Insects and Their Traits

Published: 14th October 2009
Views: N/A

To most people insects are mere annoyances, creepy little critters, and pests. However, insects are creatures that have an important place in our world, with literally millions of spieces of insects in existence. They are a subcategory of arthropods, which are creatures that have bodies divided into segments, and exoskeletons.

Insects can be told apart from other similar-looking creatures by looking at a few specific characteristics that are easily to judge. One of the traits of insects is that they have three separate segments to their body. The head, thorax, and abdomen are the three segments in question. The head is self explanatory, while the thorax is connected to the head, much like a human torso. And the abdomen connects to the thorax, and looks like the backside of the creature.

The next distinct characteristic of insects is that they have six jointed legs. There are three pairs of legs in all, and all of them attach to the thorax. If you spot a small creature with legs attached to the abdomen, then it is not an insect. An additional characteristic is the existence of antennae that are connected to the creature's head. It is worth pointing out that while most insects have antennae, there are a small number of exceptions. One more charcteristic is the presence of wings. It's worth noting that while insects have wings at some point during their development, that there are a small number of insect spieces that do not fly. One final characteristic is the insect's hard exoskeleton.

It is fairly straightforward to identify insects based on those characteristics. The complications come during certain periods of the insect's life cycle when it may bot display all insect-like characteristics. Caterpillars, for instance, do no display wings or antennae, but when they grow into butterflies they will. So it is very helpful to look at both an adult specimen and maturing specimen.

Let's examine a couple of small creatures that are frequently mistaken for insects. As you may know, spiders are not insects but rather arachnids, which we can see by counting their legs. Spiders have eight legs, so right away we know that they can't be insects. Slugs and snails are not insects either, as we can confirm by counting their legs: wait, they don't have any legs! One more example is the centipede. Centipedes are not insects but rather chilopa. They do not have a fixed number of legs, but have one pair of legs per body segment. And centipedes can have many body segments.

To study more about insects and see insect-

related educational materials like">Butterflies free clipart

vist .

Video Source: Youtube

More to Explore