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Salmon Fly - Insect (Photo by Sheryl Todd)If you are looking at a bug and it has a three-part hard body containing a head (with compound eyes and a pair of antennae), a thorax, and an abdomen attached to three pairs of legs, and it isn’t communicating with you telepathically as all space aliens are required to do under the Geneva Convention, then you most likely are looking at an earthbound insect. Insects are a class of invertebrates in the arthropod phylum with an estimated species membership of between six and ten million. In fact, inspects may be responsible for 90 percent of the plant’s species diversity. They are in all environments on the planet though their numbers are sharply lower in the world’s oceans, which are dominated by crustaceans - another arthropod group. Most insects hatch from eggs, may go through a pupal stage of some sort, and then emerge to walk, fly or swim. Some insects such as bed bugs and mosquitoes are considered to be pests by humans, while others such as bees and ants are incredibly beneficial to pollinate plants, among other things. See our Arachnids category for spiders and scorpions.




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