Portal:Insects

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The Insects Portal

Anthidium February 2008-1.jpg

Insects (from Latin insectum, a calque of Greek ἔντομον [éntomon], “cut into sections”) 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 among the most 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. The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million, and potentially represent over 90% of the differing metazoan life forms on Earth. 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.

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The Lulworth Skipper, Thymelicus acteon (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)
The Lulworth Skipper, Thymelicus acteon, is a butterfly of the Hesperiidae family. Its name is derived from Lulworth Cove in the county of Dorset, where the first specimens in Great Britain were collected in 1832 by English naturalist James Charles Dale.

The species occurs locally across Central Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa, where its population is considered stable. Its numbers have declined in Northern Europe, leading to its European status of 'vulnerable'. Its range in Britain is restricted to the south coast of Dorset, however it is locally abundant and its numbers currently are perhaps at their greatest since its discovery there.

With a wingspan of 24–28 millimetres (0.9–1.1 in), females being larger than males, the Lulworth Skipper is a small butterfly, the smallest member of the Thymelicus genus in Europe and among the smallest butterflies in Britain. Aside from the size difference, the sexes are distinguished by females having a distinct circle of golden marks on each forewing. Due to their likeness to the rays around the eye of a peacock's feather, these are often known as 'sun-ray' markings, and they can faintly appear on males.

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Green lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) is a family of lacewings containing about 85 genera and (according to different sources) 1,300–2,000 species. Members of the genera Chrysopa (pictured) and Chrysoperla are very common in North America and Europe; they are very similar and many of their species have been moved from one genus to the other times and again.

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