There are three ways you can start to identify an insect. If you observe an organism that has (1) an exoskeleton, (2) a segmented body, and (3) at least three pairs of legs, it is probably an insect! But insects are arthropods (which is a phylum in the biological classification system). Arthropods also include spiders, crabs, and millipedes and centipedes. To more specifically determine if the organism in an insect you have to learn about the 29 orders in the class Insecta. The orders use either physical characteristics or evolutionary links to organize insects. Here is a list of the different orders of insects:
There are estimated to be over a million species of insects on the planet and they live in every conceivable environment. Insects are the largest group in the animal kingdom.
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