Insect Anatomy

I have drawn a wasp to use as an example of insect anatomy. I will add more detail to the descriptions soon.


Antennae are the insect's feelers. They are sensory organs that can smell, taste, detect sound and air movements. Some insects navigate solely using the antennae. Most insects use thhem to find and identify food.


Contains brain, mouthparts eyes and antennae.

Attatched to an insects head are its eyes, its antennae and its jaws. Some insects have biting mouthparts, others, such as bugs, have sucking mouthparts.

Compound eye

Allows the insects to see. Made up of many small lenses arranged in a globe which can give the insect a good field of view. Compound eyes do not produce very good definition but they are very sensitive to movement. This is why flies cannot tell that there is glass in a window but can skillfully avoide being swatted by a newspaper.


Contains muscles which drive the legs and wings which are attatched to it.


Contains digestive system and reproductive system. All organs are supplied with oxygen by a network of trachea. The trachea are connected to the surface of the insect's 'skin' where openings are called spiracles.


Insects have six legs. Legs are segmented and vary in shape greatly. Some insects have modified legs which serve special purposes. For example, grasshopper's hind legs are enlarged and very muscular which allow the grasshopper to jump large disances.


Insects usually have 2 pairs of wings. Some insects have no wings at all. Many insects have 1 pair of wings (true flies) others have 2 pairs which behave like 1 pair (wasps). Some insects use all four wings to fast dynamic flight (dragonflies).




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