may be surprised to know that Pinoys have been chowing down on insects for ages. Yes, that’s true! They use bugs like it’s no biggie in traditional Tagalog dishes passed down through generations. 

One pretty famous dish is kinilaw na Tamilok, which is made from a type of shipworm found in mangrove trees. The word kinilaw came from the Tagalog word hilaw, which means “raw.” But that doesn’t mean it’s totally raw — they soak it in a bowl of vinegar first and let the acid cook it.

Then there’s adobong salagubang, a beetle cooked in vinegar and soy sauce that Filipino people from Nueva Ecija love. 

And how about kamaru? It’s fried mole crickets and a must-try for those who like their food to have a bit of a crunch.

But it’s not just about satisfying a craving for a crunchy snack! Crickets and grasshoppers are insects rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, they’re known to have more protein per gram than beef or chicken. Interesting right?

Insects As Traditional Medicine

Moving on, in the Philippines, insects have been used to treat various health problems for centuries. 

For example, the Agusan Manobo tribe from Agusan del Sur province uses different parts of plants and insects to treat ailments like animal (snake) and insect bites, skin infections, and even tuberculosis.

Entomotherapy, the practice of using insects for medical purposes, has its roots in traditional medicine. It’s believed that compounds found in certain insects can have therapeutic effects, like reducing inflammation or relieving pain.

Insects are also used as amulets in the Philippines.

Superstitions And Beliefs

Finally, let’s talk about superstitions and beliefs. In Philippine culture, insects are often associated with luck or omens. 

For instance, if you see a praying mantis, it’s considered a sign of good fortune. The praying mantis is like a symbol of balance, patience, and focus. 

But beware, killing a cricket is believed to bring bad luck. Crickets are associated with abundance, prosperity, and good luck. So if you accidentally squash one, be sure to apologize to its spirit to avoid inviting any negative energy into your life.

And get this – some insects are even believed to have special powers. The anting-anting is a talisman made from the exoskeletons of beetles or the wings of butterflies. Wearing one is thought to give you special abilities or protection, depending on the type of insect used. Cool, right?

More Insects Names In Tagalog

In the word list below, you’ll find more names of insects in Tagalog with their pronunciations. We’ve got common ones like lice and interesting ones like gadflies. 

It’s a great way to learn more about the bugs around us. Here are some of them:


Now you know these common names of insects in Tagalog, you can name all the creepy crawlies you might come across in the Philippines! 

Whether you’re a bug enthusiast or just looking to impress your friends, knowing your langgam from your salagubang is always handy. 

Thanks for hanging out with us, and happy exploring! Remember to give those little critters some love, too; they play an essential role in our ecosystem.

FAQs About Insects In The Philippines

What is the most common bug in the Philippines?

One of the most common bugs in the Philippines is the ipis (cockroach). They’re found in all types of environments but thrive in warm, humid places with food sources. Other frequently seen insects include langgam (ants), lamok (mosquitoes), and gamu-gamo (moths).

What is the bug that smells bad in the Philippines?

One notoriously smelly bug in the Philippines is the Atangya or Rice Black Bug (RBB). These pests are a significant problem for rice farmers, producing an unpleasant odor and damaging crops.

Are there kissing bugs in the Philippines?

While kissing bugs, known for transmitting Chagas disease, are not endemic to the Philippines, there have been reports of the species Triatoma rubrofasciata being found in Quezon City. These insects typically live within human dwellings and are active at night.

Updated By: Jefbeck

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