Morphology

The main morphological characteristics of insects are as follows:

Adults

Insect morphology. Head, thorax, abdomen. Parasitoid wasp (adult)
  • Segmented body divided into three sections: head, thorax, abdomen.
  • Mouth including mandibles.
  • Three pairs of legs attached to the thorax.
  • One pair of antennae.
  • External skeleton (exoskeleton)
  • Usually, one or two pairs of wings attached to the thorax

Larvae of some holometabolous insects (with complete metamorphosis), such as the Lepidoptera

Insect morphology. Head, thorax, abdomen, thoracic legs and prolegs. Dagger moth (larva)
  • Body with a highly sclerotized (hardened) head and 13 segments, the last two of which are fused together.
  • Thoracic segments with three pairs of articulated legs.
  • Some abdominal segments with pairs of prolegs bearing hooks that allow the larvae to cling to objects.
  • The larva has a cuticle, a special membrane, as part of its external skeletal structure.
  • Mouth parts with glands for the secretion of silk.
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