Bugs are not animals that most people would consider pleasant; if you let me near a cockroach, you can expect any nearby objects to fly as I shout and run away as far as possible. However, you cannot deny that some of them look beautiful and radical, like butterflies and ladybugs.
In Animal Crossing, bugs are one of the most important aspects of the game, alongside fish. After all, the point of the game is to connect with nature while at home (or wherever you may be, thanks to the Nintendo Switch). Catching fish and bugs is a good way to deliver that experience across the screen.
Catching them is a staple activity in the series, and it continues with the latest installment, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Thanks to this activity, I have learned how fun bug catching actually is. I also learned a lot about the bugs that I caught.
Another great thing about bug catching in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is how ethical it is; Blathers keeps them in the museum with a simulation of their natural habitat. You can take a look at them by going to the museum and strolling around. If you want to get in on the action, this guide is for you!
Bottom Line Up Front
Bugs are critters you can catch using your net in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Bug catching is a core game mechanic in the series, along with fishing.
- Total number of bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons: 80
- Bug locations: on flowers, trees, the ground, ponds, rivers, stumps, etc.
- What to do with them: sell, gift, display, make bug models, or donate them to the museum
The sections below contain intricate details about the bugs, such as the time and place they appear in, their selling price, their appearance, and more.
What are Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, bugs are, like in real life, insects of varying sizes with identifiable characteristics such as wings, antennae, etc. Because of the wide variety of insects, you can find them in different habitats.
For example, some of them fly (like butterflies), while some are on the ground (like grasshoppers) or underground (like mole crickets). Others tend to rest on flowers (like stinkbugs), trees (like atlas moths), and stumps (like jewel beetles), while others like to chill on water (like diving beetles).
The latest entry has 80 bugs. The first game, Doubutsu no Mori, has 32 bugs, and the succeeding games add eight to the list. Catching a bug will update your Critterpedia, the app on your phone that contains details about every animal you find; the details include the months and times the bugs are active.
Where to Get Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
You can find bugs in different places in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. To summarize, they may be:
- Flying about the area: some bugs fly around, such as the different kinds of butterflies and dragonflies. Around 21 of the 80 bugs in the game fly on the island. Some of them fly in certain environments. For example, peacock butterflies fly by hybrid flowers, and moths fly near lights.
- On trees: many insects like to chill on the tree trunks, particularly large moths like atlas moths and the different kinds of cicadas. However, some, like the different kinds of beetles, prefer specific kinds of trees. In the case of beetles, they tend to hang around palm trees.
- Within trees: other insects like to chill among the branches of the trees instead of on the tree trunks. To get them out of the branches, you need to shake the trees. Insects you can get through shaking trees include bagworms, spiders, and wasps.
- On tree stumps: four kinds of beetles prefer going to tree stumps; they are the jewel beetle, violin beetle, citrus long-horned beetle, and rosalia batesi beetle. So, you need to cut down some trees and leave the stumps on the ground to attract them.
- On flowers: some bugs and mantises like to sit on flowers; they are the mantis, orchid mantis, stinkbug, man-faced stink bug, and ladybug. If you want to attract them, you need to plant some flowers. The orchid mantis is only attracted to white flowers, though.
- On the ground: many bugs walk, hop, or crawl on the ground, like the different kinds of beetles, locusts, grasshoppers, and crickets. Tarantulas and scorpions also wander on the ground; they will chase and hurt you, so be careful.
- Underground: only one insect appears underground. Thus, unlike the other bugs, you need to use your shovel first to unearth it before you can catch it with your net. This bug is the mole cricket.
- On rivers and ponds: three insects are available on ponds and rivers. You still need a net to catch it; thus, you can only catch them when they are near land. If they are in a middle of a giant pond, you must wait for them to get near you. They are the pondskater, diving beetle, and giant water bug.
- Disguised as other objects on the ground: these insects are special because they blend in the environment as other in-game items. They are the walking leaf, insects that disguise themselves as leaves under trees, and hermit crabs, insects disguised as shells on the beach.
- On special surfaces: three insects sit on special surfaces; wharf roaches appear on the rocks at the beach. Snails appear on bushes and rocks, but only when it is raining. Fleas appear from time to time on villagers’ heads. You need nets to catch them all.
