arthropod

An arthropod is an animal with no internal spine, a body made of joined segments, and a hard covering, like a shell. Spiders are one type of arthropod.

Many different kinds of animals fall into the category known as arthropods, most of them insects or spiders, but also including crustaceans like shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. Their bodies are jointed and they have an exoskeleton, their hard outer covering. The Modern Latin root is Arthropoda, which is also the name of the animals' phylum, and which means "those with jointed feet."

Definitions of arthropod
1

n invertebrate having jointed limbs and a segmented body with an exoskeleton made of chitin

Types:
show 72 types...
hide 72 types...
trilobite
an extinct arthropod that was abundant in Paleozoic times; had an exoskeleton divided into three parts
arachnid, arachnoid
air-breathing arthropods characterized by simple eyes and four pairs of legs
myriapod
general term for any terrestrial arthropod having an elongated body composed of many similar segments: e.g. centipedes and millipedes
Scutigerella immaculata, garden centipede, garden symphilid, symphilid
minute arthropod often infesting the underground parts of truck-garden and greenhouse crops
tardigrade
an arthropod of the division Tardigrada
centipede
chiefly nocturnal predacious arthropod having a flattened body of 15 to 173 segments each with a pair of legs, the foremost pair being modified as prehensors
millepede, milliped, millipede
any of numerous herbivorous nonpoisonous arthropods having a cylindrical body of 20 to 100 or more segments most with two pairs of legs
pycnogonid, sea spider
any of various small spiderlike marine arthropods having small thin bodies and long slender legs
Merostomata, class Merostomata
used in some classifications; includes the orders Xiphosura and Eurypterida
Limulus polyphemus, Xiphosurus polyphemus, horseshoe crab, king crab
large marine arthropod of the Atlantic coast of North America having a domed carapace that is shaped like a horseshoe and a stiff pointed tail; a living fossil related to the wood louse
Asian horseshoe crab
horseshoe crab of the coast of eastern Asia
eurypterid
large extinct scorpion-like arthropod considered related to horseshoe crabs
pentastomid, tongue worm
wormlike arthropod having two pairs of hooks at the sides of the mouth; parasitic in nasal sinuses of mammals
crustacean
any mainly aquatic arthropod usually having a segmented body and chitinous exoskeleton
onychophoran, peripatus, velvet worm
any of numerous velvety-skinned wormlike carnivorous animals common in tropical forests having characteristics of both arthropods and annelid worms
insect
small air-breathing arthropod
instar
an insect or other arthropod between molts
Phalangium opilio, daddy longlegs, harvestman
spiderlike arachnid with a small rounded body and very long thin legs
scorpion
arachnid of warm dry regions having a long segmented tail ending in a venomous stinger
false scorpion, pseudoscorpion
small nonvenomous arachnid resembling a tailless scorpion
whip scorpion, whip-scorpion
nonvenomous arachnid that resembles a scorpion and that has a long thin tail without a stinger
spider
predatory arachnid with eight legs, two poison fangs, two feelers, and usually two silk-spinning organs at the back end of the body; they spin silk to make cocoons for eggs or traps for prey
acarine
mite or tick
Scutigera coleoptrata, house centipede
long-legged centipede common in damp places as e.g. cellars
malacostracan crustacean
a major subclass of crustaceans
decapod, decapod crustacean
crustaceans characteristically having five pairs of locomotor appendages each joined to a segment of the thorax
brachyuran
typical crabs
stomatopod, stomatopod crustacean
a kind of crustacean
branchiopod, branchiopod crustacean, branchiopodan
aquatic crustaceans typically having a carapace and many pairs of leaflike appendages used for swimming as well as respiration and feeding
copepod, copepod crustacean
minute marine or freshwater crustaceans usually having six pairs of limbs on the thorax; some abundant in plankton and others parasitic on fish
mussel shrimp, ostracod, seed shrimp
tiny marine and freshwater crustaceans with a shrimp-like body enclosed in a bivalve shell
barnacle, cirriped, cirripede
marine crustaceans with feathery food-catching appendages; free-swimming as larvae; as adults form a hard shell and live attached to submerged surfaces
Plicatoperipatus jamaicensis
a kind of onychophoran
social insect
an insect that lives in a colony with other insects of the same species
ephemeral, ephemeron
anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day in its winged form
holometabola, metabola
insects that undergo complete metamorphosis
defoliator
an insect that strips the leaves from plants
pollinator
an insect that carries pollen from one flower to another
gallfly
any of various insects that deposit their eggs in plants causing galls in which the larvae feed
mecopteran
any of various carnivorous insects of the order Mecoptera
collembolan, springtail
any of numerous minute wingless primitive insects possessing a special abdominal appendage that allows the characteristic nearly perpetual springing pattern; found in soil rich in organic debris or on the surface of snow or water
proturan, telsontail
any of several minute primitive wingless and eyeless insects having a cone-shaped head; inhabit damp soil or decaying organic matter
beetle
insect having biting mouthparts and front wings modified to form horny covers overlying the membranous rear wings
web spinner
any of a small order of slender typically tropical insects that nest in colonies in silken tunnels that they spin
louse, sucking louse
wingless usually flattened bloodsucking insect parasitic on warm-blooded animals
bird louse, biting louse, louse
wingless insect with mouth parts adapted for biting; mostly parasitic on birds
flea
any wingless bloodsucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap
dipteran, dipteron, dipterous insect, two-winged insects
insects having usually a single pair of functional wings (anterior pair) with the posterior pair reduced to small knobbed structures and mouth parts adapted for sucking or lapping or piercing
leaf miner, leaf-miner
any of various small moths or dipterous flies whose larvae burrow into and feed on leaf tissue especially of the family Gracilariidae
hymenopter, hymenopteran, hymenopteron, hymenopterous insect
insects having two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor specialized for stinging or piercing
worker
sterile member of a colony of social insects that forages for food and cares for the larvae
termite, white ant
whitish soft-bodied ant-like social insect that feeds on wood
orthopteran, orthopteron, orthopterous insect
any of various insects having leathery forewings and membranous hind wings and chewing mouthparts
phasmid, phasmid insect
large cylindrical or flattened mostly tropical insects with long strong legs that feed on plants; walking sticks and leaf insects
dictyopterous insect
cockroaches and mantids
bug
general term for any insect or similar creeping or crawling invertebrate
bug, hemipteran, hemipteron, hemipterous insect
insects with sucking mouthparts and forewings thickened and leathery at the base; usually show incomplete metamorphosis
heteropterous insect
true bugs: insects whose forewings are membranous but have leathery tips
homopteran, homopterous insect
insects having membranous forewings and hind wings
psocopterous insect
small soft-bodied insect with chewing mouthparts and either no wings or two pairs
ephemerid, ephemeropteran
short-lived insect
plecopteran, stone fly, stonefly
primitive winged insect with a flattened body; used as bait by fishermen; aquatic gilled larvae are carnivorous and live beneath stones
neuropteran, neuropteron, neuropterous insect
insect having biting mouthparts and four large membranous wings with netlike veins
odonate
large primitive predatory aquatic insect having two pairs of membranous wings
trichopteran, trichopteron, trichopterous insect
caddis fly
thysanuran insect, thysanuron
primitive wingless insects: bristletail
thysanopter, thysanopteron, thysanopterous insect
an insect of the order Thysanoptera
earwig
any of numerous insects of the order Dermaptera having elongate bodies and slender many-jointed antennae and a pair of large pincers at the rear of the abdomen
lepidopteran, lepidopteron, lepidopterous insect
insect that in the adult state has four wings more or less covered with tiny scales
pupa
an insect in the inactive stage of development (when it is not feeding) intermediate between larva and adult
imago
an adult insect produced after metamorphosis
queen
the only fertile female in a colony of social insects such as bees and ants and termites; its function is to lay eggs
Type of:
invertebrate
any animal lacking a backbone or notochord; the term is not used as a scientific classification

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.