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Common
Insect OrdersAdapted from Berkeley Natural History Museums lesson
“A Quick Way to Identify Common Insect Orders” wi...
Insects are the
most species-
rich group of
organisms on
earth as
indicated in this
species-scape.
The size of the
organis...
Parts of an insect
Parts of an insect
Head Thorax Abdomen
Spiracles
Parts of an insect
Head Thorax Abdomen
3 pairs of legs
Spiracles
Parts of an insect
Head Thorax Abdomen
3 pairs of legs Wings and legs on thorax
Spiracles
Important areas to study to
identify common insect orders
Head Thorax Abdomen
3 pairs of legs
Spiracles
Mouthparts:
Chewing
mandibles
mandibles
Mouthparts:
Piercing
Sucking
Sponging-sucking
Coiled
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)
Greek "ortho" = straight, "ptera" = wing
Spot ID
• Jumping legs
• parallel-s...
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)
Greek “orthos” = straight, “pteros” = wing
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)
Spot ID
• Jumping hind legs
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)
Spot ID
• Jumping hind legs
• Some with ovipositor at hind
end
Coleoptera (beetles)
Greek “koleos”= sheath, “ptero”= wing
Coleoptera (beetles)
Coleoptera (beetles)
Spot ID
• Chewing mouthparts
Coleoptera (beetles)
Spot ID
• Chewing mouthparts
• Forewings (elytra)
form hard shell
covering hindwings
Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths)
Greek “lepido”= scale, “ptero”= wing
Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths)
Greek “lepido”= scale, “ptero”= wing
• Coiling-sucking mouthparts
Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths)
Greek “lepido”= scale, “ptero”= wing
• Coiling-sucking mouthparts
• Four wings covered wi...
Diptera (flies)
Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
Diptera (flies)
Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
Spot ID
• Two wings
Diptera (flies)
Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
Spot ID
• Two wings
– Hind wings reduced
to halteres
Diptera (flies)
Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
Spot ID
• Two wings
– Hind wings reduced
to halteres
• Sponging-sucking
mou...
Diptera (flies)
Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
Greek “hymen”=membrane, “ptero”=wing
or
Hymen, the Greek god of marriage
because the forew...
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
Spot ID
• Chewing mouthparts
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
Spot ID
• Chewing mouthparts
• Four membranous wings
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
Spot ID
• Chewing mouthparts
• Four membranous wings
• Waist often constricted
Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
Spot ID
• Chewing mouthparts
• Four membranous wings
• Waist often constricted
• Females w...
Hemiptera
(true bugs, also sometimes called Heteroptera)
Greek “hemisys” = half, “ptero” = wing
Hemiptera
(true bugs)
Greek “hemisys” = half, “ptero” = wing
Spot ID
• A beak: piercing-sucking mouthparts
Hemiptera
(true bugs)
Greek “hemisys” = half, “ptero” = wing
Spot ID
• A beak: piercing-sucking mouthparts
• Forewings cov...
Homoptera
(hoppers, aphids, scales, cicadas)
Greek “homo” = uniform, “ptero” = wing
Spot ID
• A beak: piercing-sucking mou...
Homoptera
(hoppers, aphids, scales, cicadas)
Greek “homo” = uniform, “ptero” = wing
Some entomologists now combine Order
H...
Dermaptera (earwigs)
Greek “derma” = skin, “ptero” = wing
Dermaptera (earwigs)
Greek “derma” = skin, “ptero” = wing
Spot ID
• Long skin-like hindwings folded
under very short forew...
Dermaptera (earwigs)
Greek “derma” = skin, “ptero” = wing
Spot ID
• Long skin-like hindwings folded
under very short forew...
Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies)
Greek “odon” = tooth
(referring to teeth on their mandibles)
Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies)
Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies)
Spot ID
• Long slender wings
Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies)
Spot ID
• Long slender wings
• Long thin body
Isoptera (termites)
Greek "iso" = equal, "ptera" = wings
Spot ID
• Pale, elongate body
• 2 pairs of membranous
wings of eq...
Blattodea (roaches)
Latin “blatta” = cockroach
Blattodea (roaches)
Blattodea (roaches)
Spot ID
• Flat
Blattodea (roaches)
Spot ID
• Flat
• Spiny legs
Blattodea (roaches)
Also called Blattaria, Greek “Blatta” = cockroach
Spot ID
• Flat
• Spiny legs
• Long antennae
Neuroptera (ant lions, lacewings,
mantidflies)
Greek "neuron" = nerve and "ptera" = wings
Spot ID
• four membranous net-
v...
Neuroptera (ant lions, lacewings,
mantidflies)
Greek "neuron" = nerve and "ptera" = wings
Spot ID
• Larvae have elongated
...
Mantodea (praying mantises)
Greek “mantis” = prophet
Spot ID
• two grasping, spiked
forelegs often held in
“praying” posit...