- In rocks: the rocks that you hit your shovel or axe with to get stone and ores also contain bugs. You need to hit the rocks first to let them out. Once they are out, you need to switch to your net to catch them. These insects are the pill bugs and centipedes.
- On items: two insects are attracted to certain items instead of natural features like flowers or trees. Flies are attracted to trash items like trash bags, while ants are attracted to rotten food. These items must be on the ground to attract their respective insects.
Note that many of these bugs are only available at specific times of the day. For example, the common butterfly is only available from 4 AM to 7 PM. Also, many of them are only available in specific months, and it depends if you are in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere.
For example, the common butterfly is available from September to June in the Northern Hemisphere but available from March to December in the Southern Hemisphere. I have noted down all these details for all the insects in the sections below.
How to Catch Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
To catch bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you need to have a net. There are many types of nets, all with varying durability. Some of them can only be made, while some can be bought from various stores like Nook’s Cranny. The various nets are as follows:
|Name||Durability||How to get||Recipe location||Crafting materials||Customizable?||Buy price||Sell price|
|Flimsy net||10||DIY crafting||Tom Nook||Tree branch (x5)||No||400 Bells||100 Bells|
|Net||30||DIY crafting||Pretty Good Tools Recipes, Nook Stop for 3000 Nook Miles||Flimsy net (x1);
Iron nugget (x1)
|Colorful net||30||Buy from Nook’s Cranny||N/A||N/A||Yes||2500 Bells||625 Bells|
|Outdoorsy net||30||Buy from Nook’s Cranny||N/A||N/A||Yes||2500 Bells||625 Bells|
|Star net||30||Buy from Nook’s Cranny||N/A||N/A||Yes||2500 Bells||625 Bells|
|Golden net||90||DIY crafting||In the mail, after catching every bug||Net (x1);
Gold nugget (x1)
The sturdiest net is the golden net, but it is incredibly hard to get because you need to catch all the bugs first. You can customize the customizable nets by going to a workbench. Note that you need customization kits to do it.
While you can catch bugs with nets, some require other tools first. For example, you need to use your shovel first to unearth mole crickets underground. After they pop out, you can switch to your net to catch them.
Another example is centipedes or pill bugs, as you need to hit a rock first to make them jump out from the rocks. Hitting a rock with a net is too weak, so you must use your shovel or axe for this task.
If the golden net is available for you, and you have plenty of iron and gold nuggets, then it is the best choice as it is the sturdiest. However, if you are like me and have not caught all bugs yet, you need to consider your resources first.
If you are filthy rich from selling turnips at a high price, as my previous save, you can opt to buy nets instead since Bells are dispensable in such a scenario. You can use your tree branches and iron nuggets on other DIY recipes instead if you use this method.
However, if you have been grinding hard to get a lot of tree branches and iron nuggets, you can opt to craft them instead. This method is especially useful if you hit your storage capacity and you need to get rid of excess materials. Thus, check the resources you have and pick whichever you are rich in.
Tips for Catching Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Catching bugs is a straightforward task; you simply need to swing your net to catch them, unlike in Pokémon, where you need to throw a Poké Ball and hope that they will not come out for the hundredth time. If you are having a hard time, though, here are some tips I can give you to make it easier.
- Equip your net, hold the A button, and tilt your left joystick gently to make your character slowly walk toward a bug while holding the net in anticipation. This movement is useful if the bug you are trying to catch gets away every time you try to catch them.
- While walking slowly and holding the net, occasionally stop. Some bugs will fly away from you even if you walk slowly. I suggest walking three steps and stopping for a short amount of time, and doing it again until you get close enough.
- Do not hastily run around if you attempt to catch some bugs, as they are easily scared by it and will fly away.
- Visit mystery islands and manipulate the environment to make certain insects appear. For example, if you want to attract jewel beetles, cut down all the trees to turn them into tree stumps. Jewel beetles are attracted to tree stumps, so the chance of them appearing will increase.
- If you are hunting for a specific bug, you can chase or scare away the bugs that you do not want. Only a certain number of bugs can exist on your island. By making the undesirable bugs disappear, another bug can spawn.
- If you are catching bugs to sell them for Bells, I suggest catching tarantulas or scorpions because they sell for 8000 Bells each. Some rare beetles, like the golden stag and giraffe stag, sell more, but they are incredibly hard to find.
