Isbn 9780756660086

Reproduced by Colourscan, Singapore Printed and bound by South China Printing (Company in (Ihina


Introduction • 6

Author's Introduction 6 I low This Book Works 9 What is an Arthropod? 10

What is an Insect? 12 What is an Arachnid? 16 What is a Crustacean? IS What is a Myriapod? 19

Life Cycle 20 The Sensory System 24 Food and Feeding 26 Arthropod Behavior 28 Social Insects 30 I labitats 32 Studying Insects 34 Identification Key 36

Bristletails 46 Silverfish 41 Mayflies 48 Damsclflies and Dragonflics 51 Stoneflies 56 Rock Crawlers 59 ("rickets and Grasshoppers 60 Stick and Leaf Insects 66 Karwigs 69

Mvkiapods • 238 Pauropods 238 Symphylans 239 (Centipedes 240 Millipedes 242

Glossary 244 Index 246 Acknowledgments 256

Glossary 244 Index 246 Acknowledgments 256

Scorpions 213 Pseudoscorpions 2/5

Sun-spiders 2/7 Whip-scorpions 219 Whip-spiders 220 I larvcstmcn 22/ Ticks and Mites 223 Spiders 228

Mantids 71 Cockroaches 74 Web-spinners 77

Termites 78 Angel Insects 80 Barklice and Booklice 81 Parasitic Lice (S3 Bugs 85 Thrips 101 Alderflies and Dobsonflies 103

Snake flies 104 Antlions, Lacewings, and their Relatives 105 Beetles 109 Strepsipterans 132 Scorpionflies 133 Fleas 135 Two-winged Flies 136 Caddisflies 156 Moths and Butterflies 158 Bees, Wasps, Ants, and Sawflics 178

Mvkiapods • 238 Pauropods 238 Symphylans 239 (Centipedes 240 Millipedes 242

Noninskct I Ihxapods • Springtails 207 Proturans 210

Diplurans 211 %

cri istackans • 212 Isopods 212

Au thor's Introduction

¡//serfs are the most numerous and successful creatures on Earth. They belong to a group o f invertebrates know// as arthropods, which are characterized by their jointed limbs, segmented bodies, and tough outer skeletons. Arthropods play an essential role in all of the world's major ecosystems. Although they are less conspicuous than other animals, if you look closely you will uncover their incredible variety and learn something about their extraordinary lives.

npllK TIRST SKJNS of life on Karth A were single-celled organisms that lived in the oeeans around 3,500 million years ago. Jellyfish, simple worms, and other multicellular animals later evolved in the seas, followed by creatures with hard outsides, such as shellfish and trilobites - primitive arthropods. The early sea-dwelling arthropods were later ro become the very first land-living animals, emerging from the oceans as scavengers about 420 million years ago -perhaps to escape aquatic predators. As land plants became more complex, they provided living space and resources for the increasing number of arthropod species - the most successful of i being the insects.

modern dragonfly is similar to primitive form

Today, invertebrate animals (those without a backbone) make up the majority of the worlds known species; vertebrate animals (those with a backbone) account for less than three percent. Within the invertebrates, the huge group Arthropoda eclipses all other groups, while arthropods arc, in turn, dominated by the insects. It is estimated that there are about 10 < 111 i 111111 i< >ii 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 - insects alive at any time.

I Jnwklcomt Pksts?

Arthropods are seen as troublesome pests by most urban-dwelling humans. Certainly, some are destructive. It is estimated that about 20 percent of crops grown for human consumption are eaten by herbivorous insects. Insects also carry diseases that affect animals and human beings - approximately one in six people alive today is currently affected by an insect-borne disease. The venom of certain arthropods

A> Inskct Ancestors

. Modem dragonflies evolved from species that began to appear in fossils from around 250 million years ago. Very primitive dragonfl'tes were flying through the lush, humid Carboniferous forests about J 00 million years ago.

modern dragonfly is similar to primitive form

ISO million year- • old fossil, formed in lithographic times tone, shows similarity to modern dragonfly

ISO million year- • old fossil, formed in lithographic times tone, shows similarity to modern dragonfly


crustaceans 2. 47< arachnids 4.5%

vert eh rates 2.7%

crustaceans 2. 47< arachnids 4.5%

other arthropods 1.2%c tnollusks 4.2%

nematodes 0.(/7< j* other invertebrates vert eh rates 2.7%

algae 2.4% protozoans 2.4% bacteria and viruses 0.5%

uiit; on hart11

Of all the species on Earth (represented left), 73.5 percent are invertebrates, and most of these are arthropods. Insects - the most success ful of all the arthropods in tenns of survival and adapting to their environ men t - make up more than half of all species alive today, there are at least another four million insect species still to he named.

can be fatal, and many people have severe phobias about groups such as spiders and moths.

