Insects and Arachnids

An orange and black butterfly resting on a red flower.
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

Doug Kimball

"Hey, look, an insect! ... Or is it an arachnid?"

What are the differences between those creepy-crawlies? They are both under the phylum Arthropoda, which means that they both have exoskeletons and jointed legs. But they do have several differences. Here’s a couple tips to help you identify one the next time you seen it out in the park:

  • Insects are species that have three segments to their bodies: head, thorax, and abdomen. Arachnids have only two segments: the cephalothorax and the abdomen.
  • Insects have six legs, while arachnids have eight.
  • Insects undergo metamorphosis from a larva stage to an adult stage, while arachnids retain their adult shape and molt as they grow larger.
  • Insects have wings and antennae, while arachnids have neither.
The park contains many kinds of insects and arachnids - from giant Golden Orb Weavers to iridescent Blue Dashers and beyond. Important pollinators, like native bees and wasps, also find a home in the park. Check out the photo gallery to see some of the insects and arachnids found at Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.

Last updated: May 9, 2021

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