Australian Insects

Insects belong to the largest phylum of animals, the arthropods (Arthropoda), which are invertebrates (lack a backbone) and are characterised by having an exoskeleton, segmented body and paired jointed appendages. Insects belong to the class Insecta, which is by far the largest class of any animal, with almost 70,000 formally described species within over 13,300 genera in Australia alone, and many more awaiting classification, and over a million documented species worldwide. Adult insects are the only invertebrates to possess wings (although these are not always present), and are further characterised by having three pairs of legs, a pair of antennae and three generally distinct body segments (head, thorax and abdomen). Insects are grouped with the springtails (Collembola) and the entognathans (Entognatha) under the subphylum Hexapoda (six-legged animals). Other arthropod subphylums include Crustacea (crustaceans), Chelicerata (spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, mites, ticks and allies) and Myriapoda (centipedes, millipedes and allies).

Follow the order links below to the individual species fact sheets: