On a pleasant evening, you decide to go to a park. However, you end up having painful itchy eruptions on the skin. Clearly, you were bitten by an insect. After all, insects are everywhere. They belong to a group of animals called the Phylum Arthropoda, which form the largest percentage of the world’s organisms. They make up about 80 percent of the known species of animals! It is quite hard to escape them.
Arthropods are joint-legged animals and you must have come across a few of these animals. Some prominent ones include insects, spiders, ants, bees, crabs, shrimps, millipedes, centipedes etc. Scientifically speaking, they all come under the Animal Kingdom under phylum Arthropoda.
The success of the arthropods can mainly be attributed to the presence of exoskeleton, which makes them versatile, is protective in nature and also allows flexibility and mobility. You can see arthropods living on land and in water. They are also a source of food for many animals and human beings too!
Browse more Topics under Animal Kingdom
- Phylum Annelida
- Phylum Aschelminthes
- Phylum Chordata
- Phylum Coelenterata
- Phylum Echinodermata
- Phylum Hemichordata
- Phylum Mollusca
- Phylum Platyhelminthes
- Phylum Porifera
Learn more about Phylum Coelenterata here.
Download Animal Kingdom Cheat Sheet Below
Characteristic features of Phylum Arthropoda
- The body structure shows bilateral symmetry.
- They are triploblastic.
- They can be found in all types of habitats – land, water and soil.
- They have jointed limbs.
- The body is segmented into three regions – Head, Thorax and Abdomen.
- The body cavity is filled with blood and is called the haemocoel. The blood is white in colour.
- The exoskeleton is hardened and is made of chitin.
- They have a well-developed central nervous system.
- The head is well developed and bears the sensory organs and brain.
- They have compound eyes and mosaic vision.
- The digestive tract is complete with the mouth and anus at opposite ends of the body.
- They have an open circulatory system with dorsal heart and arteries.
- Respiration is through the general body surface or by gills in aquatic forms and through trachea or book lungs in terrestrial forms.
- Sexes are separate and sexual dimorphism is exhibited.
Learn more about Phylum Aschelminthes here.
- Limulus polyphemus (King Crab)
Learn more about Phylum Echinodermata here.
Solved Questions for You
Q: Write a few lines on the exoskeleton in Arthropods.
Ans: The exoskeleton in Arthropods is hardened and is made of chitin. It can be further stiffened in a few species by calcium carbonate. In arthropods, the exoskeleton is non-expandable and hence as the organism grows, it has to shed its exoskeleton so that it can be replaced by a new exoskeleton. This process is called moulting.
Q: Name a few arthropod insects that are carriers of diseases.
|Housefly||Typhoid, cholera, Diarrhoea|
|Mosquito||Filariasis, Dengue Fever, Malaria|
|Rat Flea||Bubonic plague|
|Tsetse fly||African Sleeping sickness|
Q: Book lung is a characteristic of which Phylum?
Ans: Phylum Arthropoda
Q: What is the process of conversion of small cockroach into an adult cockroach?
Q: The coelomic cavity in Phylum Arthropoda is filled with?
Q: Which is the largest Phylum and state a few distinguishing features?
Ans: The largest phylum is Phylum Arthropoda. The distinguishing features are:
- Presence of jointed legs
- Body is divided into head, thorax and abdomen
- Body is bilaterally symmetrical and triploblastic.
FAQ’s for You
Q1. Give an account of Phylum Arthropoda.
Answer: The phylum Arthropoda (Arthro- jointed; Podos-feet) contains the animals that have jointed appendages. They have the following characteristics:
1. It is the largest phylum of the animal kingdom.
2. These are bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic and coelomate animals.
3. They have organ system level of organization.
4. Their body is covered with chitinous exoskeleton.
5. The body can be divided into head, thorax and abdomen.
6. They have open circulatory system.
7. They possess haemolymph.
8. Most of the arthropods have compound eyes.
Examples: Apis (honeybee), Bombyx (silkworm), King carb, cockroach, Anopheles (mosquito) etc.
Q2. A representative of phylum arthropoda is:
A. Flying Fish
B. Cuttle Fish
C. Silver Fish
D. Puffer Fish
A. Flying Fish- Phylum Chordate.
B. Cuttle Fish- Phylum Mollusca.
C. Silver Fish- Phylum Arthropoda.
D. Puffer Fish- Phylum Chordate.
So, the correct answer is ‘Silver Fish’.
Q3. The phylum Arthropoda is characterised by?
Answer: An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton made up of a rigid chitinous body, a segmented body (having external segmentation) and jointed appendages.
Q4. Which one of the following belongs to phylum Arthropoda?
Answer: Nereis and Leech both belong to phylum Annelida. Octopus belongs to phylum Mollusca. Termite belongs to phylum Arthropoda. Termites are commonly known as white ants which belong to the class arachnids. Thus, the correct answer is option B.