WHEN IT COMES TO A GROUP OF CRITTERS as big as this you have to have some sort of order if things aren't to end up in a mess! Would you know what page to put a glow worm on, or a sheep tick or daddy longlegs? I had no idea that cicadas and crickets are in different orders, or that cicadas, aphids, shield bugs and water boatmen are. So the main part of this entry page is a taxonomic list. For this I am mainly indebted to those who have contributed to the detailed Arthropod section in Wikipedia. Some of the taxonomic structure appears to be in flux, and I may have introduced errors of my own, so this listing should not be taken as the last word. The list is "selective" in that not everything is included, although I have included all the orders of winged insects (Pterygota).


Quick jumper

Just now this section doesn't have much in it except a Glow-worm and a Maybug on the Beetles page, and the Dragonflies and Damselflies page has a few species. Plenty to come, but you wouldn't believe how long it takes to identify some of these creatures, prepare decent pics and write something sensible about them!



Subphylum Hexapoda

Class Insecta

Subclass Apterygota (wingless insects)

Order Archaeognatha (bristletails)

Order Thysanura (silverfish)

Subclass Pterygota (winged insects)

Infraclass Paleoptera (probably paraphyletic)

Order Ephemeroptera (mayflies)

Order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

Suborder Epiprocta, Infraorder Anisoptera (dragonflies)

Suborder Zygoptera (damselflies)

Infraclass (or Superorder) Neoptera (almost all winged insects)

Superorder Exopterygota (with externally developing wings; young like adults)


Blattodea (cockroaches)

Dermaptera (earwigs)

Embioptera (webspinners; mostly tropical and subtropical)

Grylloblattodea (icebugs or rock-crawlers; live high up mountains)

Hemiptera (true bugs: cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, shield bugs, water boatmen; includes possibly paraphyletic suborder Homoptera)

Isoptera (termites)

Mantodea (mantids)

Mantophasmatodea (gladiators; African carnivorous insects)

Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, locusts)

Phasmatodea (stick insects)

Phthiraptera (lice)

Plecoptera (stoneflies)

Psocoptera (booklice, barklice)

Thysanoptera (thrips)

Zoraptera (angel insects)

Superorder Endopterygota (with internally developing wings; development characterised by distinctive larval, pupal and adult stages)


Coleoptera (beetles)

Diptera (true flies and mosquitos; evolved from Mecoptera)

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps)

Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths; evolved from Mecoptera)

Mecoptera (scorpionflies, etc)

Megaloptera (alderflies, etc)

Neuroptera (net-veined insects, eg lacewings)

Raphidioptera (snakeflies)

Siphonaptera (fleas; may be part of order Mecoptera)

Strepsiptera (twisted-winged parasites)

Trichoptera (caddisflies; evolved from Mecoptera)

Class Entognatha

Order Collembola (springtails -- cryptozoa in leaf litter)


Subphylum Chelicerata

Class Arachnida (spiders, scorpions, daddy longlegs (harvestmen), ticks and mites, and others)

Order Araneae (spiders; 40,000 species)

Opisthothelae (spiders with abdomen unsegmented and spinnerets located posteriorly; "modern" spiders: includes most common spider species (94%). A suborder, includes Araneomorphae.)

Suborder Araneomorphae ("modern" spiders)

Order Opiliones phalangids, harvestmen or daddy-long-legs (6,300 species)

Order Acarina mites and ticks (30,000 species)


Subphylum Myriapoda

Class Chilopoda (centipedes)

Class Diplopoda (millipedes)


Subphylum Crustacea

Class Malacostraca (lobsters, crabs, shrimps, etc)

Order Isopoda

Suborder Oniscidea (woodlice)

Class Branchiopoda (primitive, primarily fresh-water crustaceans; includes genus Daphnia)

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