Life in the City

With its tall buildings, crowded roads, and noisy cars, the city may not seem like a place where you can find biodiversity.  But you can! Thousands of species thrive in cities, from tiny mites to mighty trees.

Take a look at a city park to see a different slice of city life. Get a close-up look at 10 hidden critters!

Illustration of life in a city park
closeup of mites, nematode worm and a springtail

On a dead leaf, some mites eat nematode worms; springtails leap to avoid predators.

an ant protecting an aphid

Ants protect aphids in exchange for sweet secretions.

channels chewed into wood by a bark beetle

Bark beetle larvae chew "galleries" into wood.


dragonfly nymph capturing a small fish

A dragonfly nymph's "mouth" shoots out to catch prey.


group of mosquito eggs

Mosquito eggs float like a raft.

close up of a mosquito and a feather mite near the eyeball of the great blue heron

On birds like the great blue heron, mosquitoes and feather mites are parasites.

a pseudoscorpion hitching a ride

Pseudoscorpions often hitch rides on larger animals like the harvestman.

inset illustration closeup of protist inside termite queen

A one-celled protist digests wood inside the gut of a termite; wood-eating termites tend to their queen.

A one-celled protist digests wood inside the gut of a termite while wood-eating termites tend to their queen.

an ichneumonid wasp laying eggs on a beetle grub

Some ichneumonid wasps lay eggs on beetle grubs.


long-jawed orb weaver sitting in its web

The long-jawed orb weaver is a sit-and-wait predator.

Image Credits:

illustrations by Barrett Klein/© AMNH