Arthropoda (Arthropoda)

An arthropod (from Greek arthro-, joint + podos, foot) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Arthropoda, and include the insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin...

An arthropod (from Greek arthro-, joint + podos, foot) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Arthropoda, and include the insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin, often mineralised with calcium carbonate. The arthropod body plan consists of segments, each with a pair of appendages. The rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by moulting. Their versatility has enabled them to become the most species-rich members of all ecological guilds in most environments. They have over a million described species, making up more than 80% of all described living animal species, some of which, unlike most animals, are very successful in dry environments. They range in size from the microscopic crustacean Stygotantulus up to the Japanese spider crab. Arthropods' primary internal cavity is a hemocoel, which accommodates their internal organs, and through which their haemolymph - analogue of blood - circulates; they have open circulatory systems. Like their exteriors, the internal organs of arthropods are generally built of repeated segments. Their nervous system is "ladder-like", with paired ventral nerve cords running through all segments and forming paired ganglia in each segment. Their heads are formed by fusion of varying numbers of segments, and their brains are formed by fusion of the ganglia of these segments and encircle the esophagus. The respiratory and excretory systems of arthropods vary, depending as much on their environment as on the subphylum to which they belong.

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Subcategories

  • Scorpion (Scorpiones)

    Scorpions are predatory arachnids of the order Scorpiones. They have eight legs and are easily recognised by the pair of grasping pedipalps and the narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger. 

  • Spiders (Araneae)

    Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other orders of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exceptions of air and sea colonization. 

  • Stick insects...

    The Phasmatodea (sometimes called Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects (in Europe and Australasia), walking sticks or stick-bugs (in the United States and Canada), phasmids, ghost insects and leaf insects (generally the family Phylliidae). The ordinal name is derived from the Ancient Greek φάσμα phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom, and refers to the resemblance of many species to sticks or leaves. Their natural camouflage can make them extremely difficult to spot. Phasmatodea can be found all over the world in warmer zones, especially the tropics and subtropics. The greatest diversity is found in Southeast Asia and South America, followed by Australia. Phasmids also have a considerable presence in the continental United States, mainly in the Southeast.

  • Mantis (Mantodea)

    Mantodea (or mantises, mantes) is an order of insects that contains over 2,400 species and about 430 genera in 15 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. The English common name for the order is the mantises, or rarely (using a Latinized plural of Greek mantis), the mantes. The name mantis refers only to members of the family Mantidae. The other common name, often applied to any species in the order, is "praying mantis" because of the typical "prayer-like" posture with folded fore-limbs, although the eggcorn "preying mantis" is sometimes used in reference to their predatory habits. In Europe and other regions, however, the name "praying mantis" refers to only a single species, Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the termites and cockroaches (order Blattodea). They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets, or other insects with raptorial forelegs such as mantisflies.

  • Millipedes (Myriapoda)

    Myriapoda is a subphylum of arthropods containing millipedes, centipedes, and others. The group contains over 13,000 species, all of which are terrestrial. Although their name suggests they have myriad (10,000) legs, myriapods range from having over 750 legs (the millipede Illacme plenipes) to having fewer than ten legs.

  • Butterflies (Lepidoptera)

    Lepidopteran species are characterized by more than three derived features, some of the most apparent being the scales covering their bodies and wings, and a proboscis. The scales are modified, flattened "hairs", and give butterflies and moths their extraordinary variety of colors and patterns. Almost all species have some form of membranous wings, except for a few that have reduced wings or are wingless. Like most other insects, butterfliesand moths are holometabolous, meaning they undergo complete metamorphosis. Mating and the laying of eggs are carried out by adults, normally near or on host plants for the larvae.

  • Cockroach (Blattodea)

    Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattaria or Blattodea, of which about 30 species out of 4,500 total are associated with human habitats. About four species are well known as pests. Among the best-known pest species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 30 mm (1.2 in) long; the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, about 15 mm (0.59 in) long; the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, also about 15 mm (0.59 in) in length; and the Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, about 25 mm (0.98 in). Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger, and extinct cockroach relatives and 'roachoids' such as the Carboniferous Archimylacris and the Permian Apthoroblattina were not as large as the biggest modern species.

  • Beetles (Coleoptera)

    Beetles are a group of insects that form the order Coleoptera. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek κολεός, koleos, meaning "sheath"; and πτερόν, pteron, 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.

  • Other arthropods

    An arthropod (from Greek arthro-, joint + podos, foot) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Arthropoda, and include the insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin, often mineralised with calcium carbonate. The arthropod body plan consists of segments, each with a pair of appendages. The rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by moulting. Their versatility has enabled them to become the most species-rich members of all ecological guilds in most environments. They have over a million described species, making up more than 80% of all described living animal species, some of which, unlike most animals, are very successful in dry environments. They range in size from the microscopic crustacean Stygotantulus up to the Japanese spider crab. Arthropods' primary internal cavity is a hemocoel, which accommodates their internal organs, and through which their haemolymph - analogue of blood - circulates; they have open circulatory systems. Like their exteriors, the internal organs of arthropods are generally built of repeated segments. Their nervous system is "ladder-like", with paired ventral nerve cords running through all segments and forming paired ganglia in each segment. Their heads are formed by fusion of varying numbers of segments, and their brains are formed by fusion of the ganglia of these segments and encircle the esophagus. The respiratory and excretory systems of arthropods vary, depending as much on their environment as on the subphylum to which they belong.