- When dealing with scorpions and tarantulas, you can dig holes in the ground. Once they chase you, jump over the holes; they cannot do the same. I suggest digging three to five holes around an empty space you can jump to. You can also dig eight holes around if you want to be extra careful. Once they get stuck due to the holes, catch them with your net.
- Always be aware of the time and month you are playing. Sometimes, time slips away fast; if you forget the time while waiting for a bug that only appears in a specific time slot, you might waste your time finding them.
What to do with Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Donate Bugs to the Museum
When catching a kind of bug for the first time, my natural instinct as an Animal Crossing player is to donate it to the museum. If you donate it, the museum will showcase it in its natural habitat. For example, all the butterflies get sent to a special butterfly room in the museum.
To donate a bug, go inside the museum and speak to Blathers. Then, select “make a donation” among the options. A selection pane of your inventory (a.k.a., your pocket) will show up; select the bugs you want to donate. If you donate only one bug, Blathers can explain it to you.
Sell them to Nook’s Cranny or Flick
There are only two potential buyers for your bugs: Nook’s Cranny and Flick. If you sell it to Tim and Tom in Nook’s Cranny, you will get the bug’s normal selling price. If you are desperate to sell the bug, but the Nook’s Cranny is closed for the day, you can drop it off at the drop box in front of the store.
Note, though, that you will only get 80% of the bug’s selling price. Also, the earnings you get through this method will only come to your bank account the next day. If you sell it to Flick, though, you get 150% of the bug’s normal selling price.
Give Bugs to Villagers as a Gift
If you are low on ideas on what to give your villagers today, you can give them bugs instead! Villagers will accept bugs as gifts, and they will not complain. You might even get a new item from them as thanks, like a piece of clothing or furniture.
Display Your Bugs
After catching a bug, you can display them on an available surface like the ground or a table. They will be contained in various containers depending on their size. Generally, bugs are kept inside small, 1×1, see-through plastic containers. Some are bigger in size, though.
You can dedicate a room in your house to displaying bugs. You can also display bugs to fit an area’s aesthetic. For example, putting a grasshopper display in a room with a wooden motif would work well.
Make Bug Models
During Flick’s visit, you can commission him to make a bug model. However, you need to have three specimens of the same bug. After commissioning him, the bug model will arrive in your mail the next day; you can display this bug model on your island.
All Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
After catching a bug for the first time of its kind, you can donate it to the museum. If not, you can sell them to Tim and Tom at Nook’s Cranny or to Flick. Selling it at Nook’s Cranny will net you the normal selling price, but selling it to Flick will give you 150% of it.
Below is a complete list of all the bugs in the game, including their location, the weather they will appear in, and their availability by month and hour.
|Bug Name||Location||Weather||Selling Price (Nook’s Cranny)||Selling Price (Flick)||Monthly Availability (Northern Hemisphere)||Monthly Availability (Southern Hemisphere)||Active Hours|
|Common butterfly||Flying||Any except rain||160 Bells||240 Bells||September to June||March to December||4 AM to 7 PM|
|Yellow butterfly||Flying||Any except rain||160 Bells||240 Bells||March to June; September to October||March to April; September to December||4 AM to 7 PM|
|Tiger butterfly||Flying||Any except rain||240 Bells||360 Bells||March to September||September to March||4 AM to 7 PM|
|Peacock butterfly||Flying near blue, purple, and black flowers||Any except rain||2,500 Bells||3,750 Bells||March to June||September to December||4 AM to 7 PM|
|Common bluebottle||Flying||Any except rain||300 Bells||450 Bells||April to August||October to February||4 AM to 7 PM|
|Paper kite butterfly||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||1,000 Bells||1,500 Bells||All year round||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Great purple emperor||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||3,000 Bells||4,500 Bells||May to August||November to February||4 AM to 7 PM|
|Monarch butterfly||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||140 Bells||210 Bells||September to November||March to May||4 AM to 5 PM|
|Emperor butterfly||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||4,000 Bells||6,000 Bells||December to March; June to September||December to March; June to September||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Agrias butterfly||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||3,000 Bells||4,500 Bells||April to September||October to March||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Rajah Brooke’s birdwing||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||2,500 Bells||3,750 Bells||April to September; December to February||October to March; June to August||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Queen Alexandra’s birdwing||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||4,000 Bells||6,000 Bells||May to September||November to March||8 AM to 4 PM|
|Moth||Flying near light sources||Any except rain||130 Bells||195 Bells||All year round||7 PM to 4 AM|
