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Free images of Arthropods

Did you know....

that the organisms in the phylum Arthropoda, make up more than 75% of all life on Earth?  Wow!

The term "arthropod' comes from the greek words "arthro" meaning "joint" or "jointed" and "pod" meaning "foot".

According to the Linnaean system of animal classification, species that are related are grouped into "genera" (singular of term genus); genera are grouped into "families"; families into "orders"; orders into  "classes"; classes into "phyla" (singular of phylum).  The images in this photo category all belong to the phylum called "Arthropoda" or Arthropods.  

Within the phylum Arthropod, are five major groups or subphyla:


Include a diverse group of species having bodies divided into two segments - the prosoma and the opisthosoma.  Note, unlike most arthropods, Chelicerates, don't have antennae.  Includes Arachnids (spiders, scorpions, ticks, mites) and horseshoe crabs.


Include over 31,500 living species.  Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimp, pill bugs, crayfish & barnacles.


The insects.  There are over 800,000 species!  Includes multiple Orders with species like ants, bees, beetles, bugs, butterflies, cockroaches, etc. etc. 

Insects have bodies that have three distinct regions:  the head, thorax and abdomen.  The head has one pair of antennae and most have one pair of compound eyes and some simple eyes called "ocelli".  Insects may bite, suck, stink or lick.  Insects typically have three pairs of legs but some may have fewer legs or be legless.  Often they have one or two pairs of wings, but some are wingless.

Hexapod Orders
(Not including those that are now extinct.)

Archaeognatha (Bristletails)
Blattodea (Cockroaches)
Coleoptera (Beetles)
Collembola (Springtails)
Dermaptera (Earwigs)
Diplura (Two-pronged bristletails)
Diptera (Flies)
Embioptera (Webspinners)
Ephemeroptera (Mayflies)
Grylloblattodea (Rockcrawlers)
Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids, Whiteflies, Scale insects)
Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Sawflies, Wasps)
Isoptera (termites)
Lepidoptera (Butterflies & Moths)
Mantodea (Mantids)
Mecoptera (Scorpionflies, Hanging flies)
Megaloptera (Dobsonflies, Fisherflies, Alderflies)
Microcoryphia (Jumping Bristletails)
Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, Mantidflies & Owlflies)Odonata (Dragon and Damselflies)
Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Katydids, Crickets)
Phasmida (Stick insects)
Phthiraptera (Chewing & Sucking Lice)
Plecoptera (Stoneflies)
Protura (< 2mm long soil dwellers)
Psocoptera (Barklice & Booklice)
Raphidioptera (Snakeflies)
Siphonaptera (Fleas)
Strepsiptera (Twisted-wing Parasites)
Thysanoptera (Thrips-fringed wing insects)
Thysanura (Silverfish & Firebrats)
Trichoptera (Caddisflies)
Zoraptera (Zorapterans <4 mm wingless)


Includes over 13,000 species.  This group includes species with many legs.  Long, worm-like bodies may be microscopic or a foot in length.  Among others, include Diplopoda (millipedes) and Chilopoda (centipedes).

Trilobites - Now extinct.


Arthropod distinguishing features:

Bilateral symmetry -

Left/right body symmetry.  One half of the body mirrors the other.

Exoskeleton -

This is an external skeleton - think of it as body armour.  It is a tough outer covering made up of a series of ring-like segments and plates.  The bodies of arthropods are supported by their exoskeletons - they do not have internal bones.  The exoskeleton is made out of "chitin" and is sometimes called a "cuticle" (the same material your fingernails are made from).  In order to grown, all arthropods must shed their exoskeletons and produce new, larger ones.

Segmented Body -

A body with multiple segments.  Most arthropod's have three sections - the head, thorax and abdomen.  Each segment having a pair of appendages.  Appendages may be antennae, wings, legs or mouth parts.  Segments are connected with movable joints.

Jointed legs - 

The trouble with constantly wearing a suit of armour, is flexing your appendages.  Conveniently, all arthropods have jointed limbs allowed them to be bent.