Rkal Bknitits

Most arthropods, however, are harmless. For example, less than one percent of cockroach species - a much maligned insect group - are significant pests. Many people overlook the benefits that insects bring. Useful products derived from insects range from honey and silk to waxes, oils, natural medicines, and dyes. In many countries, insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, grubs, and caterpillars still provide nutritious food for humans. Arthropods arc also widely used in scientific research, helping us to understand genetics, physiology, and animal behavior. Many insects are vital plant-pollinators. Without them, many plants would die out as well as the animals that, directly or indirectly, depend on them.

Pks i (Control

Predacious insects can help control other, harmful species. For example, ladybirds are efficient predators of soft-bodied species such as aphids.

Changing i hh Course of History

Disease-carrying insects have made a major mark on history. Three world epidemics of plague, a flea-home disease, killed millions and altered social structures as a result. Until the use of insecticides during World War II, twice as many people died of insect-borne diseases as from fighting. Most of Napoleons army, which set out to conquer Russia in 1K12, were killed by typhus spread by the human body louse. In the late 1800s, yellow fever carried by mosquitoes stopped the building of the Panama ('anal for 15 years and killed 20,000 workers.

Deadly Malaria

It is estimated that malaria, a disease that is transmitted by certain mosquitoes, kills one human being every 12 seconds.


Natural Balancl

The most fundamental role that the millions of arthropods play is helping to maintain the balance of the Karths ecosystems and food chains. These are complex networks that depend on energy from the Sun. The energy is "trapped" by green plants and converted to carbohydrate, which is then eaten by herbivores and converted into body tissue. The herbivores are then eaten by carnivores. Most food chains are dependent on insects as the majority of animals cat insects to survive and many would not exist without them. Birds, for example, are mostly insectivorous. A single swallow chick may consume about 200,000 bugs, flies, and beetles before it fledges, and even bird species that are seed-feeders as adults rear their young on a nutritious insect diet.

Animal droppings are food for certain beetles and flics, and many insects eat decomposing plant and animal matter. So insects are also helping to keep the Karths supply of nutrients in circulation. Finally, although insects may cause serious damage to crops, they

Prkdator in Ac tion

Food chains are highly dependent on insects. Frogs, which are largely insectivores, are, in turn, hunted by larger predators.

can also control it. At least one-quarter of all insect species are parasites or predators of Other insects, and some arc reared specially to control the numbers of agricultural pests.

A World oi Inskc i s

With about 1,500 families of terrestrial arthropods, it would be impossible to include them all in this book. We have chosen a broad range from around the world, including families because they are particularly important, common, or simply fascinating in some way.

> Pollinators

Without vital pollinators such as frees, many plants would not he aide to produce fruit and seeds and so reproduce.

AMnskct dkvastation

Since humans first started to cultivate crops, insect-home plant diseases have caused the hind o f damage shown right. One swarm of Desert Locusts (above) may contain up to 50 billion individuals, who could theoretically consume up to 100,000 tons of food a day.

How This Book Works t sections, each covering a separate order of terrestrial arthropods. These sections arc subdivided into entries that each describe the characteristics of a particular family with photographs of representative species. The family entries arc arranged alphabetically by scientific name. Some of the order sections are divided into alphabetically arranged subdivisions, in which case this is explained in the introduction to the order. The sample page below shows a typical family entry.

common name of family scientific name of order introduction describes key physical features and other characteristics information on reproduction, life stages, and f eeding habits distribution and habitat additional information detailed artwork < of a typical immature stage, included if significantly different from the adult caption describes immature stage symbol to • indicate that a photograph of a specimen has been enlarged or reduced by more than four times scientific name of family


enlargement reduction

These long, slightly flat beetles may he ilull or shiny and are usually brown or black, often with a metallic sheen. The head, thorax, and abdomen tend to be clearly differentiated, and the elytra usually have obvious striatums. Most species are nocturnal hunters.

• UFI<: ( :v< :i.K Kggs are laid on the ground and on vegetation and decaying wood and fungi. I.ike the adults, larvae are mainly predacious but will cat carrion; a few species arc partly herbivorous.

• OCX :i 1KKKNC :K Worldwidc. < )n the ground, under stones and logs, and among debris and leaf litter. Some species live in the foliage of shrubs and trees.

• RKMAKK \ few spc< ics dctci predators «ith blasts of hot, caustic substances that they expel, with an audible "pop," from the end of the abdomen.

A ANTIIIA THORACIC* is a ground-living -predator. I.ike all members of the genus Anlhiti, it can produce defensive chemicals that it sprays at attackers total number of known species in family

A ANTIIIA THORACIC* is a ground-living -predator. I.ike all members of the genus Anlhiti, it can produce defensive chemicals that it sprays at attackers

iiullini- ut hrml ami « Wr rrsrmblrs n

Monuoix i rim.i.ohcs, or the Violin Hectic, lives in the forests of Southeast Asia and feeds on insect larvae and snails.

