Introduction to the Systematic of Insects and Mites, Biology tutorial

Introduction to Systematics:

In biology, the naming of organisms is termed to as nomenclature, and ordering them to a hierarchy of classes is termed as classification. An interrelated science, taxonomy, comprises the theoretical basis for categorization and the study of classification schemes. Specialists working in these regions generally are termed to as Systematists; their whole activity, systematics, is the study of the diversity and categorization of organisms.   

Since of their wonderful size of the class Insecta, the naming and categorization of all the insects would seem to be difficult when not unfeasible accomplishment. Though, hundreds of insect Systematists around the world work every day on this task, and great strides have been made in comprehending insect diversity. However, some experts approximate that almost 7,000 species new to science are discovered, named and categorized each year! Though, there is still much systematics work to be done prior to insects will be also termed as mammals, birds and other animals.

The study of the categorization or taxonomy of any insect is termed as systematic entomology. When one works by a more specific order or even a family, the word might as well be made specific to that order or family, for illustration systematic dipterology.

Objectives of Classification:

Similar to the periodic table of chemistry, categorization let us to order what we know about insects and to compare and contrast features. From such comparisons, we make predictions regarding relationships, comprising those by both evolutionary and environmental meaning. For example, members of the similar species are anticipated to behave likewise in their food habits, tolerances to ecological extremes, growth patterns and other ways. A group of alike species, put altogether in a higher category termed as genus, as well could be anticipated to share rather identical ecologies and to have evolved from the similar ancestor.

Moving to higher and higher groupings in the classification, we anticipate more and more diversity in the grouping. 

The main application of classifications is in recognition of insect specimens. Identifications or recognitions of the main groups like insect orders can generally be made at a glance; though, finer recognitions frequently need the use of keys. Most of the keys include a series of paired statements and questions which let the user to eradicate alternative options and finally relate the unknown specimen by a name. Most of the keys exist for orders and families of insects. A few of the most helpful are those written by D. J. Borrer, C. A. Triplehorn and N. F. Johnson (An Introduction to the Study of Insects) for the insects of North America and by C. T. Brues, A. L. Melander and F. M. Carpenter (Classification of Insects) for the insects of the planet. 

Right identification is the primary step and perhaps the most significant one in dealing by a Pest. It let us to retrieve the information needed for insect pest management. Devoid of identification, we have no base for forecasting injury and advising action.

Elements of Classification:

The categorization of organisms is mainly based on a hierarchy of categories, by the most inclusive occurring at the top and the least inclusive at the bottom. The main categories employed in animal classification are phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. However for added distinction in big, diverse groups, most of the other categories fall between such major ones. For illustration, a subclass category is generally present beneath the class category and a super family category above the family category.

An illustration of the main classes for the European corn borer exhibits the given classification: 

  • Phylum-Arthropoda 
  • Class-Insecta 
  • Order-Lepidoptera 
  • Family-Pyralidae 
  • Genus-Ostrinia 
  • Species-Ostrinia nubilalis 

It is noted that each and every category comprises of only one word apart from the species category. The scientific name of a species is binomial; it is comprised of two names, a genus name and a specific name, as well termed as a specific epithet. Dissimilar to all the higher classes, the specific name can't stand alone; it should be employed by the genus name. In zoology, it is conventional, however not needed, for the species name to encompass the name of the person who first illustrated the species as a suffix. Thus, we might notice the species name written as Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner). The parentheses around the author name points out that when Hubner initially explained the species, he positioned it in the other genus. An author name devoid of parentheses signifies that the species remains in the genus initially employed by explaining author. Author names; are employed often in the technical systematic literature.

The system of binomial nomenclature we use nowadays for categorization was proceeding by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus, who first employed it consistently in the year 1758. Strict rules and conventions apply some name assignment, and such are explained for zoology in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. However they might be based in any language, scientific names are Latinized and generally refer to several feature of the animal or group named.

General Classification of Insects:

Insects are the most successful class or group of animals. They are a big and varied group. Of the 1 million or so known species of animals, around 850,000 or 76% are insects. Thousands of species continue to be discovered.

Insects live in nearly every kind of environment; sea, land and fresh water. The distribution of insects expands from the poles to the tropics. The widespread distribution of insects is most likely as an outcome of:

  • Their capability to fly
  • Their small size
  • The production of resistant eggs which can be taken by water currents, air, animals and so on.
  • Their resistance to desiccation
  • Their adaptability

Class Insecta:

Subclass Apterygota: primitively wingless insects 

  • Protura - Proturans
  • Collembola - Springtails
  • Diplura - Diplurans
  • Thysanura - Bristletails
  • Microcoryphia - Jumping bristletails

 Subclass Pterygota:  Winged and secondarily wingless insects.

  • Ephemeroptera - Mayflies
  • Odonata - Dragonflies and damselflies
  • Orthoptera - Grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches and walking sticks
  • Dermaptera - Earwigs
  • Isoptera - Termites
  • Embioptera - Webspinners
  • Plecoptera - Stoneflies
  • Zoraptera - Zorapterans
  • Psocoptera - Psocids
  • Mallophaga - Chewing lice
  • Anoplura - Sucking lice
  • Thysanoptera - Thrips
  • Hemiptera - Bugs
  • Homoptera - Aphids, scale insects, cicadas, hoppers, psyllids and whiteflies.

Division Endopterygota: Complex body change all through growth 

  • Neuroptera - Alderflies, anthions, fishflies, dobsonflies, lacewings, snakeflies and owlflies 
  • Coleoptera - Beetles
  • Strepsitera - Twisted-winged parasites
  • Mecoptera - Scorpionflies
  • Trichoptera - Caddisflies
  • Lepidoptera - Butterflies and moths
  • Diptera - Flies and mosquitoes
  • Siphonaptera - Fleas
  • Hymenoptera - Ants, wasps, bees and sawflies

General Classification of Mites:

Mites include the Acari that are the biggest group in the arthropod class Arachnida, with over 48,000 illustrated species. This number is misleading as it is anticipated that merely between 5% and 10% of all mite species have been formally explained. In contrary with other arachnid groups like scorpions and spiders, mites are distinguishing in both their small size (that is, adult body length ranging from 0.1 to 30 mm) and their environmental diversity. A few mites are predators, such as nearly all other arachnids; however mites might as well feed on fungi, plants, or microorganisms or as parasites on or in the bodies of other animals. Mites are among the oldest recognized groups of arthropods having a fossil record starting in the Devonian period. A general categorization of mites is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Arachnida

Order: Acari/Acarina

Suborder: Mesostigmata - parasitic mites

Suborder: Prostigmata - spider mites

Suborder: Astigmata - itch and scab mites

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