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Chapter 36. Arthropods. Objectives. Describe the distinguishing characteristics of arthropods. Explain the process of molting in an arthropod. List the five major subphyla of the phylum Arthropoda. Characteristics of Arthropods.

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chapter 36

Chapter 36


  • Describe the distinguishing characteristics of arthropods.
  • Explain the process of molting in an arthropod.
  • List the five major subphyla of the phylum Arthropoda.
characteristics of arthropods
Characteristics of Arthropods
  • The members of the phylum Arthropoda are called arthropods.
  • Arthropods are segmented animals with body segments that bear appendages.


characteristics of arthropods1
Characteristics of Arthropods
  • Arthropods have an exoskeleton that provides protection and support and contains chitin.
  • Arthropods show a high degree of cephalization. Most have segmented antennae and compound eyes.
characteristics of arthropods2
Characteristics of Arthropods
  • The rigid exoskeleton limits the size to which an arthropod can grow.
  • So, each arthropod periodically sheds its exoskeleton and makes a new one in the process of molting.
  • An anthropod goes through many cycles of molting during its life.

Exoskeleton Link

classification of arthropods
Classification of Arthropods
  • Arthropods are usually divided into five subphyla on the basis of differences in development and in the structure of appendages, such as mouthparts.
  • The two major types of mouthparts are:
    • mandibles, which are jawlike
    • chelicerae (singular, chelicera), which are pincerlike
classification of arthropods1
Classification of Arthropods
  • The five main subphyla are:
    • Trilobita
    • Crustacea
    • Chelicerata
    • Myriapoda
    • Hexapoda

Cooked Shrimp Cocktail

Whole wild Pink Shrimp


Horse-shoe Crab




Flesh Fly

subphylum crustacea
Subphylum Crustacea
  • Describe the characteristics of crustaceans.
  • Compare aquatic crustaceans with terrestrial crustaceans.
  • Explain the functions of the appendages on a crayfish.
  • Summarize digestion, respiration, circulation, excretion, and neural control in crayfish.
  • The subphylum Crustacea contains about 38,000 known species.
  • Crustaceans are so diverse that their single defining characteristic is having two pairs of antennae.

two pairs of antennae.

  • Most crustaceans also have:
    • a pair of mandibles
    • a pair of appendages on each body segment
    • some branched appendages
    • 16 to 20 segments and several tagmata

Fiddler Crab Pinchers


Some crustaceans respire through their exoskeleton, others respire through gills.

  • Many have a free-swimming larval stage called a nauplius.
  • The crayfish is an abundant freshwater crustacean that is structurally similar to lobsters, which are marine crustaceans.
  • Crayfish, lobsters, crabs, and shrimp are decapods, or members of the order Decapoda. Decapoda means “10 feet.”
  • Decapods have five pairs of legs that are used for locomotion.
crayfish external structure
Crayfish External Structure

External Structure

  • The crayfish’s body is divided into
    • the cephalothorax, which is covered by the carapace and is divided into
      • the head, which has five segments
      • the thorax, which has eight segments
    • the abdomen, which is is divided into six segments
crayfish internal structures
Crayfish Internal Structures


  • Crayfish have a digestive gland that is near the stomach and that secretes enzymes for digestion.


  • Walking circulates water across the gills.


  • The circulatory system is open.
crayfish internal structures1
Crayfish Internal Structures


  • Green glands assist in excretion of excess water that enters the body by osmosis.

Neural Control

  • The nervous system of the crayfish is typical of arthropods and is similar to that of annelids.
crayfish sensory organs
Crayfish Sensory Organs

Sensory Organs

  • Crayfish sense vibrations and chemicals in the water with thousands of small sensory hairs.
  • Their compound eyes are set on two stalks.
objectives subphyla chelicerata and myriapoda
Objectives Subphyla Chelicerata and Myriapoda
  • List the characteristics of arachnids, as represented by a spider.
  • Explain the adaptations that spiders have for a predatory life on land.
  • Identify the unique characteristics of scorpions, mites, and ticks.
  • Compare the characteristics of millipedes and centipedes.
subphylum chelicerata
Subphylum Chelicerata
  • The subphylum Chelicerata, the chelicerates, includes spiders, scorpions, mites, sea spiders, and horseshoe crabs.
  • Chelicerates lack antennae and typically have six pairs of appendages.
subphylum chelicerata1
Subphylum Chelicerata
  • The first pair of appendages, the chelicerae, are modified into pincers or fangs.

Chelicerate Green Pinchers

class arachnida
Class Arachnida
  • Class Arachnida, the arachnids, includes spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks.
class arachnida1
Class Arachnida
  • The arachnid’s body is divided into:
    • a cephalothorax that usually bears six pairs of jointed appendages:
      • one pair of chelicerae
      • one pair of pedipalps
      • four pairs of walking legs
    • an abdomen

Deer Tick

subphylum chelicerata anatomy of a spider
Subphylum Chelicerata Anatomy of a Spider
  • Spiders have eight simple eyes and chelicerae that are modified as fangs.
  • Spiders produce silk threads using spinnerets.
subphylum chelicerata anatomy of a spider1
Subphylum Chelicerata Anatomy of a Spider
  • Spiders respire through spiracles that connect to book lungs or tracheae.
  • Malpighian tubules function to excrete wastes while conserving water.
spiders feeding habits
Spiders Feeding Habits
  • Spiders feed on insects and other small animals. Many species are adapted to capture certain prey.
  • Spiders rarely harm humans, but two species in the United States are dangerous:
    • the black widow
    • the brown recluse
black widow
Black Widow

Brown Recluse

life of a spider
Life of a Spider
  • A male spider is usually smaller than the female.
  • Females lay eggs in a silken case.
subphylum chelicerata scorpions
Subphylum Chelicerata Scorpions


  • Scorpions have large, pincherlike pedipalps and a stinger on the last segment of the abdomen.
subphylum myriapoda
Subphylum Myriapoda
  • Members of the subphylum Myriapoda have antennae, mandibles, and unbranched appendages.

Class Diplopoda

  • Millipedes have rounded bodies and two pairs of jointed legs on each body segment except the last two segments.
subphylum myriapoda1
Subphylum Myriapoda

Class Chilopoda

  • Centipedes have flattened bodies and one pair of jointed legs on each body segment except the first segment and the last two segments.