Insects (class Insecta) are a diverse group of hexapod invertebrates and is the largest group within the phylum Arthropoda. The class includes butterflies, crickets, moths, ants, termites, mantids, grasshoppers, crickets, just to name some of them.
An amazing diverse group of animals that have adapted to almost every environment on the planet earth, insects play an essential role in the web of life. The interaction of insects and plants plays a crucial role in pollination and is very important for the environment and the humankind.
Insects comprise 75% of all catalogued animal species. They have exoskeletons and three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed limbs and a pair of antennae.
The orders that contain the greatest numbers of species include Coleoptera (beetles), Diptera (true flies), Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps), and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths).
Many insects are predators, parasites or parasitoids with a great diversity of hunting strategies and behaviours to capture or feed on their prey.
- Christmas Beetle
- Garden Mantis
- Leaf Case Moth
- Witchetty Grub
Other creatures sometimes referred to as insects include spiders and centipedes. Unliked the class Insecta, that only have six legs, spiders are in the class Arachnida and have eight legs.
- Scientific classification
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Clade: Pancrustacea
- Subphylum: Hexapoda
- Class: Insecta