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Insects are a class within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae. They are the among the diverse group of animals on the planet and include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms.[2][3] The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million,[2][4][5] and potentially represent over 90% of the differing life forms on Earth.[6] Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species occur in the oceans, a habitat dominated by another arthropod group, the crustaceans.
The most diverse group of animals on the planet, insects are generally classified as any of numerous invertebrate animals that are a member of the phylum Arthropoda, and of the class Insecta.
Modern insects range in size from less than a millimeter to over 18 centimeters in size. An insect’s adult body in characterized by three pairs of legs and a body segmented into a head, thorax, and abdomen, and usually two pairs of wings. Virtually all insects are born from an egg laid by their mother. Some of the most common and well known insect species include flies, crickets, mosquitoes, beetles, butterflies, and bees.
There are approximately 5,000 dragonfly species, 2,000 praying mantis, 20,000 grasshopper, 170,000 butterfly and moth, 120,000 fly, 82,000 true bug, 350,000 beetle, and 110,000 bee and ant species that have been discovered to this date, for a total of more than 925,000 species. It is estimated that there could be as many as 15-30 million species of insects that have yet to be discovered by science. The scientific study of insects is also known as entomology.