Insect of the Year – History
2023: The Map
The Map (Araschnia levana) surprises with its variable appearance: The spring generation has an orange base colouring with black markings, while the animals of the summer generation are predominantly black in colour and have a curved white band on the fore and hind wings.
2022: The Black-necked Snakefly
A strikingly long neck, crystal-clear wings and a size of six to 15 millimetres characterise all Snakeflies (Raphidioptera). These animals are the most species-poor order of insects; only about 250 Snakefly species are known worldwide.
2021: The Danish mayfly
The Danish mayfly (Ephemera danica) is widespread in Europe. What makes the mayfly unique is its life cycle: the larva, which lives in the water, develops over one to three years into a fully-fledged insect, whereas the latter dies after only a few days.
2020: Black-blue oil beetle
The black-blue oil beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus) is an interesting and very special species from an ecological point of view. Its larvae climb on flowers and wait there for certain wild bees to transport them to their nests.
2019: Red mason bee
Due to its nesting behaviour, the red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) is often found near human housing.
2018: Common scorpionfly
The common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) is frequently found in Central Europe. The most conspicuous feature of these animals is the elongation of the mouth parts in the adults.
2017: European mantis
This charismatic animal with the large compound eyes is listed as an endangered species in Germany.
2016: Allacma fusca
Its occurrence in large quantities is a sign of good soil health. It is representative of the insects which interact with the soil and thus shape and preserve the environment.
2015: Chalkhill blue
The Chalkhill blue (Polyommatus coridon) was chosen from a group of butterflies to represent animals characteristic of dry grasslands, a particularly sensitive type of biotope.
2014: Phasia aurigera
All flies are characterized by having only one pair of normally developed wings. The rear pair is modified into halteres, which give stability to their flight.
2013: Rhyacophila fasciata
The caddisfly Rhyacophila fasciata is widespread in the flowing waters of Europe.
2012: Lucanus cervus
The male stag beetle Lucanus cervus is unmistakeable due to its large mandibles.
2011: Formica exsecta
The ant Formica exsecta is a particularly endangered ant species.
Antlions are the larval stages of antlion lacewings. They build funnels with a diameter of 8 to 80 mm in the sand to catch ants and other insects.
2009: Black-and-red froghopper
The Black-and-red froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) is like all cicadas a plant sucker.
2008: Crepuscular burnet
The vernacular German name of the Crepuscular burnet (Zygaena carniolica) and a dozen other related species that look very similar is "Blood Droplet".
Like many other bugs, the Black-and-Red-bug (Lygaeus equestris) is a harmless plant sucker.
2006 : Seven-spot ladybird
The Seven-spot ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) is one of the most famous beetles.
2005: Red-tailed bumblebee
The Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) is one of the larger native bumblebee species.
2004: Marmalade hoverfly
The Marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) is one of the most common species of hoverfly and an effective aphid predator.
2003: European field cricket
The black coloured European field crickets (Gryllus campestris), up to two centimetres long, are mainly known for their summery chirr.
2002: Common brimstone
The Common brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) has typical pointed wings.
2001: Broad-bodied chaser
The Broad-bodied chaser (Libellula depressa) belongs to the dragonflies.
2000: Rose chafer
The Rose chafer (Cetonia aurata) is one of the most conspicuous native insects due to its copper-gold-green elytra.
1999: Common green lacewing
The adult Green lacewings (Chrysoperla carnea) have large, filigree wings folded up to form a roof and usually have shiny golden eyes. Their larvae are often called aphid lions because of their aggressive behaviour towards aphids.