You see lots of different insects outside and inside, but only those near where you live. Around the world, there are more than 925,000 species of insects that scientists have identified. Still, this represents only 20 percent of all species believed to exist, says University of Wisconsin-Madison entomology professor David Hogg. That's a lot of bugs left to classify.
To start, you have to be sure you're looking at an insect. Members of the class Insecta have a distinct head, thorax and abdomen, three sets of legs and maybe one or two pairs of wings. Scientists measuring insect biodiversity actually collected bug splatter from cars in two different regions, sequenced the DNA samples and compared them against known databases. The combined samples represented more than 2,200 species [source: Calicchia]. Hogg says there may be up to 5 million total species.
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