Insects and Spiders


Bee Assassin
Bee Assassin
Broad-necked Darkling Beetle
Broad-Necked Darkling Beetle
California Cankerworm Moth
California Katydid
Field Cricket
Green Lacewing
Green Stink Bug
Jagged Ambush Bug
Jerusalem Cricket
Ladybug (Ladybird)
Milk Weed Tiger Moth
Minute Insect
Nine-Spotted Ladybug Beetle
Pallid-winged Grasshopper
Pine Sawyer
Round Fungus Beetle
Short-legged Shield-back Katydid
Thorscid Beetle
Tulip Tree Beauty
Western Pine Elfin
Western Yellow Jacket
Yellow Jacket
Yellow Mealworm Beetle

An insect is an invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda . Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.    

The body of the typical adult insect is divided into three distinct parts, the head, thorax, and abdomen. The head bears three pairs of mouthparts, one pair of compound eyes, three simple eyes (ocelli), and one pair of jointed sensory antennae. The thorax is divided into three segments, each with a pair of jointed legs, and bears two pairs of wings. The abdomen has posterior appendages associated with reproduction. The exoskeleton is composed of a horny substance called chitin.

Insects breathe through a complex network of air tubes (tracheae) that open to the outside through a series of small valved apertures (spiracles) along the sides of the body. In chewing insects the digestive system includes a muscular gizzard that is lacking in sucking insects. The simple circulatory system is composed of a tubular heart that pumps blood forward into the head, from which it diffuses through the tissues and back into the heart. The aquatic larvae of many insects breathe by means of external gills; some very primitive species breathe directly through the body wall. -


Barn Spider
Black Widow spider
Carolina Wolf Spider
Desert Turantula
Desert Tarantula
Forest Wolf Spider
Grass Spider
Grass Spider
Orb Weaver
Turret Spider
Turret Spider

Orb Weaver

A Spider is an organism with four pairs of legs and a two-part body consisting of a cephalothorax, or prosoma, and an unsegmented abdomen, or opisthosoma. The cephalothorax is covered by a shield, or carapace, and bears eight simple eyes.

On the underside of the head (the cephalic part of the cephalothorax) are two pairs of appendages, the anterior pair called chelicerae and the second pair pedipalps, with which the spider captures and paralyzes its prey, injecting into it venom produced in the poison glands. The spider then liquefies the tissues of the prey with a digestive fluid and sucks this broth into its stomach where it may be stored in a digestive gland.

Three pairs of spinnerets toward the tip of the abdomen produce protein-containing fluids that harden as they are drawn out to form silk threads. Several kinds of silk glands and spinnerets produce different kinds of silk used variously for constructing cocoons or egg sacs, spinning webs, and binding prey; other light strands are spun out for ballooning, or floating, the spiders, especially young ones, long distances on air currents. Spider silk is used for the cross hairs in certain optical instruments. Spiders live chiefly on insects and other arthropods; some large spiders ensnare and kill small snakes, birds, and mammals. -


Sow Bug

Although these organisms do not fit into the catagory of insects and spiders, we list them here because they have many characteristics in common with these animals.