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Insect classification and identification
Generally, the animal kingdom is divided into two groups, the vertebrates (those with backbones) and the invertebrates (those without backbones). The invertebrates make up more than 99% of all recorded animal species and in terms of individuals would account for more than 99.99% of all animals.
Scientists have divided the living world into a series of categories based on the degree of similarity between different organisms and what we think might be their evolutionary relationship this is known as taxonomy. The animal kingdom is divided into 36 or so different Phyla (sing. phylum).
Insects are animals of the class Insecta which in turn belong to the largest class of the major invertebrate phylum Arthropoda or 'jointed limbs'. Other classes of arthropoda include: crustaceans; scorpions; millipedes and centipedes; spiders, and mites.
It is necessary to classify insects so that we can organize what we know about them and determine their relationships with other insects. For example, all members of a particular species will feed on similar foods, have similar developmental characteristics, and exist in similar environments. Most often, insect species are classified based on similarities in appearance (morphology). The flies, for example, can be distinguished and classified separately from all other winged insects because they have only one pair of wings. The hierarchy used to classify the booklouse, is as follows:
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