|Atlas moth||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||3,000 Bells||4,500 Bells||April to September||October to March||7 PM to 4 AM|
|Madagascan sunset moth||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||2,500 Bells||3,750 Bells||April to September||October to March||8 AM to 4 PM|
|Long locust||On the ground||Any weather||200 Bells||300 Bells||April to November||October to May||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Migratory locust||On the ground||Any weather||600 Bells||900 Bells||August to November||February to May||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Rice grasshopper||On the ground||Any weather||400 Bells||600 Bells||August to November||February to May||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Grasshopper||On the ground||Any except rain||160 Bells||240 Bells||July to September||January to March||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Cricket||On the ground||Any except rain||130 Bells||195 Bells||September to November||March to May||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Bell cricket||On the ground||Any except rain||430 Bells||645 Bells||September to October||March to April||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Mantis||On flowers||Any except rain||430 Bells||645 Bells||March to November||September to May||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Orchid mantis||On white flowers||Any except rain||2,400 Bells||3,600 Bells||March to November||September to May||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Honeybee||Flying near flowers||Any except rain||200 Bells||300 Bells||March to July||September to January||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Wasp||Shaking trees||Any weather||2,500 Bells||3,750 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Brown cicada||On hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||250 Bells||375 Bells||July to August||January to February||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Robust cicada||On hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||300 Bells||450 Bells||July to August||January to February||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Giant cicada||On hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||500 Bells||750 Bells||July to August||January to February||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Walker cicada||On hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||400 Bells||600 Bells||August to September||February to March||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Evening cicada||On hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||550 Bells||825 Bells||July to August||January to February||4 AM to 8 AM and 4 PM to 7 PM|
|Cicada shell||On hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||10 Bells||15 Bells||July to August||January to February||All day|
|Red dragonfly||Flying near water||Any except rain||180 Bells||270 Bells||September to October||March to April||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Darner dragonfly||Flying near water||Any except rain||230 Bells||345 Bells||April to October||October to April||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Banded dragonfly||Flying near water||Any except rain||4,500 Bells||6,750 Bells||May to October||November to April||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Damselfly||Flying near water||Any except rain||500 Bells||750 Bells||November to February||May to August||All day|
|Firefly||Flying near water||Any except rain||300 Bells||450 Bells||June||December||7 PM to 4 AM|
|Mole cricket||Underground||Any weather||500 Bells||750 Bells||November to May||March to November||All day|
|Pondskater||On rivers and ponds||Any weather||130 Bells||195 Bells||May to September||November to March||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Diving beetle||On rivers and ponds||Any weather||800 Bells||1,200 Bells||May to September||November to March||8 AM to 7 PM|
|Giant water bug||On rivers and ponds||Any weather||2,000 Bells||3,000 Bells||April to September||October to March||7 PM to 8 AM|
|Stinkbug||On flowers||Any except rain||120 Bells||180 Bells||March to October||September to April||All day|
|Man-faced stink bug||On flowers||Any except rain||1,000 Bells||1,500 Bells||March to October||September to April||7 PM to 8 AM|
|Ladybug||On flowers||Any except rain||200 Bells||300 Bells||March to June; October||September to December; April||8 AM to 5 PM|
|Tiger beetle||On the ground||Any except rain||1,500 Bells||2,250 Bells||February to October||August to April||All day|
|Jewel beetle||On tree stumps||Any except rain||2,400 Bells||3,600 Bells||April to August||October to February||All day|
|Violin beetle||On tree stumps||Any except rain||450 Bells||675 Bells||May to June; September to November||March to May; November to December||All day|
|Citrus long-horned beetle||On tree stumps||Any except rain||350 Bells||525 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Rosalia batesi beetle||On tree stumps||Any except rain||3,000 Bells||4,500 Bells||May to September||November to March||All day|
|Blue weevil beetle||On palm trees||Any weather||800 Bells||1,200 Bells||July to August||January to February||All day|
|Dung beetle||On the ground pushing snowballs||Any weather||3,000 Bells||4,500 Bells||December to February||June to August||All day|
|Earth-boring dung beetle||On the ground||Any weather||300 Bells||450 Bells||July to September||January to March||All day|
