Glossary of Insect Terminology

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abdomen the back end region of the insect body
ametabolous little change of body form in growth development
antennae one pair of segmented appendages located on the insect head
anterior front
appendages any organ, usually segmented, such as a leg or antenna connected to the external skeleton
arachnids spiders and their near relatives such as mites, ticks and scorpions
arthropods are animals that lack a backbone, and have an external skeleton, and jointed legs
caudal meaning toward the hind end of the body
cercus one pair of appendages at the hind end of the abdomen
chelicera(e) the main pair of mouthparts of spiders and their relatives
compound eye an eye made up of many individual elements
ecdysis moulting
elytron a thick, hard front wing
exoskeleton a skeleton on the outside of the body
habitat the living place of an animal or plant
head the anterior body region
host the organism in or on which an insect lives
imago the adult stage of an insect
instar the insect stage between moults
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larva the immature stage between an egg and pupa of an insect
metamorphosis a change of body form during development, between moults
moult shedding of the exoskeleton
naiad an aquatic gill-breathing nymph
nymph an immature stage of an insect that does not have a pupa stage
orb web a silk spider web of radiating and spiral strands
parasite an animal that lives in or on the body of another living animal
pedipalps the second pair of appendages of an arachnid
pollinate the transfer of pollen from one flower to another
posterior hind end, or back end
predator an animal that attacks and feeds on other animals
pupa the stage of development between the larva and the adult in insects with complete metamorphosis
scavenger an animal that feeds on dead plants or animals
tenaculum in collembolans a structure under the abdomen in which the furcula is held
thorax the body region behind the insect head, which bears the wings and legs
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