Insects are invertebrates. This means they have no backbones. Animals with backbones are called vertebrates. About 90% of all animals are invertebrates. Instead of a skeleton inside the body like vertebrates have, invertebrates have an exo-skeleton, which is a hard outside and a soft inside.
Other invertebrates include snails, squid, spiders, jellyfish.
Insects belong to a very large group of animals called arthropods, which means 'jointed legs'. Arthropods include spiders, crayfish, centipedes and most insects.
There are many different groups of insects, but they do have some things in common:
Their bodies have 3 sections: head, thorax and abdomen.
|Insect groups are:|
|Ants, bees and wasps||Flies|
|Praying Mantises||Stick and leaf insects (phasmids)|
|Butterflies and Moths||Beetles (including ladybirds)|
|Cicadas, hoppers and aphids||Cockroaches|
|Grasshoppers and crickets||Dragonflies and damselflies|
|True bugs||Lacewings and antlions|
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Updated January 2007