Phasmatodea (walking stick insects)
Also Phasmida, Greek “phasm” = phantom
Spot ID
• cylindrical stick-like
body or flatte...
Thysanura (silverfish, bristletails)
Greek "thysano-" = fringed, "ura" = tail
Spot ID
• three long caudal (tail)
filaments...
Ephemerida (mayflies)
Also Ephemeroptera, Greek "ephemera"
=short-lived
Spot ID
• delicate bodies and
gauzy, fragile wings...
Plecoptera (stoneflies)
Greek "pleco" = braided, "ptera" = wing
Spot ID
• complex venation of two
pairs of wings, which ar...
Mecoptera (scorpionflies)
Greek “meco-” = long, “ptera” = wings
Spot ID
• abdomen is cylindrical,
and typically curves
upw...
Trichoptera (caddisflies)
Greek “trich” = hair, ptera = wing
Spot ID
• small moth-like with
two pairs of hairy
membranous ...
Siphonaptera (fleas)
Greek "siphon“ = tube or pipe, "aptera" =
wingless
Spot ID
• Wingless (adaptation to
ectoparasitism)
...
Thysanoptera (thrips)
Greek "thysano-" = fringed, “ptera" = wing
• Very small insects
with a range of 1/32
to 1/8 inch in
...
Some Common Insects
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Insect orders

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Insect orders

  1. 1. Common Insect OrdersAdapted from Berkeley Natural History Museums lesson “A Quick Way to Identify Common Insect Orders” with edits by Ertell
  2. 2. Insects are the most species- rich group of organisms on earth as indicated in this species-scape. The size of the organism reflects the number of described species.
  3. 3. Parts of an insect
  4. 4. Parts of an insect Head Thorax Abdomen Spiracles
  5. 5. Parts of an insect Head Thorax Abdomen 3 pairs of legs Spiracles
  6. 6. Parts of an insect Head Thorax Abdomen 3 pairs of legs Wings and legs on thorax Spiracles
  7. 7. Important areas to study to identify common insect orders Head Thorax Abdomen 3 pairs of legs Spiracles
  8. 8. Mouthparts: Chewing mandibles mandibles
  9. 9. Mouthparts: Piercing Sucking Sponging-sucking Coiled
  10. 10. Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids) Greek "ortho" = straight, "ptera" = wing Spot ID • Jumping legs • parallel-sided structure of front wings
  11. 11. Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids) Greek “orthos” = straight, “pteros” = wing
  12. 12. Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids)
  13. 13. Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids) Spot ID • Jumping hind legs
  14. 14. Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids) Spot ID • Jumping hind legs • Some with ovipositor at hind end
  15. 15. Coleoptera (beetles) Greek “koleos”= sheath, “ptero”= wing
  16. 16. Coleoptera (beetles)
  17. 17. Coleoptera (beetles) Spot ID • Chewing mouthparts
  18. 18. Coleoptera (beetles) Spot ID • Chewing mouthparts • Forewings (elytra) form hard shell covering hindwings
  19. 19. Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths) Greek “lepido”= scale, “ptero”= wing
  20. 20. Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths) Greek “lepido”= scale, “ptero”= wing • Coiling-sucking mouthparts
  21. 21. Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths) Greek “lepido”= scale, “ptero”= wing • Coiling-sucking mouthparts • Four wings covered with scales
  22. 22. Diptera (flies) Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
  23. 23. Diptera (flies) Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing Spot ID • Two wings
  24. 24. Diptera (flies) Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing Spot ID • Two wings – Hind wings reduced to halteres
  25. 25. Diptera (flies) Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing Spot ID • Two wings – Hind wings reduced to halteres • Sponging-sucking mouthparts – Except mosquitoes and some others that pierce skin
  26. 26. Diptera (flies) Latin “di”= two, “ptero”= wing
  27. 27. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) Greek “hymen”=membrane, “ptero”=wing or Hymen, the Greek god of marriage because the forewing & hindwings are joined together with small hooks Hooks not shown
  28. 28. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants)
  29. 29. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) Spot ID • Chewing mouthparts
  30. 30. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) Spot ID • Chewing mouthparts • Four membranous wings
  31. 31. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) Spot ID • Chewing mouthparts • Four membranous wings • Waist often constricted
  32. 32. Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) Spot ID • Chewing mouthparts • Four membranous wings • Waist often constricted • Females with ovipositor or stinger at end of abdomen
  33. 33. Hemiptera (true bugs, also sometimes called Heteroptera) Greek “hemisys” = half, “ptero” = wing
  34. 34. Hemiptera (true bugs) Greek “hemisys” = half, “ptero” = wing Spot ID • A beak: piercing-sucking mouthparts
  35. 35. Hemiptera (true bugs) Greek “hemisys” = half, “ptero” = wing Spot ID • A beak: piercing-sucking mouthparts • Forewings covering hindwings – Wing half membrane, half thickened
  36. 36. Homoptera (hoppers, aphids, scales, cicadas) Greek “homo” = uniform, “ptero” = wing Spot ID • A beak: piercing-sucking mouthparts • Forewings covering hindwings – Wings all membranous
  37. 37. Homoptera (hoppers, aphids, scales, cicadas) Greek “homo” = uniform, “ptero” = wing Some entomologists now combine Order Homoptera with Order Hemiptera because the DNA has been found to be similar. In this case, Homoptera would be considered a suborder.
