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Classification - Insects Orders Illustrated (Grade 3-6)

Classification - Insects Orders Illustrated (Grade 3-6)

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Kingdom – Animals
   Phylum – Arthropoda
      Class – Insecta
         Orders - Looking at 9 Orders of Insects

1) Beetle Order –  Coleoptera

  • Family – Beetles

2) Mantid & Cockroach Order –  Dictyoptera

  • Family – Cockroaches
  • Family – Mantids

3) True Fly Order –  Diptera

  • Family – True Flies

4) Mayfly Order –  Ephemeroptera

  • Family – Mayflies 

5) Butterfly & Moth Order –  Lepidoptera

  • Family – Butterflies
  • Family – Moths

6) Ant, Bee, & Wasp Order –  Hymenoptera

  • Family – Ants
  • Family – Bees
  • Family – Wasps

7) Dragonfly Order –  Odonata

  • Family – Dragonflies
  • Family – Damselflies

8) Grasshopper & Relatives Order –  Orthoptera

  • Family – Grasshoppers
  • Family – Katydids

9) Stick & Leaf Insect Order –  Phasmida

  • Family – Stick-Insects 

 


1) Beetle Order – Coleoptera
    Examples of Families:

  • Carabidae – Ground Beetles  

ground beetle

  • Coccinellidae - Ladybird Beetles

ladybug

  • Lampyridae - Fireflies

firefly

  • Gyrinidae - Whirligig Beetles

gig

  • Scarabaeidae – Dung Beetles

dung beetle

  • Cerambycidae - Long-horned Beetles

longhorn

The order Coleoptera includes the beetles. This is the largest order that contains the most species.
Wings: They have two pairs of wings. The outside pair (forewings) are hard and protective. They are called elytra. They split and spread when the insect needs to fly so the soft wings underneath (hind wings) can be used.
Mouth Parts: Most have chewing mouthparts. Some have piercing mouthparts.
Metamorphosis: They undergo complete (complex) metamorphosis.
Significance to Humans: They can be beneficial (i.e. ladybugs), but some families attack food crops and are considered pests.

2) Mantid & Cockroach Order – Dictyoptera
    Examples of Families:

  •  Mantidae - Praying Mantises

mantid

  •  Hymenopodidae – Orchid Mantid

mantid2

They have long, thin antennae with many segments.
Wings: They usually have two pairs of wings. The forewings are often adapted as tougher coverings and held flat over the back. Some lack wings.
Mouth Parts: They have biting mouthparts.
Metamorphosis: They undergo incomplete (simple) metamorphosis with the nymphs looking like small versions of the adults (with underdeveloped wings).
Significance to Humans: Though some are considered pests (cockroaches), many are beneficial (praying mantis) preying on other pest insects.
   
3) True Fly Order – Diptera
    Examples of Families:

  • Tipulidae - Crane Flies
  • Culicidae - Mosquitoes

mosquito

  • Tabanidae - Horse Flies
  • Tephritidae - Fruit Flies

fruit fly

  • Muscidae - House Flies

These are known as the true flies.
Wings: They have one pair of wings - the hind wings are adapted structures called halterers which may help with flying.
Mouth Parts: They have piercing and sucking mouthparts. Some are parasites.
Metamorphosis: They undergo complete (complex) metamorphosis.
Significance to Humans: They are considered serious pests. They destroy crops and spread many diseases, including malaria.


4) Mayfly Order – Ephemeroptera

   Examples of Families:

  • Family – Mayflies 

mayfly

Adults only survive for a couple of days to mate and lay eggs. They hatch from underwater larva and fly above the water, mate, lay eggs and die. They have long thread-like legs and two long tail strands.
Wings: They have two pairs of triangle-shaped wings - the hind wings are much smaller.
Mouth Parts: Adults do not eat, so have no mouthparts.
Metamorphosis: They undergo incomplete (simple) metamorphosis.
Significance to Humans: They are harmless to humans and fishing flies made to look like them have helped many fishermen catch fish!

