Body Parts of an Insect

An insect is an invertebrate creature that has six legs, three body parts, a pair of antennae, and compound eyes. An invertebrae is a creature without a backbone. 

The three body parts of an adult insect are the head, the thorax (chest), and the abdomen (stomach). There are other body parts attached to these three main body parts.

Head – the head has mouthparts, antennae (feelers), compound eyes and sometimes simple eyes. The head is called the anterior body part. Anterior means front part.

Thorax – the thorax has three segments with three pairs of legs (a total of 6 legs) and one or two pairs of wings. There is a pair of legs on each segment. The legs are the forelegs (2 front legs), the midlegs (2 middle legs), and the hind legs (2 back legs). The wings are the forewings (2 front wings) and the hind wings (2 back wings).

Abdomen – the abdomen has 11 segments. The female insect has an ovipositor (a tube to lay eggs) and sometimes a stinger. Not all insects have a stinger. The abdomen is called the posterior body part. Posterior means back part. 

Asian Hornet
Common Darter Dragonfly
Giant Stag Beetle
Malachite Butterfly

Illustration: By Georg Wolfgang Franz Panser, Deutschlands Insectenfaune1795 in Innumerable Insectsby Michael S. Engel

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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