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Ask Dr. Universe: What is the smallest insect on Earth?

Dr-Universe-230PULLMAN, Wash. – When I saw your question, I set out to explore with my bug net and a magnifying glass. I was searching all around for tiny insects when I ran into my friend Laura Lavine, a Washington State University scientist who studies bugs.

She said there are nearly a million different kinds of insects on Earth. The smallest of all the known ones are called fairyflies.

Like all insects, fairyflies have six legs. And like most insects, they also have wings. Some swim under water and use their wings as paddles. Their wings are a bit hairy. It also turns out the fairyfly isn’t truly a fly.

Read all of this answer from Dr. Universe at


A service of Washington State University, Ask Dr. Universe answers some of the most interesting, tough and smart questions from curious kids all around the world.



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