Last updated: 20/01/2017 [Design & Pictures by Simons Nature]

Insecta [Insects]

Insects (from Latin insectum, a calque of Greek ἔντομον [éntomon], "cut into sections") are a class of invertebrates within the arthropod phylum that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. They are the most diverse group of animals on the planet, including more than a million described species and representing more than half of all known living organisms. The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million, and potentially represent over 90% of the differing animal life forms on Earth.
Beetles are a group of insects that form the order Coleoptera. The word coleoptera is from the Greek κολεός, koleós, meaning "sheath"; and πτερόν, pterón, meaning "wing", thus "sheathed wing", because most beetles have two pairs of wings, the front pair, the "elytra", being hardened and thickened into a shell-like protection for the rear pair and the beetle's abdomen.
True flies are insects of the order Diptera, the name being derived from the Greek di = two, and ptera = wings. Insects of this order use only a single pair of wings to fly, the hindwings being reduced to club-like balancing organs known as halteres. Diptera is a large order containing an estimated 1,000,000 species including horse-flies, crane flies, hoverflies and others, although only about 125,000 species have been described.
The Hemiptera /hɛˈmɪptərə/ or true bugs are an order of insects comprising some 50,000 to 80,000 species of groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs. They range in size from 1 mm (0.04 in) to around 15 cm (6 in), and share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts. The name "true bugs" is sometimes limited to the suborder Heteroptera.
Hymenoptera is the third-largest order of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees, and ants. Over 150,000 species are recognized, with many more remaining to be described. Females typically have a special ovipositor for inserting eggs into hosts or otherwise inaccessible places. The ovipositor is often modified into a stinger.
The Lepidoptera (/ˌlɛpᵻˈdɒptərə/ lep-i-DOP-tər-ə) is an order of insects that includes moths and butterflies (both called lepidopterans). 180,000 species of Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, 10% of the total described species of living organisms. It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world. The term was coined by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from Ancient Greek λεπίδος (scale) and πτερόν (wing).
Odonata is an order of carnivorous insects, encompassing the dragonflies (Anisoptera) and the damselflies (Zygoptera). The Odonata form a clade, which has existed since the Triassic. Dragonflies are generally larger, and perch with their wings held out to the sides; damselflies have slender bodies, and hold their wings over the body at rest.
The Orthoptera order of insects includes the grasshoppers, crickets, cave crickets, Jerusalem crickets, katydids, weta, lubber, Acrida, and locusts. More than 27,000 species are distributed worldwide.
The Phasmatodea (also known as Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects (in Europe and Australasia), stick-bugs or walking sticks (in the United States and Canada), phasmids, ghost insects and leaf insects (generally the family Phylliidae). The group's name is derived from the Ancient Greek φάσμα phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom, referring to the resemblance of many species to sticks or leaves.
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