Insects belong to an extremely large group of animals without backbones known as invertebrates. Spiders, centipedes, worms, woodlice and snails are all invertebrates, but are not insects. Insects characteristically have a body that is divided into three parts, six legs and wings that are sometimes hidden or non-functional.
The ecological importance of invertebrates cannot be overstated. All higher forms of life, including plant and human, depend on them one way or another. Some insects like the silk moth and honey bee serve us well. Others like the blowfly and mosquito play their role in a complex cycle of renewal and rebirth in ways we may never learn to appreciate. However, without these minibeasts and the marvel of their life-sustaining and sometimes life-threatening ways, all life on Earth would simply cease. Hardly surprising then that they come in all shapes and sizes and that we find them everywhere.