  38. 38. Dermaptera (earwigs) Greek “derma” = skin, “ptero” = wing
  39. 39. Dermaptera (earwigs) Greek “derma” = skin, “ptero” = wing Spot ID • Long skin-like hindwings folded under very short forewings
  40. 40. Dermaptera (earwigs) Greek “derma” = skin, “ptero” = wing Spot ID • Long skin-like hindwings folded under very short forewings • Pinchers off end of abdomen
  41. 41. Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies) Greek “odon” = tooth (referring to teeth on their mandibles)
  42. 42. Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies)
  43. 43. Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies) Spot ID • Long slender wings
  44. 44. Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies) Spot ID • Long slender wings • Long thin body
  45. 45. Isoptera (termites) Greek "iso" = equal, "ptera" = wings Spot ID • Pale, elongate body • 2 pairs of membranous wings of equal length only present in reproductives and shed after mating • Mandibulate (chewing) mouthparts • Antennae about the same length as the head • Sometimes now classified with Blattodea because their DNA suggests that they are specialized roaches
  46. 46. Blattodea (roaches) Latin “blatta” = cockroach
  47. 47. Blattodea (roaches)
  48. 48. Blattodea (roaches) Spot ID • Flat
  49. 49. Blattodea (roaches) Spot ID • Flat • Spiny legs
  50. 50. Blattodea (roaches) Also called Blattaria, Greek “Blatta” = cockroach Spot ID • Flat • Spiny legs • Long antennae
  51. 51. Neuroptera (ant lions, lacewings, mantidflies) Greek "neuron" = nerve and "ptera" = wings Spot ID • four membranous net- veined wings • forewings and hindwings about the same size
  52. 52. Neuroptera (ant lions, lacewings, mantidflies) Greek "neuron" = nerve and "ptera" = wings Spot ID • Larvae have elongated mandibles adapted for piercing and sucking • Oliver the Owlfly larva is an example • Antlion larvae (doodlebugs)
  53. 53. Mantodea (praying mantises) Greek “mantis” = prophet Spot ID • two grasping, spiked forelegs often held in “praying” position • Triangular, swiveling head with large compound eyes
  54. 54. Phasmatodea (walking stick insects) Also Phasmida, Greek “phasm” = phantom Spot ID • cylindrical stick-like body or flattened, leaflike shape • long, slender antennae • sometimes have wings
  55. 55. Thysanura (silverfish, bristletails) Greek "thysano-" = fringed, "ura" = tail Spot ID • three long caudal (tail) filaments • Silverfish are so called due to the silvery glitter of the scales covering their bodies • flattened bodies, may be elongated or oval in shape
  56. 56. Ephemerida (mayflies) Also Ephemeroptera, Greek "ephemera" =short-lived Spot ID • delicate bodies and gauzy, fragile wings • two or three long threads (caudal filaments) at end of abdomen • Adults have no functional mouthparts
  57. 57. Plecoptera (stoneflies) Greek "pleco" = braided, "ptera" = wing Spot ID • complex venation of two pairs of wings, which are membranous and fold flat over the back • legs each end in two claws • long, multi-segmented antennae
  58. 58. Mecoptera (scorpionflies) Greek “meco-” = long, “ptera” = wings Spot ID • abdomen is cylindrical, and typically curves upwards in the male, superficially resembling the tail of a scorpion • wings are narrow in shape, with numerous cross-veins
  59. 59. Trichoptera (caddisflies) Greek “trich” = hair, ptera = wing Spot ID • small moth-like with two pairs of hairy membranous wings • Aquatic larvae, adults usually found near aquatic habitats
  60. 60. Siphonaptera (fleas) Greek "siphon“ = tube or pipe, "aptera" = wingless Spot ID • Wingless (adaptation to ectoparasitism) • 1-10mm long • Mouthparts are sucking and piercing • Hind legs are enlarged for jumping • Laterally flattened
  61. 61. Thysanoptera (thrips) Greek "thysano-" = fringed, “ptera" = wing • Very small insects with a range of 1/32 to 1/8 inch in length • Feed on plants, considered crop pest
  62. 62. Some Common Insects
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Insect orders

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