Q:

What are the characteristics of insects?

A:

Quick Answer

Insects are cold blooded and have six legs, three main body parts and an exoskeleton. Insects also lay eggs and many have four wings.

Know More
What are the characteristics of insects?
Credit: Horia Varlan CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Insects have a hard protective covering called an exoskeleton. Because they lack backbones, they are invertebrates. An insect's body has three major body parts, including a head, thorax and abdomen. Insects can live on land, in the water or both and are cold-blooded creatures that require the sun to warm them. Most insects have antennae that allow them to touch, taste, hear and smell. These antennae help them locate food and sense danger from predators.

Some insects go through a complete metamorphosis, meaning they grow into completely different creatures than they were in their larval stage. Insects that go through this change include butterflies, true flies and beetles. Insects that go through an incomplete metamorphosis look very similar to adults of the same species, only smaller. Cockroaches and grasshoppers go through an incomplete metamorphosis.

There are more than one million insect species in the world today and they are the most diverse group of creatures in the world. Each insect is important and each has a different function, ranging from predator to prey to host. There are currently more insects in the world than all the land animals combined.

Learn more about Bugs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are praying mantises harmful to humans?

    A:

    According to Encyclopædia Britannica, praying mantises feed exclusively on insects, and they are harmless to humans. No known venomous species of mantis exists. Although their appearance may be frightening, mantises are uninterested in humans.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is the scorpion an insect or an arachnid?

    A:

    Scorpions are neither insects nor spiders; they are distant cousins of the spider and are animals in the Scorpiones order, beneath the class Arachnida. Unlike insects that have six legs, scorpions and spiders both have eight legs, and scorpions have only two body segments, compared to the insects' three.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do walking sticks eat?

    A:

    Stick insects, despite their imposing appearance, are herbivorous. There are over 3,000 different kinds of stick insects, collectively called phasmids, and all of them eat plants. Some are very specialized, feeding only upon a favored plant species. Others are generalists.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do millipedes eat?

    A:

    Millipedes eat decaying plant materials and wood particles, and they sometimes eat decayed animals like insects, earthworms and snails. If their habitats dry out, millipedes tend to invade living plants to get moisture. They help to play an important role of putting back nutrients to the soil to be used by plants.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore