There are more wild facts on Seashore, Animal Kingdom Live!, Reptiles and Amphibians, Meet the Vertebrates, How many species, Dangerous Bugs! and other pages
About 97% of all animal species are invertebrates.
Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. Some, such as slugs and jellyfish, have soft bodies, some have an outer skeleton called an exoskeleton and some, such as snails and cockles, have protective shells.
Invertebrates with jointed limbs, segmented bodies and exoskeletons are called Arthropods. These include insects, crustaceans, arachnids and myriapods. About 80% of animal species are arthropods.
Crustaceans include crabs, woodlice, prawns, lobsters, shrimps,daphnia(waterflea). barnacles, crayfish, sea slaters, and sand hoppers.
Arachnids include spiders, scorpions, false scorpions, whip scorpions, harvestmen, ticks and mites.
Millipedes and centipedes are often collectively known as Myriapods which means many feet. They are not closely related. Centipedes belong to the class Chilopoda and millipedes to the class Diplopoda.
Insects have six legs and three body parts - head, thorax and abdomen.
There are about a million known insect species in the world and probably about another ten million that have not yet been discovered. Sadly many will never be discovered before they become extinct. This is because habitats including vast areas of rainforest are being destroyed every day.
Many species of mammals, birds, other animals and plants are being wiped out too.
The largest group of insects are the beetles with over 400,000 species.
The largest beetle and one of the largest insects is the Goliath beetle. They measure up to 15cm and weigh around 100g.
Some beetles are less than 1mm long.
The longest insect in the world is a stick insect, some species can reach 32cm.
Among the largest moths are the Atlas moths with a wing span of over 20cm.
Thysanura - Bristletails (Silverfish etc.)
Diplura - Two-tailes bristletails
Protura - Minuute soil-dwelling insects
Collembola - Springtails
Ephemeroptera - Mayflies
Odonata - Dragonflies
Plecoptera - Stoneflies
Orthoptera - Crickets and Grasshoppers
Phasmida - Stick and Leaf Insects
Dermaptera - Earwigs
Embioptera - Web-spinners
Dictyoptera - Cockroaches and Mantids
Isoptera - Termites
Psocoptera - Booklice and Barklice
Mallophaga - Biting Lice
Anoplura - Sucking Lice
Hemiptera - True Bugs
Thysanoptera - Thrips
Neuroptera - Lacewings, Alderflies and Snakeflies
Mecoptera - Scorpionflies
Lepidoptera - Butterflies and Moths
Trichoptera - Caddis Flies
Diptera - True Flies
Siphonaptera - Fleas
Hymenoptera - Bees, Wasps, Ants, Sawflies and Ichneumons
Coleoptera - Beetles
Earthworms belong to a group of animals called Annelids. Annelids have a long body divided by rings into a series of segments.
Other annelids include leeches, ragworms and tube worms.
Some people think that if you cut a worm in half it makes two worms. This not true. Many worms can re-grow lost or damaged segments at the rear end of their body but if they are cut in two near the middle they die.
There are about 40,000 known species of spider worldwide.
Most have eight eyes, lots have six, some have four, some two and some that live in dark places such as caves, have none!
The front half of a spider is called the cephalothorax, which is the head and thorax joined together, and the back half is the abdomen.
The four pairs of legs all have seven segments.
At the front end are two pedipalps which resemble small legs, these have six segments. They are used for detecting vibrations and scents, for handling food and the males uses them to signal to the females before approaching to mate and for impregnating the females. The pedipalps of males have swollen tips.
Some spiders spin webs to catch prey, some hunt and some lie in wait.
There are about 800 species of Tarantula none of which are deadly to people.
Of the 40,000 species of spider ony about 30 are dangerous to people.
The largest known spider is the Goliath Bird eater from South America which is the size of a dinner plate!
The smallest known spider is 0.37mm.
There are thirty seven british species including the pill woodlouse, which can roll into a ball and is said to have been used as a pill by medieval doctors.
Some dragonflies migrate 500 miles south in the autumn, covering up to 100 miles per day.
Scientists in America fitted a dragonfly with a tiny transmitter and tracked it's journey.
Of the 5000 known species of dragonfly worldwide, about 50 are thought to be migratory.
Big BugsMartin the bug man brings bugs, insects and other animals to your school. Colchester essex ipswich london. Big large colourful exotic bugs praying mantis beetle roach
© Dan Ambrose & Martin Rapley 2005