Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Standard Common Names in Bugs?

Are there any groups with standardized English names like Birds? Maybe in Butterflies/Skippers or in other groups?

Common Names Database from Entomological Society of America
Common Names Database This list may be more exact than what you were asking about but thought I'd include it anyway.

Some Ants, Many Orthopterans And Cicadas...
...have reasonably consistent common names, at least within Canada and the USA. For a list of what's currently being used for the singing orthopterans (ie. katydids and crickets) and cicadas, the Singing Insects of North America site is pretty good. For the grasshoppers, the more common 'garden' species and the ones of concern to agricultural interests also all have common names, although only bug fans tend to know them. The average person, they couldn't picture what you're talking about if you remarked about seeing a two-lined grasshopper, even though that name is in common usage across the continent, but they'll know exactly what you mean if you describe it as a big fat grasshopper with stripes on its back!

The relatively few ant species that are considered household pests or those that trouble humans outdoors, like some of the fire ants, tend to pick up common names that are used with reasonable consistency and some of them are even kind of fun, like the 'electric ant' or the 'rasberry crazy ant'. Google 'common ant species' and you'll get a selection of what's currently being used. Aside from those, the vast number of 'wild' ant species don't have common names. The only exception I can think of off-hand is the Allegheny mound ant, but again, some agricultural/forestry concerns there...

I THINK most or all of the praying mantis species within Canada and the USA also have common names now, because mantises are cool, but don't hold me to that...

Wild ant species
Here's one with a common name. They're beautiful ants!
Velvety tree ant

The Odonata have standardized English names
and we imagine that butterflies and skippers do too. People still are free to use local English names for them. No one will arrest you for using another name meaningful to you. They are not 'global' though, since most of the world doesn't use English. The global names are the scientific names.

Group names?
I'm not quite sure what you're asking. There are words like "ant" and "dragonfly," of course. Some species or genera have more than one common name, because what a bug is called can vary by region.

Species Names
For example, in Birds, the cosmopolitan species Padion haliaetus is known as the Osprey no matter where you are. The same goes for Pica nuttalli (known globally as the Yellow-billed Magpie), even though it's found only in California in the Central Valley and along the central Pacific Coast. I was wondering if certain groups had the same thing (I mention Butterflies since my guide made it seem as there was already a system like that in place)

not really
Being something of a birder and a bug guy, I would say the answer is no. Among the birds I have seen many common names change (sparrow hawk became American Kestrel etc) but birds are very much more standardized. Butterflies (not moths) are perhaps the closest insect group. The problem is the great number of similar species that are hard to distinguish except by an expert. Monarch butterfly or Luna Moth may be close to universal english names. The 10-lined June beetle which is common around here is actually a common name used for a number (about 30!) of look-alike species with Polyphylla decimlineata being by far the most often encountered. Cockroaches have some named cosmopolitan ones like "German Cockroach" but there are thousands of species with no common name. There are so few bird species that is feasible to come up with a common name for each. Still when I bird in South America, I contend with english and spanish common names.

Plecoptera (Stoneflies)
List of common names as of 1998 can be found here (1)