Insecta (insects) terrestrial invertebrates are
just a Class from the large animal Phylum
called Arthropoda (arthropods) a name that refers
to their jointed limbs. Other major Classes
of living arthropods closely related
to insects includes: Crustacea (crabs, lobsters,
shrimps, barnacles, woodlice,
Myriapoda (millipedes, centipedes, etc.),
and Arachnida (scorpions, king crabs, spiders,
mites, ticks, etc.). In addition there are several
minor Classes, the Onychophora (velvet worms),
Tardigrada (water bears), Pentastomida (tongue
worms) and Pycnogonida (sea spiders), all of
which contain somewhat aberrant living forms
of uncertain affinities to the any of the preceding
groups, and finally a Class of extinct arthropods,
the Trilobita (trilobites), known only from their
Makes Insects Unique?
All insects are characterized by a tough outer
body-shell or exoskeleton, with flexible joints
between the skeletal plates to allow the creature
to move. Most insects have wings at some point
in their lifetime, though not all. All insects
have six legs along with three unique body sections.
The sections are the Head, Thorax, and Abdomen.
Each has a tough outer exoskeleton. Insects are
able to breath through tiny holes along the sides
of their bodies called spiracles. All insect species
lay eggs and most go through four stages of metamorphosis.
As a whole, insects comprise of over 30 million
species. More than all other species of animal
How do Insects get Their Scientific Name?
an insect (or any other organism, for that matter)
is described by a scientist for the first time,
it is then given a new scientific name. The name
is usually composed of two parts, the first being
the genus and the second being the species. Scientific
names are composed of either Greek or Latin roots
that commonly describe the features for the organism
to which the name was given.
How Many Different Kinds of Insects are
are some estimates that 10-30 million species
of insects are alive today and there are many
more yet to be discovered. In fact insects make
up close to 85% of all known animal species. Most
insects alive are beetles since they are the largest
group of animals on Earth (about 300,000 described
species to date). There are over 90,000 insect
species spread across North America. Insects outnumber
all other animals 4 to 1. Butterflies and moths
are the second largest group of animals, with
165,000 described species and an estimated additional
100,000 yet to be described.