|Scarab beetle||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||10,000 Bells||15,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||11 PM to 8 AM|
|Drone beetle||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||200 Bells||300 Bells||June to August||December to February||All day|
|Goliath beetle||On palm trees||Any weather||8,000 Bells||12,000 Bells||June to September||December to March||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Saw stag||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||2,000 Bells||3,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||All day|
|Miyama stag||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||1,000 Bells||1,500 Bells||July to August||January to February||All day|
|Giant stag||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||10,000 Bells||15,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||11 PM to 8 AM|
|Rainbow stag||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||6,000 Bells||9,000 Bells||June to September||December to March||7 PM to 8 AM|
|Cyclommatus stag||On palm trees||Any weather||8,000 Bells||12,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Golden stag||On palm trees||Any weather||12,000 Bells||18,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Giraffe stag||On palm trees||Any weather||12,000 Bells||18,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Horned dynastid||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||1,350 Bells||2,025 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Horned atlas||On palm trees||Any weather||8,000 Bells||12,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Horned elephant||On palm trees||Any weather||8,000 Bells||12,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Horned Hercules||On palm trees||Any weather||12,000 Bells||18,000 Bells||July to August||January to February||5 PM to 8 AM|
|Walking stick||On trees (any kind)||Any weather||600 Bells||900 Bells||July to November||January to May||4 AM to 8 AM and 5 PM to 7 PM|
|Walking leaf||Disguised under trees||Any weather||600 Bells||900 Bells||July to September||January to March||All day|
|Bagworm||Shaking hardwood and cedar trees||Any weather||600 Bells||900 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Ant||On spoiled turnips, candies, or lollipops||Any weather||80 Bells||120 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Hermit crab||Disguised as sea shell on the shoreline||Any weather||1,000 Bells||1,500 Bells||All year round||7 PM to 8 AM|
|Wharf roach||On beach rocks||Any weather||200 Bells||300 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Fly||Flying near trash or rotten turnips||Any weather||60 Bells||90 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Mosquito||Flying||Any except rain||130 Bells||195 Bells||June to September||December to March||5 PM to 4 AM|
|Flea||On villagers||Any weather||70 Bells||105 Bells||April to November||October to May||All day|
|Snail||On rocks and bushes||Rain only||250 Bells||375 Bells||All year round||All day|
|Pill bug||From hitting rocks||Any weather||250 Bells||375 Bells||September to June||March to December||11 PM to 4 PM|
|Centipede||From hitting rocks||Any weather||300 Bells||450 Bells||September to June||March to December||4 PM to 11 PM|
|Spider||Shaking trees||Any weather||600 Bells||900 Bells||All year round||7 PM to 8 AM|
|Tarantula||On the ground||Any weather||8,000 Bells||12,000 Bells||November to April||May to October||7 PM to 4 AM|
|Scorpion||On the ground||Any weather||8,000 Bells||12,000 Bells||May to October||November to April||7 PM to 4 AM|
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the Rarest Bug in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
Answer: The rarest bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons would be the stag beetles that require you to catch a certain number of. The horned atlas, horned elephant, goliath beetle, cyclommatus stag, golden stag, and giraffe stag require you to catch 100 bugs beforehand.
Question: Which Bugs are Worth the Most in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
Answer: The golden stag is the bug that is worth the most in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as selling it will net you 12,000 Bells (or 18,000 Bells if you sell it to Flick).
However, it is incredibly rare. If you want something more common, I recommend catching tarantulas or scorpions, as they are worth 8,000 Bells (or 12,000 Bells if you sell them to Flick).
Question: Can Bugs Spawn on Weeds in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
Answer: Yes, bugs can spawn on weeds. However, they may be harder to spot. It is not necessary to clear out weeds for bugs to spawn.
Bug catching is a simple task, but there are difficulties when dealing with some of them, like tarantulas and scorpions. If you want to completely catch all the bugs in the game, you need to have full dedication. You must be aware of the hour, month, and weather if you want to catch something specific.
The most common bugs you will find will be the butterflies and moths, as many of them are available all year round or over long spans of time. You might encounter issues in finding rarer insects; always remember to walk slowly and occasionally stop when trying to catch these bugs.
I am a fan of bug catching in the Animal Crossing series because it reminds me of my childhood days. During the summer, I would return to my hometown and find various bugs like beetles and cicadas. I think the game did a great job of conveying this feeling to its audience. Have fun bug-catching!