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Portal:Arthropods

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Arthropods make up the largest phylum of animals (Phylum Arthropoda) and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans and others. More than 80% of described living animal species are arthropods, with over a million modern species described and a fossil record reaching back to the late Proterozoic era. Arthropods are common throughout marine, freshwater, terrestrial, and even aerial environments, and includes various symbiotic and parasitic forms. They range in size from microscopic plankton (~¼ mm) up to forms several metres across. Arthropods are characterised by the possession of a segmented body with appendages on each segment. They have a dorsal heart and a ventral nervous system. All arthropods are covered by a hard exoskeleton made of chitin, a polysaccharide which protects against trauma and desiccation. They shed this covering periodically when moulting.

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A segmented animal is seen from the side. It has a long antennae and small black eyes; one pair of legs is much more robust than the others; the body is slightly arched and each segment carries a pair of appendages. The whole animal is translucent or a pale brown colour.
Crustaceans are a large group of arthropods, comprising approximately 52,000 described species, and are usually treated as the subphylum Crustacea. They include various familiar animals, such as lobsters, crabs, shrimp, crayfish and barnacles. The majority are aquatic, living in either fresh water or marine environments, but a few groups have adapted to terrestrial life, such as land crabs, terrestrial hermit crabs and woodlice. Most crustaceans are motile, moving about independently, although a few taxa are parasitic and live attached to their hosts (including sea lice, fish lice, whale lice, tongue worms, and Cymothoa exigua, all of which may be referred to as "crustacean lice"), and adult barnacles live a sessile life – they are attached head-first to the substrate and cannot move independently.

The scientific study of crustaceans is known as carcinology. Other names for carcinology are malacostracology, crustaceology and crustalogy, and a scientist who works in carcinology is a carcinologist, crustaceologist or crustalogist.

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A rhomboidal crab with long legs on a black background.

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A medium-sized butterfly rests on some bark; it has brown wings with a few small spots of blue within black circles within large yellow rings.
Cscr-featured.svg Credit: JJ Harrison

The Meadow Argus, Junonia villida (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), is a butterfly commonly found in Australia. It is also known as Albin's Hampstead Eye in the United Kingdom, where it has occurred only as an accidental import.

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indicates an extinct taxon.

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Here are some tasks you can do:

  • Start a new article. Arthropods cover an huge range of taxa and other topics, so there will always be plenty of missing articles. Some which have been explicitly requested are listed here.
  • Clean up existing articles. Lists of articles needing cleanup are available either grouped by the work needed or ungrouped.
  • Expand an existing article. Existing articles are often incomplete and missing information on key aspects of the topic. It is particularly important that the most widely read articles be broad in their scope. Wikipedia:WikiProject Arthropods/Popular pages (updated monthly) shows the number of views each article gets, along with assessments of its quality and importance. Articles with higher importance ratings and greater numbers of views are the priority for article improvements, but almost all our articles would benefit from expansion. Stubs can be found in Category:Arthropod stubs and its subcategories.

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Arthropoda on Wikispecies Arthropoda on Wikimedia Commons Arthropods on Wikiquote Arthropoda on Wikibooks Arthropoda on Wiktionary
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