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Arthropods have a body is divided into a head, thorax and abdomen[3].The Insecta are a class of Arthropoda that contains the greatest diversity of species than of any other group of animals. Insects body morphology includes, a three segmented body, an exoskeleton, compound eyes, antennae and three pairs of legs.


Libellid dragonfly—wandering percher, Photo by Chris Sanderson

Quick facts

of the insects known cannot yet be identified to a species level[4].
is the estimated number of specimens in the Queensland Primary Industries Insect Collection[2].


Humans consider many insects as pests as they damage crops and food resources and spread diseases. However, many insects perform beneficial roles for humans such as pollination of plants (including food crops), breakdown carrion (detritivores) and produce or are food and resources themselves (e.g. bees produce honey, silkworms produce silk). Many insect families are recognised as having an aquatic life-stage. Some commonly-known insect orders containing aquatic families includes true water bugs (hemiptera), aquatic beetles (coleoptera), flies and true flies (diptera), caddisfly larvae (trichoptera), mayfly larvae (ephemeroptera), stonefly larvae (plecoptera) and dragonfly larvae (odonata).

Aquatic insects are important components of wetland ecosystems. They are food for many other animals, including fish, platypus and birds. They are also important for their role in cycling nutrients and carbon through wetland systems.

Aquatic insects and other invertebrates have different sensitivities to pollution and for that reason are indicators in wetland assessments. They respond to many kinds of changes in water quality or to physical disturbance to the wetland structure, hydrology or the landscape around the site[1]

To find out more about species in your area see WetlandSummary.

For specific information on wetland species sightings please go to WetlandMaps or Wildlife Online.

Additional information


  1. ^ Helgen, J 2002, Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP) Macroinvertebrate Sampling, viewed 19 September 2012, <>.
  2. ^ Queensland Primary Industries Insect Collection, Queensland Government, viewed 12 July 2012, <>.
  3. ^ Ruppert, EE & Barnes, RD 1994, Invertebrate Zoology, Thomson Learning.
  4. ^ What insect is that?, Queensland Museum, viewed 12 July 2012, <>.

Last updated: 13 April 2017

This page should be cited as:

Insecta, WetlandInfo 2013, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland, viewed 11 February 2019, <>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science