Animal Crossing New Horizons: Complete Bug Catching Guide

Your complete guide to catching all of the bugs in ACNH, including the best way to catch bugs and where you can find each species of invertebrate.


In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there are three ongoing collection tasks that you’ll be continually working through as the seasons pass in the game.

There are 80 species of fish to catch around the year, and you’ll be tasked with digging up as many fossils as you can each day in an attempt to compile all 35 complete fossil specimens in the museum.


The third quest set by Blathers, much to their detest, is for you to collect every species of bug on the island.

Much like with the island’s native aquatic life, there are 80 different species of invertebrates for you to catch, with the species available to find being dependant on the time of year and time of day.

Here’s how to go about catching bugs and a complete list of all bugs in ACNH.

How to get a net in New Horizons

The net, or rather, the Flimsy Net, is one of the first items that you learn to craft in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

After completing the opening tutorial day on your new island, Tom Nook will allow you to use his workbench, teaching you how to craft a flimsy fishing rod and a flimsy net.

The recipe for a flimsy net is as simple as it gets: all you need is five tree branches.

It is also possible for you to buy a Flimsy Net and superior forms of bug-catching nets from the item shop, Nook’s Cranny, as the game progresses.

As you can see in the image above, a Flimsy Net costs 400 Bells, while the other example of net on sale here, the Star Net, costs 2500 Bells.

How to use a net in New Horizons

As is the case with all tools in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, using a net is as simple as pressing the A button.

However, there is a knack to using the net perfectly so that you don’t scare away or miss any bugs that you wish to catch.

When you see an invertebrate that you want to catch, you’ll first need to equip your net by either pressing Left or Right on the d-pad, via your inventory (X), or from the tool wheel (which you can unlock with Nook Miles).

With your net equipped, you’ll need to line-up the front face of your character’s body with the insect.

As your character pulls the net directly over their head in its swing, you need to be facing the bug while also in range.

Particularly with bugs like beetles, which fly off when startled, you’ll want to approach them slowly.

Fast movement will scare off some bugs, so be sure to walk slowly and turn slowly towards them before pressing A to cast your net.

Some bugs will require you to be very quick not just to catch them, but also to avoid being bitten or stung. For example, when you disturb a wasp nest, you can avoid getting a wasp sting by netting the wasps.

However, if you’re too slow, you’ll get an unsightly wasp sting that you’ll want to heal.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons invertebrates fishing list

Whenever you catch a bug in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and give it to Blathers for examination and to be displayed, you’ll learn all of the key details about the invertebrate (see above).

So, you can always go back into your NookPhone (ZL) and consult the Critterpedia to find where and when to catch the bug again.

There are 80 species of bugs to catch regardless of if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere or Southern Hemisphere, but the seasonality of most invertebrates is different between the regions.

Unlike catching sharks in ACNH, you’ll invariably be able to see the exact species before you swing a net at the bug, making it easier to keep track of what you’re hunting.

To unlock the seasonally-locked invertebrates, you can use the time-travelling technique to collect bugs in the past and future.

