Many of the terms described here are illustrated in the introduction (see pp.6-45). Words in bold type are defined elsewhere in the glossary.

The rearmost of the three main segments of a typical insect. The head and thorax are the other two main segments.

• Ametaboloi is

I )cvcloping without obvious metamorphosis.

• ANTENNA </>/. ANTENNAE) One of a pair of mobile appendages on the heads of insects and certain other invertebrates; they respond to taste and touch.

An arthropod with a body that is divided into two main parts (the eephalothorax and abdomen), and has ehelieerae, four pairs of walking legs, petlipalps, and simple eyes.

A member of the phylum Artliropoda. Arthropods have segmented bodies with jointed limbs and a tough exoskclcton.

The toughened protective dorsal plate covering the eephalothorax of some arthropods.

A physically or behaviorally specialized group within an insect colony.

• Cephalothorax

The body section in arachnids and crustaceans made up of the fused head and thorax.

One of a pair of "tails" extending from the end of the abdomen in some insects, often with a sensory function.


The first of six pairs of appendages on the eephalothorax in arachnids. (Ihelicerae are pincer- or fanglike and used mainly for handling prey.

The pupa of a butterfly.

A protective ease made by the fully grown larva of many insects just before pupation. It is composed partly or completely of silk.

• Complete metamorphosis

See Metamorphosis.

The large eye, made of numerous separate facets (called ommatidia) found in many insects.

The hooked appendage on the rear end of a chrysalis.

An arthropod with jaws and gills. Crustaceans are typically marine; the main terrestrial examples are species of wood I ice (see p.212).

An insect that uses the food stored by another to rear its own young.

See Exoskclcton.

Relating to the upper surface, or "back," of a structure or organism. See a /so Ventral.

• Dorso-ventrally elattened

Flattened from top to bottom (rather than side to side).

A male honeybee, whose sole function is to mate with the queen.

A web or linked network of relationships and interactions between living things and their environment.

• Ectoparasite

A parasite that lives on the outside of its host, feeding on it without killing it. Notable examples include lice (see p.83) and fleas (see p. 135).

• Ectoparasitoid

A parasitoid that lives on the outside of a host, feeding on it and killing it in the process.

• Elytron (/>/. elytra) The rigid forewing of a beetle, which protects the hindwing.

• Fndoparasite

A parasite that lives on the inside of a host, feeding on the host but not necessarily killing it.

• Endoparasitoid

A parasitoid that lives on the inside of a host, feeding on it and killing it in the process.

• Exoskeleton

The protective or supporting structure (cuticle) covering the body of an arthropod.

An eyelike marking, as on the wings of certain butterflies and mantids.

The third segment of the leg (away from the body), situated just above the tibia. The femur is often the largest segment of the leg.

The forked, abdominal jumping organ of springtails (see p.2()7).

An abnormal outgrowth on various parts of a plant, caused by an insect or other organism (the gall-former). Aphids (sec p.99) and gall wasps (see p. 196) arc some of the major gall-forming insects.

The respiratory organ in many aquatic animals, including some insect nymphs.

The short, legless larva of certain insects, especially beetles.

One of a pair of small, club-shaped organs that help two-winged flies (see p. 136) to maintain balance while flying. I laltcrcs have evolved from what were once hind wings.


A fertilization process in some insects, in which fertilized eggs produce females and unfertilized eggs produce males.

• i Iemimetaboloi is

I laving incomplete metamorphosis.

An arthropod with six legs.

• i lolometabolous

I laving complete metamorphosis.

The carbohydrate-rich liquid excrement of sap-feeding species such as aphids (see p.99).

An organism that is attacked by a parasite or parasitoid.

• Hyphrparasitoid

A parasitoid that uses another parasitoid as a host.

• Incomplete metamorphosis See Metamorphosis.

An arthropod and hexapod, typically with a segmented body that is divided into three segments. Most insects also have antennae and one or two pairs of wings.

