Insects: More Than Meets the Eye

Insects: More Than Meets the Eye
Photo by Rosie Kerr / Unsplash
Did you know that there are nearly a million known insect species in the world? That's a lot of bugs! But what's really cool is that most of them have one of just five common types of mouthparts. This is super helpful for scientists because when they come across an unfamiliar insect, they can learn a lot about it just by examining how it eats.

Scientific classification, or taxonomy, is used to organize all living things into seven levels: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The features of an insect’s mouthparts can help identify which order it belongs to while also providing clues about how it evolved and what it feeds on.

There are five common types of insect mouthparts: chewing, piercing-sucking, siphoning, sponging and chewing-lapping. Each type is unique and can be found on different orders of insects. For example, ants from the Hymenoptera order have chewing mouthparts while insects in the Hemiptera order have piercing-sucking mouthparts.

So next time you see an insect buzzing around your ear or nibbling on your vegetable garden, take a closer look at its mouthparts. You might just learn something new!
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Insects
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insect species mouthparts unfamiliar examining classification taxonomy organize kingdom phylum class order family genus evolved chewing piercing sucking siphoning sponging lapping nibbling
Matching Game insect species mouthparts unfamiliar examining classification taxonomy organize kingdom phylum class order family genus evolved chewing piercing sucking siphoning sponging lapping nibbling

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