5) Butterfly & Moth Order – Lepidoptera
    Examples of Families

  • Papilionidae – Swallowtail Butterflies

swallowtail

  • Pieridae - Sulfur Butterflies

sulfur

  • Danaidae - Monarch Butterflies

monarch

  • Lycaenidae - Coppers and Blues (Butterflies)

blue

  • Nymphalidae - Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, Checkerspot Butterflies (brush-footed)

checkerspot

  • Saturniidae - Luna Moths

luna

  • Sphingidae - Sphinx Moths

sphinx

  • Arctiidae – Isabella (wooly bears) and Tiger Moths

Butterflies and moths are showy and well-known insects. Butterflies are more commonly active in the daytime as opposed to the more nocturnal moths. Moths have more feathered antennae and hairier bodies than butterflies. Both have larvae that can be destructive to trees and food crops.
Wings: As adults they have two pairs of large wings covered with protective scales.
Mouth Parts: Adults have sucking mouthparts. Larvae (young stages) have chewing mouthparts.
Metamorphosis: They undergo complete (complex) metamorphosis.
Significance to Humans: Their young form (larval caterpillars) are considered serious pests and are responsible for crop destruction. Adults, on the other hand, can be beneficial pollinators.

6) Ant, Bee & Wasp Order – Hymenoptera
    Examples of Families

  • Formicidae - Ants

ants

  • Vespidae - Wasps, Yellowjackets, Hornets

yellowjacket

  • Apidae - Honeybees, Bumblebees

bee

Many have an odd narrow “waist” between the thorax and the abdomen. Many form colonies with different and distinct roles.
Wings: Some have wings (two pairs) and some are wingless.
Mouth Parts: Many have chewing mouthparts (ants), though some have sucking mouthparts (honeybees).
Metamorphosis: They undergo complete (complex) metamorphosis.
Significance to Humans: Though some have painful and venomous stings (wasps), many are very important and beneficial pollinators (bumblebees).


7) Dragonfly Order – Odonata
    Examples of Families

  • Libellulidae - Common Skimmer Dragonflies

dragonfly

  • Aeshnidae - Darner Dragonflies

darner

  • Coenagrionidae - Narrow-winged Damselflies

damselfly
Their young (larvae) are called naiads and live in the water (aquatic), so adults are found around wet areas where they will mate and lay eggs. They are predators with large eyes for spotting prey and strong flight for catching prey. Dragonflies hold their wings flat and out from their bodies, while damselflies hold their wings together and pulled into the body.
Wings: They have two pairs of long wings.
Mouth Parts: They have chewing mouthparts. Naiads have piercing mouthparts for catching underwater prey.
Metamorphosis: They undergo incomplete (simple) metamorphosis.
Significance to Humans: They feed on insects (especially mosquitoes), so are considered beneficial.

8) Grasshoppers & Relatives Order – Orthoptera
Examples of Families

  • Tettigoniidae - Katydids

katydid

  • Gryllidae - Crickets

cricket

  • Acrididae - Grasshoppers

gresshopper

Their back legs are usually large and built for jumping.
Wings: They have two pairs of long wings, though some have no wings.
Mouth Parts: They have chewing mouthparts.
Metamorphosis: They undergo incomplete (simple) metamorphosis with the nymphs looking like small versions of the adults (with underdeveloped wings).
Significance to Humans: They can be very destructive to crops.

9) Stick and Leaf Insect Order – Phasmida
    Examples of Families

  • Heteronemiidae - Common Walkingsticks

walkingstick

They have very long, stick-like bodies with long legs and antennae. They are so well camouflaged that they move slowly on their food plants and are rarely seen by predators.
Wings: Most adults in North America are wingless (tropical forms may have wings).
Mouth Parts: They have chewing mouthparts.
Metamorphosis: They undergo incomplete (simple) metamorphosis with the young looking like small versions of the adults.
Significance to Humans: They can be very destructive to some tree species.

 

Other Insect Orders

Collembola - Springtails

Dermaptera - Earwigs

Diplura Two - Pronged Bristle-tails

Embiopter - Web Spinners

Grylloblatodea

Hemiptera - True Bugs

Isoptera - Termites

Mallophaga - Biting Lice

Mecoptera - Scorpionflies

Neuropter - Lacewings

Plecoptera - Stoneflies

Psocoptera - Bark and Book Lice

Siphonaptera - Fleas

Siphunculata - Sucking Lice

Thysanoptera - Thrips

Thysanura - Silverfish

Trichoptera - Caddis Flies

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