Here are just some of the interesting insects we've seen in our yard. There's nothing particularly special about these insects—every yard would have lots of interesting insects, especially if no pesticides are used. Note: Some of these species and their Latin names have been confirmed by BugGuide.net, but I've taken my best guess for others.
I've roughly divided them according to type, which may not be entomologically correct, but which may sense to me. I have a page for grasshopper-like insects (below) and a page for other bugs.
This grasshopper (a female) landed on John's jeans.
ID courtesy of BugGuide.net.
The "architecture" of these grasshoppers is amazing.
We didn't see very much damage from their munching, but unless I have just one specimen of a special plant, I don't focus on individual plants anyway. One advantage of having less lawn and more plants is that no one plant is as important as the whole habitat in general.
Though it was hard to miss as it sat on the house siding near our back door (note size of finger pointing to it), it would be pretty well-camoflaged if it were sitting on a plant since its wings are very leaf-life.
It's generally considered by gardeners to be a "bad" bug since it eats leaves, but when searched the internet, most people seemed to also indicate that it didn't do a lot of damage and that it was a source of food for birds. Do we have to eliminate everything that does a little leaf damage? I'm glad we have so many plants that I'd never think to inspect each leaf for perfection…
Besides, it's the source of some of the evening sounds that make summer sound like summer. In any case, a fascinating creature.
Here's a closeup of its head. As with many insects, its structure is quite amazing and beautiful.
We found this cicada on our native grasses near our back door. For some reason, it cooperated in being photographed.
It's no wonder that biomimicry is such a hot design field—there is so much to work with!
Here's the front view. I love the three red "jewels" on its head. (See the enlargement for a better view.)