Why Study Arthropods?

  • Some attack our crops
  • Some attack stored products
  • Some attack our domestic animals
  • Some attack us and suck blood
  • Some are venomous
  • Some transmit diseases
  • Many provide pollination services, especially for fruit, some vegetable and forage crops
  • Many destroy pest species, such as ladybird beetles eating aphids
  • Some produce products such as honey, dyes, and shellac
  • Some are edible and are used as food in many parts of the world
  • Many act as garbage collectors, destroying old wood, manure and plant waste
  • Some are used for evidence in crimes
  • Most are important in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (crustaceans in the ocean) and serve as both a basis for the food chain and either primary (herbivorous) or secondary (carnivorous) consumers
  • Many fish and song birds, as well as reptiles rely on them for food
  • Their shapes, biology and behavior are fascinating
  • Their colors and patterns have inspired artists, poets, writers and even musicians
  • We know very little about most species
  • There are literally millions of species or life stages that have not even been described
  • They serve as great model organisms for studies in genetics, physiology, behavior and evolution
  • Life on earth might well be impossible without them
  • Finally, arthropods are very cool!