The stage in an insect's life cycle between any two molts. The adult stage is the final instar.

The immature stage of an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis.

The layer of fallen leaves that is home to many arthropods.

A larva that burrows inside leaves, often leaving distinctively shaped tunnels, known as mines.

The jaws of an insect. They may be toothed and used for hiring, or they may be modified for piercing, as in mosquitoes (see p. 138).

• Metamorphosis

The transformation in a series of stages from an immature insect into an adult. In many insects, these stages form a complete metamorphosis, where the young look very different to the adults - as in beetles (see p. 109) or moths and butterflies (see p. 158). In complete metamorphosis, the immature stages are called larvae. The scientific name for complete metamorphosis is holometaboly. In other insects, there is an incomplete metamorphosis, where the young look like smaller versions of the adults - for example in mayflies (see p.48) and bugs (see p.85). The young of insects that develop by incomplete metamorphosis are called nymphs. The scientific name for incomplete metamorphosis is hemimetaboly.

To shed the outer covering of the body (the exoskeleton).

The aquatic nymph of certain insects, especially dragonflies.

The immature stages of those insects that develop by incomplete or gradual metamorphosis.

A simple, light-receptive organ on the head of many insects. Three ocelli are often arranged in a triangular formation on the top of the head. Also called a simple eye.

• Ovipositor

The egg-laying tube of many female insects. It may he hidden or highly conspicuous.

A pair of fingerlike sensory organs that arise from the mouthparts of arthropods.

A species that lives off the body or tissues of another species - the host

- without causing the host's death. See also Ectoparasite and Endoparasite.

• Parasitoid

A species that lives off the body or tissues of another species - the host

- and causes the host's death. See also Kc to parasitoid, Kndoparasitoid, and Hyperparasitoid.

• Parthenocenesis {adj.

parthenogenetic) Reproduction without fertilization.

The second of six pairs of appendages on the cephalothorax of some arachnids. They may be used by males to transfer sperm but in some groups they are large and used for killing and handling prey.

A chemical produced by animals in order to affect the behavior of other animals - for example, to attract a mate or deter predators.

An animal that eats other animals.

The elongate mouthparts of certain insects, adapted for sucking food.

A short, fleshy leg on a larval insect - for example, one of the short legs on a caterpillar's abdomen.

The dorsal covering over the first segment of the thorax.

The first of three segments forming an insect's thorax. The other two segments are the mesothorax and the metathorax.

• Pterostigma

A toughened, often darkened, area on the front margins of the wings of many insects, notably dragonflies (see p.51). Also called a stigma.

The stage during which the tissues are rearranged to form an adult body in insects that develop by complete metamorphosis. A pupa does not feed and is usually immobile.

To turn into a pupa.

The slender, sucking mouthparts of bugs (see p.85) or the elongate part of the head of weevils (see p.l 17) or seorpionflies (see p. 133).

• Simple eye See Ocellus.

Not occurring in gregarious or social groups.

• Sperm atophore

A structure or "packet" produced by some arthropods to contain and transfer sperm to the female.

A moveable, conical structure at the end of a spider's abdomen, through which silk is extruded. There are typically three pairs of spinnerets.

The breathing holes of insects, leading to the internal respiratory system.

The ventral surface of an arthropod body segment - for example, the "breastplate" of a scorpion.

See Pterostigma.

The modified ovipositor of some insects in the order Hymcnoptera (see p. 178), used for defense.

The "foot" (or last leg segment) of an insect, which is made up of a variable number of segments called tarsomeres.

The "tail" or final segment of the abdomen of some arachnids and crustaceans.

The middle segment of the three segments that make up an insect's body (the other two being the head and the abdomen). The wings and legs are attached to the thorax.

The leg segment that is located between the femur and the tarsus.

Relating to the underside or lower surface of a structure or organism.

1 laving attained a simple structure and reduced size and function during the evolution of the species.

Legs used for walking as opposed to other purposes, such as killing and handling prey or transferring sperm to a mate.

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