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Arthropods Portal


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 blue-grey woodlouse on parched desert soil.
Henry Edwards (August 27, 1827 – June 9, 1891), known as "Harry", was an English-born stage actor, writer and entomologist who gained fame in Australia, San Francisco and New York City for his theatre work. He was drawn to theatre early in life and appeared in amateur productions in London. After sailing to Australia, Edwards appeared professionally in Shakespearean plays and light comedies. Throughout his time in England and Australia, he collected insects, and the National Museum of Victoria used the results of his Australian fieldwork as part of the genesis of their collection.

Edwards was a founding member of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco and, after writing a series of influential studies on Pacific coast Lepidoptera, he was elected life member of the California Academy of Sciences. He gained further theatrical renown in New York City, where he also edited three volumes of the journal Papilio and published a major work on butterflies. His large collection of specimens laid the foundation of the American Museum of Natural History's Lepidoptera studies. Edwards' appreciation of Shakespeare was expressed in the designation of new insect species, favouring female character names from Shakespeare's plays.

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False-colour SEM of a citrus yellow mite.

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A wasp is seen face-on. Its jaws are open and hold a large droplet of a clear liquid.
Cscr-featured.svg Credit: Alvesgaspar

Polistes dominula, sometimes referred to as the European paper wasp, is one of the more common and well-known species of social wasps in Europe. It is considered an invasive species in Canada and the United States.


indicates an extinct taxon.


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  • 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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