May limbs or pairs of limbs -

Multiple body segments often have a pair of limbs on each segment.  Spiders have 8 legs, millipedes have hundreds!



Arthropod Image Categories 


Arachnids - Spiders

Learn About Arachnids


38 images

Ants & Termites

Ants & Termites
17 images



Learn all about behaviours, hives, types, fun facts.


Beekeeping & Honey

Beetles & Weevils

The Coleoptera order is the largest in the animal kingdom making up about 30% of all animals.  40% of all insects are beetles. The name coleoptera comes from the Greek words "koleos" which means "sheath" or covering and the word "pteron" which means "wing".  Put them together and we have "sheathed wing".


Learn all about Beetles & common Beetle families. 



Calligrapha - Includes Calligraph alni + C. confluens

3 images of Calligraphy alni on Alder tree +  9 images of Calligraphi confluens including mating pair.

Ceresa diceros
(Two-horned Treehopper or Two-horned Planthopper)

3 images + learn about Buffalo Treehoppers.

Coleomegilla maculata
(Spotted Lady Beetle, 
Pink Spotted Lady Beetle or Twelve-Spotted Lady Beetle)

3 images of beetle on apple tree blooms. 

Labidomera clivicollis
(Milkweed Leaf Beetle)

10 images of beetles on Milkweed plant.


Liliocenris lilii
(Scarlet Lily Beetle)

  7 image of beetles destroying lily plants.

Monochamus scutellatus
(White Spotted Sawyer)

8 images of large black beetle.

Polydrusus impressifrons
(Green Weevil; Leaf Weevil or Pale Green Weevil)

4 images including mating pair.

Popillia japonica
(Japanese Beetle)

10 images including a mating pair.

Rhagonycha fulva
(Common Red Soldier Beetle, Black-tipped Soldier Beetle or Bloodsucker Beetle)

3 images. 


Butterflies are insects that fly during the day in the order of Lepidoptera which also includes moths.  Their life cycle consists of four stages:  egg, larva,  pupa and adult.

Learn About Butterflies

Butterfly or Moth?


Monarch Butterfly
20 images of Monarch eggs, caterpillars & butterfly.





Learn About Flies

Bibio xanthopus
(March Fly)

2 images + png clipart

Hymenoptera order

7 images of the caterpillar-like larvae. 

9 images


Musca domestica - (Housefly)
3 images of the most common domestic flies.

Sialis velata?
Alder Fly)

9 images

Tipulidae Family
(Crane Fly)

4 images

Hornets & Wasps

Hornets & Wasps

What's the difference?

Hornets & Wasps
30 images of Hornet nests, 
tiers, cells, etc.


Halysidota tessellaris
(Banded Tussock Moth)

5 images.

Hemaris thysbe
(Clearwing Sphinx Moth)
5 images of moth in flight.

Malacosoma americana
(Eastern Tent Caterpillar)
18 images.

Lymantria dispar L.
(Gypsy Moth)
19 images of egg mass 
clusters & eggs.


Orgyia antiqua
(Rusty Tussock Moth or Vapourer)
10 images.

Odonata - Dragon & Damselflies

Learn About Odonata Order

What are 
Dragon & Damselflies ?

Agrigomphus cornutus
(Dragonfly-Horned Clubtail)

10 images

Dorocordulia libera
(Dragonfly - Racket-tailed Emerald)

12 images

Enallagma basidens
(Damselfly - Double-striped Bluet)

4 images

Ladonia julia
(Dragonfly - Chalk-fronted Corporal)

  6 images

Leucorrhinia intacta
(Dragonfly - Dot-tailed Whiteface)

1 image

Libellula quadrimaculata 
Dragonfly - Four-spotted Skimmer)

6 images 

Hatching Nymphs
50 images of dragonflies emerging from nymphs.  Watch the wings unfurl and dry.

Assorted Insects

10 images of nymphs and
 the foam they produce.

Wooly Aphid
6 images






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