Mm AO-PUMA bright, metallic colon this, it hunts after dark, like all species in the genus Mr^uirphnhi.

iiullini- ut hrml ami « Wr rrsrmblrs n

Monuoix i rim.i.ohcs, or the Violin Hectic, lives in the forests of Southeast Asia and feeds on insect larvae and snails.

Mm AO-PUMA bright, metallic colon this, it hunts after dark, like all species in the genus Mr^uirphnhi.

range of body length.' (or wingspans) encountered within family

\iths I

symbols indicate the main types of food • (larvalfeeding habits ate described for insects that undergo complete metamorphosis, or those with incomplete metamorphosis when the nymphs are aquatic)

• full-color photograph of a species within the family

• detailed annotations highlight important family or species features

• captions describe distinguishing features or distribution of individual species kl Y TO

1tt:din<; Symbols h oc a more detailed explanation, see pp.26->7 I Predacious 0 Herbivorous & Saprophagous ' if Fungivorous 4 llematophagous (ft) Vara sit oid or parasitic /y Xylophagous

( '.oprophagous >8« Melliphagons Pseudoplacental

Wi iat is an Arthropod?

t ivinc; i i iixc;s auk (¡roupkd In biologists into five major divisions known as kingdoms, the largest of which is the animal kingdom. The kingdoms are in turn divided into groups called phyla. Arthropods form the largest single phylum in the animal kingdom. They comprise an incredibly diverse group, ranging in size from mites a fraction of a millimeter long to the vast Japanese Island Crab,

A major subdivision of a kingdom (in this ease the animal kingdom, or the kingdom Animalia).

\la crochet ra kaempferi, which can grow up to 12ft (4m) across. Arthropods are found in every habitat on Karth, from the depths of the oceans to the highest peaks, from arid deserts to the most humid rainforests, as well as in highly populated urban areas. Insects are the only winged arthropods, and are the most successful in terms of survival.

Below is a simple "tree" showing the subdivisions of the phylum Arthropoda.


Animals with a tough outer skeleton, segmented bodies, and jointed legs


A major subdivision of a phylum (in this case the phylum Arthropoda).


Arthropods with antennae; and highly modified jaws for biting or chewing


\ subdivision of a subphylum, composed of classes of animals that share fundamental characteristics.


Mainly terrestrial, 6-legged arthropods, with 2 antennae


INSKCTA The only winged arthropods

Noninskct hkxapoda 3 classes: coitkmbola Pr< ) i i r \ Diplura


A group made up of closely related animal families.

29 orders

3 orders

Family, genus, species

A family is made up of similar species. A genus is made up of closely related species.

949 families 1,000,000 species

31 families 7,700 species


A group made up of orders of animals that share similar characteristics.

STINK 111 (i

INSKCTA The only winged arthropods


A group made up of orders of animals that share similar characteristics.

STINK 111 (i

Main Characteristics of Arthropods

Arthropods share a number of common features:

• Bilaterally symmetrical bodies.

• A protective, rigid outer exoskeleton (or cuticle) made of a tough material called chitin. The muscles are attached to this exoskeleton, which is molted from time to time as the animal develops through its life stages.

• Pairs of jointed legs, which arise from the body segments.

• Body segments that are arranged to form a few main sections, the most common being the head. Myriapods have a head and trunk; crustaceans and hexapods have a separate head, thorax, and abdomen. In arachnids, the head and thorax are fused to form a single segment known as the cephalothorax.

jointed legs arise « from body segments


Porcellio seaber (p.212)


Porcellio seaber (p.212)

6 classes :



Branchiopoda ostracoda \1 \xillopoda


37 orders

540 families 40,000 species gyundkk m Y Kl APOD

Juins specics (p.242)


Mainly aquatic arthropods with gills and 4 antennae


Arthropods with pincer like mouthparts and no antennae


Arthropods with pincer like mouthparts and no antennae


Arthropods with 9 or more pairs of legs and 2 antennae

4 classes :

Pauropoda Symphyla Chilopoda Diplopoda

16 orders

144 families 13,700 species fl innkl wI:AVI:I<

'/ egenaria gigantiea (p.228)

fl innkl wI:AVI:I<

'/ egenaria gigantiea (p.228)

3 classes:

Arachnida pycnogonida


14 orders

470 families 76,500 species

What is an Insect?

M any PKOPLK oon1tsk insects and other arthropods. Insects, like all arthropods, have jointed legs and a hard cuticle, but unlike others they have only six legs and, usually, wings. The word "insect" is derived from Latin, meaning "to cut into," and refers to the separate

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