Insects – the most species-rich group of animals in the world.
Butterflies, beetles, bees, dragonflies, termites, and fleas – the world of insects could not be more diverse. They are by far the most species-rich group of animals in the world.
Whether as pollinators of flowering plants, food for a multitude of other animals, or as recyclers of dead animals and plants – insects fulfil a large number of ecological functions. The number of insect species is estimated between 3 and 4 million. The presence of six legs easily distinguishes them from the eight-legged arachnids. And while the arachnids’ body only consists of two segments, the insects’ body is comprised of three parts – the head, thorax, and abdomen. Contrary to the vertebrates, insects do not possess an endoskeleton, i.e. they have no bones inside their body. Instead, insects have a chitinous body shell, i.e., an exterior skeleton (also called an exoskeleton) that is also found in crustaceans, among others.