Bug microhabitats – what have your results revealed?

Which microhabitats are species most frequently found in?

We asked you to explore your local area for the microhabitats that bugs use for survival, food and shelter. You recorded what could be seen in three different environments:

    • soft ground surfaces such as soil, fallen leaves and short grass
    • human-made hard surfaces such as buildings, paving and plant pots
    • plants such as wild flowers, shrubs and trees

Scientists have investigated your findings and below are the results for two Species Quest bugs, the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and the Tree Bumblebee.

Which species has almost equal numbers across the three microhabitat groups?

Graph of Small Tortoiseshell and Tree Bumblebee microhabitats


Tree Bumblebees

These bees were found three times more often on hard surfaces than Small Tortoiseshells. This could be because this bumblebee species commonly nests above ground in roof cavities and bird boxes.

See how successfully using human environments affects their distribution in the UK on our bumblebee map.


Small Tortoiseshells

These butterflies were found over two and a half times more often on plants than on hard surfaces.

This could be because the butterfly commonly basks, creates territories, feeds, lays eggs and hibernates in vegetation. This demonstrates the importance of maintaining green spaces where we live.