InvertebrateFindN. Hemisphere SeasonalityS. Hemisphere SeasonalityTime of Day
Common ButterflyFlyingSeptember-JuneMarch-December4am-7pm
Yellow ButterflyFlyingSeptember-JuneMarch-December4am-7pm
Tiger ButterflyFlyingMarch-SeptemberSeptember-March4am-7pm
Peacock ButterflyFlyingMarch-JuneSeptember-December4am-7pm
Common BluebottleFlyingApril-AugustOctober-February4am-7pm
Paper Kite ButterflyFlyingAll YearAll Year8am-7pm
Great Purple EmperorFlyingMay-AugustDecember-March4am-7pm
Monarch ButterflyFlyingSeptember-NovemberMarch-May4am-5pm
Emperor ButterflyFlyingJune-September
December-March
June-September
December-March
5pm-8am
Agrias ButterflyFlyingApril-SeptemberOctober-March8am-5pm
Rajah Brooke’s BirdwingFlyingApril-September
December-February
October-March
June-August
8am-5pm
Queen Alexandra’s BirdwingFlyingMay-SeptemberNovember-March8am-4pm
MothFlying (around light)All YearAll Year7pm-4am
Atlas MothTree TrunksApril-SeptemberOctober-March7pm-4am
Madagascan Sunset MothFlyingApril-SeptemberOctober-March8am-4pm
Long LocustOn the GroundApril-NovemberNovember-May8am-7pm
Migratory LocustOn the GroundAugust-NovemberFebruary-May8am-7pm
Rice GrasshopperOn the GroundAugust-NovemberFebruary-May8am-7pm
GrasshopperOn the GroundJuly-SeptemberJanuary-March8am-5pm
CricketOn the GroundSeptember-NovemberMarch-May5pm-8am
Bell CricketOn the GroundSeptember-OctoberMarch-April5pm-8am
MantisOn FlowersMarch-NovemberSeptember-May8am-5pm
Orchid MantisOn White FlowersMarch-NovemberSeptember-May8am-5pm
HoneybeeFlying around FlowersMarch-JulySeptember-January8am-5pm
WaspShaken from TreesAll YearAll YearAll Hours
Brown CicadaTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February8am-5pm
Robust CicadaTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February8am-5pm
Giant CicadaTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February8am-5pm
Walker CicadaTree TrunksAugust-SeptemberFebruary-March8am-5pm
Evening CicadaTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February4am-8am
4pm-7pm
Cicada ShellTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-FebruaryAll Hours
Red DragonflyFlyingSeptember-OctoberMarch-April8am-7pm
Darner DragonflyFlyingApril-OctoberOctober-April8am-5pm
Banded DragonflyFlyingMay-OctoberNovember-April8am-5pm
DamselflyFlyingNovember-FebruaryMay-AugustAll Hours
FireflyFlyingJuneDecember7pm-4am
Mole CricketDigging Underground
 (follow the sound and shovel)
November-MayMay-NovemberAll Hours
PondskaterOn Pond SurfaceMay-SeptemberNovember-March8am-7pm
Diving BeetleOn Pond and River SurfaceMay-SeptemberNovember-March8am-7pm
Giant Water BugOn Pond and River SurfaceApril-SeptemberOctober-March8am-7pm
StinkbugOn FlowersMarch-OctoberSeptember-AprilAll Hours
Man-Faced Stink BugOn FlowersMarch-OctoberSeptember-April7pm-8am
LadybugOn FlowersMarch-June
October
September-December
April
8am-5pm
Tiger BeetleOn the GroundFebruary-OctoberAugust-AprilAll Hours
Jewel BeetleTree StumpsApril-AugustOctober-FebruaryAll Hours
Violin BeetleTree StumpsMay-June
September-November
November-December
March-May
All Hours
Citrus Long-Horned BeetleTree StumpsAll YearAll YearAll Hours
Rosalia Batesi BeetleTree StumpsMay-SeptemberNovember-MarchAll Hours
Blue Weevil BeetleOn Palm TreesJuly-AugustJanuary-FebruaryAll Hours
Dung BeetleOn the Ground (snowball rolling)December-FebruaryJune-AugustAll Hours
Earth-Boring Dung BeetleOn the GroundJuly-SeptemberJanuary-MarchAll Hours
Scarab BeetleTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February11pm-8am
Drone BeetleTree TrunksJune-AugustDecember-FebruaryAll Hours
Goliath BeetleTree TrunksJune-SeptemberDecember-March5pm-8am
Saw StagTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-FebruaryAll Hours
Miyama StagTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-FebruaryAll Hours
Giant StagTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February11pm-8am
Rainbow StagTree TrunksJune-SeptemberDecember-March7pm-8am
Cyclommatus StagTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Golden StagTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Giraffe StagTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Horned DynastidTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Horned AtlasTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Horned ElephantTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Horned HerculesTree TrunksJuly-AugustJanuary-February5pm-8am
Walking StickTree TrunksJuly-NovemberJanuary-May4am-8am
5pm-7pm
Walking LeafNear Trees
(disguised as an item leaf)
July-AugustJanuary-MarchAll Hours
BagwormShaken from Trees
(hangs down)
All YearAll YearAll Hours
AntOn Food
(if left out)
All YearAll YearAll Hours
Hermit CrabBeachAll YearAll Year7pm-8am
Wharf RoachRocks on the BeachAll YearAll YearAll Hours
FlyOn Rubbish
(if left out)
All YearAll YearAll Hours
MosquitoFlyingJune-SeptemberDecember-March5pm-4am
FleaOn ResidentsApril-NovemberOctober-MayAll Hours
SnailOn Rocks, while RainingAll YearAll YearAll Hours
Pill BugRocks
(after hitting)
September-JuneMarch-December11pm-4pm
CentipedeRocks
(after hitting)
September-JuneMarch-December4pm-11pm
SpiderShaken from TreesAll YearAll Year7pm-8am
TarantulaOn the GroundNovember-AprilMay-October7pm-4am
ScorpionOn the GroundMay-OctoberNovember-April7pm-4am

Whenever you venture out, be sure to have a couple of Flimsy Nets or one trusty net on you so that you can capitalise on all of the bugs of the season.

Looking for more Animal Crossing New Horizons Guides?

Animal Crossing New Horizons: Complete Fossil List and Guide

Animal Crossing New Horizons: Complete Iron Nuggets Guide (How to Farm Iron Nuggets and Where to Find Them)

Animal Crossing New Horizons: Complete Fishing Guide and Top Tips

Animal Crossing New Horizons: Complete Controls Guide and Tips

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Cure a Wasp Sting and Make Medicine

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Time Travel, Skip Days, and Change the Season

Animal Crossing New Horizons: Wallpapers


Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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