Arthropods Portal


Arthropods make up the largest phylum of animals (Phylum Arthropoda) and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans and others. More than 80% of described living animal species are arthropods, with over a million modern species described and a fossil record reaching back to the late Proterozoic era. Arthropods are common throughout marine, freshwater, terrestrial, and even aerial environments, and includes various symbiotic and parasitic forms. They range in size from microscopic plankton (~¼ mm) up to forms several metres across. Arthropods are characterised by the possession of a segmented body with appendages on each segment. They have a dorsal heart and a ventral nervous system. All arthropods are covered by a hard exoskeleton made of chitin, a polysaccharide which protects against trauma and desiccation. They shed this covering periodically when moulting.

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A row of oblong pools separated by earthen banks.
A shrimp farm is an aquaculture business for the cultivation of marine shrimp or prawns for human consumption. Commercial shrimp farming began in the 1970s, and production grew steeply to match the market demands of the United States, Japan and Western Europe. Global production of farmed shrimp reached more than 1.6 million tonnes in 2003, worth nearly 9 billion U.S. dollars. About 75% of farmed shrimp is produced in Asia, particularly China and Thailand. The other 25% is produced mainly in Latin America, where Brazil is the largest producer.

Shrimp farming has changed from traditional, small-scale businesses in Southeast Asia into a global industry, and technological advances have led to shrimp being grown at ever higher densities. Virtually all farmed shrimp are of the family Penaeidae, and just two species – Penaeus vannamei (Pacific white shrimp) and Penaeus monodon (giant tiger prawn) – account for 80% of all farmed shrimp. These industrial monocultures are very susceptible to diseases, which have caused several regional wipe-outs of farm shrimp populations. Increasing ecological problems, repeated disease outbreaks, and pressure and criticism from both NGOs and consumer countries led to changes in the industry in the late 1990s and stronger regulation by governments.

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A rhomboidal crab with long legs on a black background.
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A large butterfly with a white-on-black spotted body feeds on a flower head. Its wings are folded, showing large brown patches, except at the edges, which are similarly spotted.
Cscr-featured.svg Credit: Derek Ramsey

The Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, (seen here on Echinacea purpurea) is a milkweed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies, and is famous for its migrations.



indicates an extinct taxon.


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  • Expand an existing article. Existing articles are often incomplete and missing information on key aspects of the topic. It is particularly important that the most widely read articles be broad in their scope. Wikipedia:WikiProject Arthropods/Popular pages (updated monthly) shows the number of views each article gets, along with assessments of its quality and importance. Articles with higher importance ratings and greater numbers of views are the priority for article improvements, but almost all our articles would benefit from expansion. Stubs can be found in Category:Arthropod stubs and its subcategories.


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Biology • Agriculture and Agronomy • Animals  • Arthropods • Amphibians and Reptiles • Biotechnology • Birds • Cats • Cetaceans • Crustaceans • Dinosaurs • Dogs • Dentistry • Extinction • Evolutionary biology • Fish • Insects • Marine life • Medicine • Metabolism • Mind and Brain • Molecular and Cellular Biology • Neuroscience • Plants • Sharks

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