11 Hexapoda Characteristics: 9 Facts You Should Know!

The subphylum Hexapoda, which derives its name from the Greek for “six legs,” includes the majority of arthropod species. Let us see some of its characteristics in brief.

  1. The main characteristic of hexapod insects is that it has tiny bodies composed of transverse segments arranged into three separate body regions: the head, thorax, and abdomen.
  2. The head segments are tightly united, the segments in the belly and thorax are more visible.
  3. The typical primitive arthropod segment count is six in the head, three in the thorax, and eleven in the abdomen.
  4. Each segment originally had an appendage, some have evolved antennae, eyes, genital, and mouthparts, while others have lost them.
  5. On the thorax, wings are often present in two pairs, while certain groups, like the Diptera, only maintain one pair, with the second being significantly reduced for other purposes.
  6. The integument refers to the insect body wall or surface.
  7. The whole insect body is covered with a specialised tracheal system for breathing. Spiracles on the sides of the body allow air to enter.
  8. The antennae, which originated as second head segment appendages, come in a wide variety of forms. Antennae can have any number of segments.
  9. Insect antennae act as taste, touch, and smell sensory organs. A neck that is not heavily sclerotized connects the insect thorax to the head.
  10. The three thoracic segments have wings and legs on them. The prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax are these segments.
  11. The segments that make up an insect’s abdomen are thought to have preserved the majority of its prehistoric forebears.

One of the most varied species of creatures on earth are hexapods, which have a long evolutionary history. Let us find out answers to if hexapoda are insects, if they are flies, spiders, beetles, grasshoppers and many other questions in this article.

Are all Hexapoda insects?

There are about 800,000 different species of insects, which is more than all other animal groups combined. Let us see whether all hexapoda are insects or not.

All hexapoda are not insects. There are total three names given to the non-insect hexapods such as,

Since they lack external mouthpieces, they are frequently referred to as “entognaths,” which means “inner mouth”.

They were once classified as insects, but since all insects descended from a single common ancestor, the entognaths were left off the tree of life.

Are flies hexapods?

Hexapoda includes many of the familiar insects we see every day, such as ants, cockroaches, butterflies, and flies. Let us check whether flies are hexapoda or not.

The flies are hexapods. Insects with wings (like fruit flies) and without wings make up the phylum Hexapoda (like fleas). The insects are the biggest family of hexapods in terms of species diversity and biomass in terrestrial settings.

Flesh fly from Wikipedia

Are spiders hexapods?

A subgroup of the arthropod phylum is called a chelicerate. Claw-like modifications to the chelicerae are common. Let us check if spiders are hexapods or not.

Spiders are not hexapods. They comes in the category of chelicerate. Their legs have joints and segmentation. The cephalothorax and the abdomen are the two main body regions of chelicerates. The cephalothorax is formed by the union of head and thorax regions.

Are beetles hexapods?

Coleoptera is the biggest order among all living things, accounting for nearly 40% of all recognized insects and 25% of all known animal life. Let us see if beetles are hexapods.

Beetles are not hexapods. Beetles are insects that belong to the superorder, Endopterygota’s Coleoptera order. Their front pair of wings have hardened into wing-cases, or elytra, which allows them to be recognized from the majority of other insects.

Are grasshoppers hexapods?

Members of the Hexapoda subphylum include grasshoppers. Let us check if grasshoppers are hexapods or not.

Grasshoppers are hexapods. They are creatures that belong to the subphylum’s class, Insecta and has six legs that are joined to the thoracic region of their bodies and one set of antennae.

Are crabs hexapods?

In the aquatic and terrestrial systems different taxonomic classifications apply to crustaceans and hexapoda insects. Let us explore if crabs are hexapods.

Crabs are not hexapods. The phylum Arthropoda, however, includes both insects and crustaceans. Pancrustacea is the clade that describes this association between crustaceans and hexapods.

Are ladybugs hexapods?

Six legs make up a ladybug. Not only are their legs designed for locomotion, but they also serve as a sense organ for ladybugs. Let us see if ladybugs are actually hexapods or not.

Ladybugs are hexapods.They belong to the class of arthropods known as hexapods, which means six-legged. Like other insects, ladybirds have six jointed legs, three pairs on each side, two antennae, and an exoskeleton formed of “chitin,” a robust protein similar to that found in human hair and nails.

Despite their diversity, insects all have three body components, compound eyes, and six legs in common. Several insects, including ladybugs, undergo a full metamorphosis, developing into an egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Are mites Hexapoda?

Animals that fall within the Arachnida classification include ticks and mites. Arachnids called mites are tiny (eight-legged arthropods). Let us see if mites are hexapods or not.

Mites are not hexapoda. It belongs to the two large orders of arachnids, the Acariformes and the Parasitiformes, despite formerly being grouped together in the subclass Acari. However, genetic evidence does not conclusively show that these two populations are closely related.


From the above article, it can be concluded that, one of the broadest categories of animals is the hexapod. Hexapods alone account for more than half of all species known to science.

Bhairavi Rathord

Hello, I am Bhairavi Rathod, I have completed my Master's in Biotechnology and qualified ICAR NET 2021 in Agricultural Biotechnology. My area of specialization is Integrated Biotechnology. I have the experience to teach and write very complex things in a simple way for learners. My LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bhairavi-rathod-806993130

Recent Posts