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Insects and Arachnids

Insects and arachnids both belong to the group known as arthropods - segmented invertebrates that have joined legs and an external skeleton.

Insects outnumber people by 200 million to one; that is for every person in the world there are 200 million insects. Insects come in every shape, color, and form, yet they all possess a body that is divided into three parts, the head, thorax, and abdomen. The head has two antennae, eyes, and mouth parts. The thorax has three distinctive segments, each with a pair of legs, so insects always have six legs. The abdomen is also segmented, with usually six and twelve divisions. Nearly all insects have wings; no other invertebrate group is able to fly.

Arachnids differ from insects because their bodies are divided into two parts. The head and thorax together are called the cephalothorax and then comes the abdomen. Spiders have two chelicera, or jaw like appendages. Most arachnids have four pairs of legs.

Insect Fact For Today

Arachnid Fact For Today

"All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs."

A bug is a certain type of insect. Some examples you might be familiar with are the boxelder bug, milkweed bug, assassin bug, and stink bug. True bugs have a stylet (a mouth shaped like a straw) that they use to suck plant juices from plants. The assassin bugs use their stylets to suck blood from other insects.

Today's Bug Fact

Butterflies and Moths

Butterflies and Moths Although butterflies and moths are very similar, they have many differences. Most butterflies fly during the day, and most moths fly during the night. The best way to identify a butterfly from a moth is to look at its antenna. A butterfly's antenna have knobs at the ends of their feelers, and the ends of the moth's antenna is either feather like or plain. Most butterflies rest with their wings held up above their bodies and most moths rest with their wings spread out flat. Typically butterflies have brightly colored wings and moths have dull colored wings. Most butterflies have slender, hairless bodies, while most moths have a fat abdomen and furry bodies. Butterflies form a chrysalis during the pupa stage of their lives. In moths, the chrysalis is normally contained inside a cocoon. Most moths have tiny hook or bristle hooking the forewings and hind wings together. Butterflies do not have this hook. Moths have existed about 100 million years longer than butterflies. So although butterflies and moths appear very much alike, there are quite a number of differences.

Today's Butterfly Fact

Today's Moth Fact

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