Ask Difference

Insects vs. Arachnids — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 8, 2023
Insects have 6 legs, 3 body parts, and often wings. Arachnids have 8 legs and 2 main body parts. Both belong to different classes within the phylum Arthropoda.
Insects vs. Arachnids — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Insects and Arachnids


Key Differences

Insects, belonging to the class Insecta, display a distinct anatomy typically involving three main body parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen. In contrast, Arachnids, members of the class Arachnida, exhibit two major body segments, which are the cephalothorax and abdomen, distinctly lacking antennae which are prominent in insects.
Insects are recognized for having six legs, and frequently, though not always, possess wings, which can be found in myriad forms and structures. Arachnids characteristically have eight legs and, with very few exceptions, do not have wings, presenting a stark contrast to the often aerial insects.
Insects exhibit a tremendous variety of species, surpassing other forms of life on Earth in terms of sheer diversity and numbers. Arachnids, while also diverse and globally dispersed, do not match insects in their vast array of species, though they inhabit numerous ecological niches and exhibit a wide array of adaptations.
Insects such as bees and butterflies often play a critical role in the pollination of plants, contributing fundamentally to various ecosystems and human agriculture. Conversely, Arachnids like spiders and scorpions, while also ecologically vital, primarily function as predators, playing a crucial role in controlling pest populations.
Insects undergo different forms of metamorphosis, with some experiencing complete transformations from larva to adult. Arachnids, however, develop through a process of molting, shedding their exoskeletons as they grow, yet maintaining a consistent body form throughout their life stages.

Comparison Chart

Body Parts

3 (Head, thorax, abdomen)
2 (Cephalothorax, abdomen)






Often, but not always
No (with few exceptions)


Yes (in many species)
No, but they molt

Compare with Definitions


Insects are hexapods, having six legs.
Insects, like butterflies, utilize their six legs for perching on flowers.


Arachnids lack antennae.
Unlike insects, arachnids, such as scorpions, do not have antennae.


Insects possess a pair of antennae.
Insects, like beetles, have antennae that sense their environment.


Arachnids are characterized by having eight legs.
Spiders, being arachnids, utilize their eight legs for locomotion.


Insects can be pollinators.
Many plants depend on insects like bees for pollination.


Arachnids have two main body segments.
Arachnids like ticks have a distinct cephalothorax and abdomen.


Insects often undergo metamorphosis.
Caterpillars, as insects, metamorphose into butterflies.


Arachnids often serve as predators.
Arachnids, such as spiders, help control pest populations by preying on insects.


Insects typically have compound eyes.
Insects, such as bees, utilize compound eyes to perceive their surroundings.


Arachnids can be venomous.
Some arachnids, like certain spiders, possess venom for subduing their prey.


Any of numerous arthropod animals of the class Insecta, having an adult stage characterized by three pairs of legs and a body segmented into head, thorax, and abdomen and usually having one or two pairs of wings. Insects include the flies, crickets, mosquitoes, beetles, butterflies, and bees.


Any of various arthropods of the class Arachnida, such as spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks, characterized by four pairs of segmented legs and a body that is divided into two regions, the cephalothorax and the abdomen.


Any of various other small, chiefly arthropod animals, such as spiders, centipedes, or ticks, usually having many legs. Not in scientific use.


Plural of arachnid


An insignificant or contemptible person.


Plural of insect

Common Curiosities

How do Insects contribute to ecology?

Insects play various ecological roles, including pollination, decomposition, and serving as a food source for other animals.

Do all Insects have wings?

No, not all insects have wings, though many species do.

What are Insects?

Insects are arthropods with a body divided into three parts, usually having wings and six legs.

What defines Arachnids?

Arachnids are arthropods with eight legs and a body divided into two main parts.

What role do Arachnids play in the ecosystem?

Arachnids often act as predators, controlling pest populations, and are also prey for various animals.

Do Arachnids have wings?

Typically, arachnids do not have wings, with very few exceptions.

How many species of Arachnids are there?

There are over 100,000 identified species of arachnids.

What is the lifespan of Insects?

The lifespan of insects varies widely from species to species, ranging from days to years.

Can Arachnids be dangerous to humans?

Some arachnids can be harmful due to venom, but most are harmless to humans.

Are Insects important for agriculture?

Yes, insects are vital for agriculture through pollination and pest control.

How many legs do Insects have?

Insects have six legs.

How do Arachnids reproduce?

Arachnids typically reproduce sexually, with some species also capable of asexual reproduction.

What do Arachnids typically eat?

Arachnids generally consume a diet of smaller animals, often other arthropods.

Are Insects found worldwide?

Yes, insects are found in virtually all terrestrial habitats worldwide.

Do Insects undergo metamorphosis?

Many insects undergo metamorphosis, transitioning from larval stages to adulthood.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Previous Comparison
Aluminum vs. Cast Iron
Next Comparison
Plums vs. Prunes

Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms