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Insect Website Title

Definitions:

Use the following alphabetic index to go to a specific initial letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abdomen
The last of the three major body divisions of an insect.
Acaricide
Agent that kills mites.
Action Threshold
The pest density above which control action should be taken to satisfy a gardener's goals.
Aerosol
An atomized fluid with very small particles which appears as a smoke.
Antenna
A pair of sensory organs located on the head of an insect, above the mouth.
Alternate Host
A second plant or animal which is required to complete an insects life cycle.
Anus
The aft opening of the digestive system for expelling waste.
Apterous
Wingless
Arthropod
Any of the animals without internal skeletons but instead having an external shell (exoskeleton) with segmented body and jointed limbs.
Asymmetrical
Not alike on both sides.

B

Bacteria
A single-celled microscopic plant that does not produce chlorophyll and therefor cannot utilize the sun's energy.
Beak
Protruding mouth part of a sucking insect; proboscis.
Beneficial
Any creature that helps control pests that cause damage to desirable plants, e.g. insects, spiders, etc.
Bilateral Symmetry
Alike on both sides.
Biological Control
The use of living organisms, such as predators, parasitoids and pathogens to control pests.
Broad-spectrum pesticide
A pesticide that kills a wide range of pest species.
Brood
Insects which hatch from the same mother or insects which hatch and develop at the same time.
Bt
A pesticide which consists of the bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis.

C

Caterpillar
The larvae stage of a butterfly, moth or sawfly which have a cylindrical body, head, legs and prolegs.
Caudal
Near the tail.
Cephalothorax
Joined head and thorax found in the Arachnida and Crustacea.
Cerci
Appendages at the end of the abdomen.
Chemical Control
Pest management practice which rely on synthetic or natural derived pesticides.
Chitin
The hard outer layer of the insect.
Chrysalis
The pupa of an insect.
Class
A category of scientific classification ranking below phylum and above order (e.g. insecta)
Classical Biological Control
Importation of foreign natural enemies of insects to control local pests.
Cocoon
Silken case formed by an insect larva for pupation.
Cole Crops
Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc.
Complete Metamorphosis
Type of insect life cycle which has four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Compound Eye
An eye composed of many individual facets.
Contact Poison
Pesticide that is absorbed through the insect's body wall.
Cornicle
One of a pair of back (dorsal) tubes on the rear of the abdomen of aphids through which they secrete honeydew.
Coxa
The base part of the leg where it joins the body.
Crawler
The first active instar of a scale insect.
Crochets
Hooked spines at the tip of prolegs of a butterfly and moth caterpillars.
Cucurbits
Vine crops such as cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkins.
Cultural Control
Pest management practices that rely on manipulating the crop's environment (e.g. removing weeds that may harbor insect pests).
Cuticle
The chitin layer of the insect which is like it's skin.
D
Dessicant
Agent that promotes drying of insect to make them die.
Diapause
Suspended animation or dormancy.
Dorsal
Back or upper part of the insect.

E

Ecology
Study of an organism's interrelationship with it's environment.
Ectoparasite
A parasite that lives on the outside of a host's body.
Elytra
The leathery forwings of insects such as beetles.
Emergence
A newly formed adult insect leaving it's pupal case or last nymphal skin.
Endoparasite
A parasite that lives inside it's host.
Entomopathogenic
Insect attacking organism.
Exoskeleton
An external hard shell (made of chitin) which acts as a supporting structure for an adult insect.

F

Family
A category of scientific classification ranking below order and above genus. Family names end in idae.
Femur
The third leg segment.
Filiform
Threadlike.
Forewing
First pair or insect wings.
Frass
Insect excrement (dung).
Fumigant
A gas, vapor, fume or smoke used to kill a pest.
Fungicide
Substance that kills or inhibits the growth of fungus.
Fungus
A group of plants without chlorophyll which reproduce by spores. Yeast, mold, smut and mushrooms are examples.
Furcula
The forked springing part of the Collembola springtails.
Fusiform
Spindle-shaped.

G

Gall
            Abnormal growth of plant tissue caused by toxins exuded by an insect.
Generation
A life cycle from egg to egg.
Genus
A category of scientific classification ranking below family and above specie. It consists of a group which shares a number of distinct characteristics.
Gradual Metamorphosis
A type of life cycle which consists of three stages (their is no resting stage, i.e. pupa): egg, nymph and adult.
Grub
Larva of a beetle with legs but no prolegs.

H

Halteres
            A small, knobbed part of a fly which takes the place of hind wings.
Head
The front part of an insect which contains the mouth, eyes, antenna and the brain.
Herbicide
Substance used to kill or control weeds.
Hibernation
Period of time during which an insect is in suspended animation during seasonal low temperatures.
Hindwings
The second pair of wings on some insects.
Honeydew
Sugary liquid discharge from the cornicles of aphids, scales, etc. which often results in black mold.
Host
Organism, foodstuff, etc. upon which another organism feeds.
Hyperparasite
A parasite whose host is another parasite.

I

Inorganic pesticide
        A pesticide containing no carbon atom(s). Sulfur is an example.
Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)
Substance that controls or modifies insect growth.
Insecticide
Agent that kills insects.
Instar
The stage in an insects life cycle between successive molts (which is the shedding of an insects prior shell so it can develop to a larger size).
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
A pest management approach which uses all available control options based on observed damage and practical results. Physical, chemical and biological controls may all be used.
J
None
K
None

L

Larvae (pl.)
Insect immature stage undergoing complete metamorphosis between egg and pupa. Caterpillar and grubs.
Lateral
On the side.
Legs
The abdominal legs which provide locomotion for the insect.

M

Maggot
Legless larvae of a fly or wasp.
Mandibles
The first pair of jaws.
Maxillae
The second pair of jaws aft of the mandibles.
Mechanical Control
Control of pests by physical means such as screens or row covers.
Mesothorax
Middle or second segment of the thorax.
Metamorphosis
Change in body form during development of an insect.
Microbial
Microscopic organism, a germ.
Millimeter
About 1/25".
Mite
Arthropod related to the insects but in the Arachnida class and has four pairs of legs.
Miticide
Agent that kills mites.
Molt
Process of shedding the outer layer.
Mycelium
Mass of interwoven filaments that make up the vegetative part of fungus.

N

Native
Insect or plant of local origin; not intentionally or accidentally introduced.
Natural Control
Suppressing pests by naturally occurring biological or environmental agents.
Natural Enemies
Living organisms that kill or weaken insects.
Nectar
Sugary liquid secreted by many flowers.
Nematicide
Agent that kills nematodes.
Nematode
Elongated cylindrical microscopic worm parasitic in certain plants, insects and animals.
Nymph
Immature stage of an insect, following hatching from an egg, that doesn't have a pupal stage.

O

Ocellus(pl)
            Simple eye of an insect.
Order
Category of scientific classification ranking above family and below class.
Organic pesticide
A pesticide containing carbon atom(s). They may be plant derived or synthetically produced.
Ovicide
Agent that kills insect and mite eggs.
Ovipositor
Egg-laying part of a female insect.

P

Parasite
Organism that lives in or on another organism (host) for part of it's life.
Parasitoid
Organism which feeds in or on another organism (host) which eventually kills it.
Parthenogenesis
Reproduction by development of unfertilized eggs.
Pathogen
Disease causing organism.
Pedicel
Waist of an ant or the second segment of the antenna.
Pest
Organism which is objectionable to humans due to damage it causes.
Pesticide
Substance which is used to kill or repel pests.
Pheromone
Substance which attracts insects of opposite sex or to food.
Phylum
Category of scientific classification ranking above class and below kingdom.
Physical Control
Control of pests using barriers, heat, cold, etc.
Plumose
Feather-like.
Predator
Animal that feeds on other animals at some time.
Proleg
Fleshy abdominal legs which don't develop into the six legs of the adult insect.
Pronotum
Upper, often shield-like, hard plate just behind the head of an insect.
Prothorax
First segment of the thorax.
Protozoa
Microscopic, single-celled aquatic organism which is often parasitic.
Pubescent
Covered with short, fine hairs.
Punctate
Pitted
Pupae (pl.)
Nonfeeding stage of an insect between the larvae and adult stage in complete metamorphosis.
Puparium
Thickened, hardened last larval skin in which the pupa is formed in flies.
Q
None
R
Repellent
Agent that repels pests.

S

Septicemia
Blood poisoning caused by pathogenic organisms.
Sessile
Incapable of moving.
Setae(pl)
Bristles.
Species
Category of scientific classification ranking below genus which consists of individuals capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.
Spinneret
Organ used by some insects to make silk and/or webs.
Spiracles
External openings of an insects breathing system which are found along the abdomen.
Spore
Reproductive cell which is produced by ferns, bacteria, etc. which results in a new off-spring.
Stage
Distinct period of life in the development of an organism.
Stem Mother
Female aphid giving birth to living young without fertilization.
Stomach Poison
Pesticide which is lethal only when eaten by an insect.
Striate
With grooves or depressed lines.
Stylet
A needle-like part used for piercing by insects with sucking mouth parts.
Systemic Poison
Pesticide which is taken up by a plant's sap is lethal to insects that feed on the plant.

T

Tarsus
            The part of the insect leg beyond the tibia, consisting of one or more segments with claw at the apex.
Thorax
Part of the insect body behind the head which has the legs and wings.
Tibia
The forth segment of the leg between the femur and the tarsus.
Trap Crop
Small group of plants used to attract pests preferentially from the main crop.
Trochanter
The second segment of the leg, between the coxa and the femur.
U
None

V

Vector
Pest which carries a disease from one plant to another.
Ventral
Lower side of the insect body.
Virus
Submicroscopic pathogen which can only replicate inside a living cell.
Vivaparous
Giving birth to living young, i.e. not egg-laying.
W
None
X
None
Y
None

Z None


Last edited: 11/06/99 11:28 PM

 

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