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 Arthropoda :: insects 
Anatomy. Insect parts
Insects are incredibly diverse. They range in size from 0.1 mm to 30 cm in length or wingspan. In North America the largest insects are the moths with a wingspan of up to 15 cm and stick insects with a body length of 15 cm. Insects range in colour.
Coleoptera: beetles and weevils
Beetles constitute the largest and most diverse order of insects on earth, making up about 30% of all animals. There are over 300 000 species of beetles worldwide and over 28 000 species spread across 117 families in Australia.
Diptera: flies and mosquitoes
This is one of the largest insect orders in the world and includes many familiar insects such as mosquitoes, midges, sand flies, house flies and blowflies.
Ephemeroptera: mayflies
Mayflies are small to medium sized insects with an average wingspan up to 15 millimetres. As their name suggests, mayflies have only a short adult life ranging from a few hours up to a day or two depending on the species
Hemiptera: bugs, aphids and cicadas
The insects in this order are extremely diverse in their size, shape and colour. There are about 6000 described species in Australia, ranging in size from 1 to 110 millimetres in length.
Lepidoptera: moths and butterflies
This is one of the most well known and easily recognisable orders of insects and contains about 21 000 species in Australia. Moths and butterflies are grouped together in the order Lepidoptera, which means 'scaly wings'.
Megaloptera: dobsonflies and alderflies
This is a very small order of Australian insects commonly known as alderflies and dobsonflies. They are medium to large sized insects with a wingspan ranging from 20 to 100 millimetres.
There are two kinds of metamorphosis, simple and complete. With simple metamorphosis, the immature stages are called nymphs and they are usually quite similar to the adults in appearance.
Odonata: dragonflies and damselflies
These often brightly coloured, fast flying insects are well known and easily recognised. Dragonflies and damselflies are medium to large insects with body lengths ranging from 15-120 millimetres.
Insects are ectotherms. Their body temperature is dependent on heat from the environment and closely follows temperatures to which they are exposed. Insects are able to survive adverse climatic conditions partly because of their "cold-bloodedness".
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