The answer to this question depends on who you ask.
Most classifications would consider a worm an animal instead of an insect, but there are those that disagree with the classification and find it more accurate to classify worms as insects.
Although the three definitions of “insect” that I found on Google say “any of numerous small invertebrate animals,” the word “such as” makes me think they are just examples, and not necessarily a list. So it seems like a worm or insect is not an insect, but I think everyone will do well to read the definition for themselves 🙂
The first definition noted by Google defines insects as any of such creatures. The second defines them as small arthropods belonging to many orders (of various sizes) that have jointed legs and wings usually membranous feelers and include such orders as Diptera, Neuroptera, Coleoptera, Trichoptera among others.
A worm is not an insect because worms have a distinct segmented body, whereas insects are made up of 3 major segments (head, thorax and abdomen). Worms also lack the essential set wings or antennae which are present in all insects.
Yes, it is.
What is an insect?
Insects belong to the taxonomic class of arthropods that are characterized by a segmented body and three pairs of jointed legs. Insects range in size from tiny mosquitoes and fleas to large beetles or butterflies, and they work closely with plants as pollinators or major agricultural pests. Every year there are billions of crop-damaging insects blown upon our shores, carrying agriculturally threatening organisms such as tobacco mosaic virus, cucumber mosaic virus, apple iaxvirus (IAX) and pear iaxvirus into the country on their bodies or inside eggs which are then deposited on hosts susceptible to infection.
It is not required to be an insect or even an invertebrate for something to be considered a worm.
Examples include the earthworm, though it is often called a segmented worm because of the segments along its body. These worms are still very close relatives of ours and other species in our form, in that they share many similar structures such as:
- An unsegmented head using bristles, paired antennae and multiple sensory organs.
- Roughly the same body structure including a nerve cord with ganglia, three main regions (head/thorax/abdomen), and seven sets of body appendages out from there.
- The ability to regenerate lost body parts.
- coelom or fluid filled space between the gut and the outer body wall.
- The presence of an outer skin which can be shed or broken to allow growth.
There are many examples though, including the common earthworms that are very closely related to us in terms of genetics, structure ,and behavior. This is clearly evident due to their regeneration abilities, segmented bodies similar to ours, multiple sensory organs, and the presence of a nerve cord with ganglia.
While it is not required to be an invertebrate or even an insect for something to be considered a worm, it is still interesting that worms share so many similarities with other organisms such as humans considering how much they can differ. Oh yeah, and they’re gross.
Worms belong to the group of animals called “insects”. They are not technically insects, but an insect is any small invertebrate with a three-part body consisting of head, thorax (midsection), and abdomen. Per Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of an insect includes annelids such as earthworms and leeches. So yes worms are considered insects.
A worm is not an animal, but it sure is in the same class as insects since worms are invertebrates and bugs usually mean a more specific insect or arthropod. So worms are bugs! And for all of us with a fear of them both, you can rest assured knowing that each worm has only 1/1000th as many neurons as your brain!
So there you have it…crawlers may be gross, but they’re nowhere near living up to their name. Happy (and hopefully) crawling! 🙂
No. Insects come in all shapes and sizes, but worms are always long and thin. A worm would never be mistaken for an insect by a layman; they simply are too different from insects, which means they aren’t related to insects at all.
Also, worms aren’t insects because although they have three pairs of jointed legs (augmented with bristles or hair), their wingset (or series of wings) is too short to allow flight. This makes them unable to compete with the more mobile flying species of insect–often making it seem as though we’ve mistakenly grouped them together! Lastly, one other major difference between a worm and an insect: a worm has “feet” at both ends of its body whereas an insect has only one set of legs at the “front” of its body.
The definition for what is and isn’t an insect comes from a fairly technical standpoint, so it’s easy to believe that worms are insects because the word “worm” was used as such in English for hundreds of years before scientists even knew about insects as a species. In fact, it’s been noted that even before scientists knew all the facts about worms and only classified them as being members of the invertebrate phylum Annelida because they were so different from insects, people still went on calling many long, thin invertebrates “worms” regardless.
A worm can be mistaken for an insect in that it is literally a long, thin invertebrate with some similar characteristics including dependence on the water for reproduction. However, even if someone doesn’t understand what makes worm different from insects, they won’t continue to mistake them once they’re correctly informed of how worms are different.
No, worms are segmented invertebrates and insects belong to the animal kingdom.
Comparison of animals and insects
Animals, like humans, have backbones (vertebrae) . Insects do not.This is one significant difference between animals and insects. Animals have a system of glands which help them digest food; while an insect has a more simple opening that functions in place of a stomach for dissolving food before it moves on to other parts of the body. In addition, animals have separate breathing structures from their digestive tract; whereas insects breathe through tubes along its body length which also serve to transport fluids throughout the body. Insects depend on various systems such as water drawn up with leaves or moisture within wood to keep them hydrated. Some animals use the water in their surroundings to stay hydrated, but others have developed other ways of keeping themselves moist or damp which are not so similar to how insects do it.
Animals are able to move around by contracting muscles . Insects have a hard exoskeleton , so they can’t contract their muscles.
Insect legs have three segments. Animals usually have two, but sometimes have more. Insects also have antennae , which are their sense organs. Most animals don’t have that feature on their face or head, but some do such as horses and cows that use them to smell for danger. In some cases the mouth of an insect is part of the first segment of its body, but in most cases it is not. Insect mouths are part of their head or thorax . Animal mouths are usually separate, on their face.
Animal bodies have blood which flows through the body to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout different parts of their system. But insects do not have blood flow through their systems. They have a tubular heart that pumps fluid into spaces between the muscles and tissues.
Insects breathe through their skin. Animals do not. Insects also have a complete digestive system, with a mouth, esophagus , stomach, intestines , anus , etc., while animals only eat food to swallow it and then it goes to the stomach, where it breaks down and is absorbed.
Animals reproduce by mating . Insects also reproduce by mating, but unlike humans they do not have the same reproductive organs that are required for reproduction; instead they produce sperm or eggs through modifications of their digestive system. Animals usually bear live young (viviparous) , while insects produce eggs (oviparous) . Animals also feed their young with milk, while insects produce a substance that is similar to honeydew or licked-up plant sap for their young.
Insects have compound eyes and 3 simple eyes called ocelli on the top of their head. Most animals have two of each kind of eye, but some animals such as mammals or birds have lost their 3rd ocelli.
Insects do not have lungs like humans and other vertebrates do. Instead they breathe through spiracles which are openings in the insect’s side that lead to tubes called tracheae . Insects can be quite small (1 mm) with only a few spiracles, but other insects such as beetles have many. Some insects such as cockroaches and dragonflies can take in oxygen through holes all over their body.
Insects almost always have 6 legs , though some centipedes and millipedes may have more than that because they count the legs on each of their segments which is why they have so many different numbers of them. Animals usually have 4 legs or 2 legs, but some animals such as kangaroos and horses that walk on their hind legs only have 2 feet while walking with all fours.
It depends on the types of worms. Some are considered insects and others are protozoa.
In this sense, it is not a ‘yes or no’ answer but a response about the difference between two types of invertebrates. The worm is an invertebrate animal that has no backbone and often shares many characteristics with insects. The distinction between some groups of worms (e,g., earthworms) hinges on whether they have true body cavities inside their gut or just pleats for folds in their wall while other identify traits lay in whether they have bristles or not and whether they can bore into the ground for food to divide eggs up from one parent]. There are three traditional sub-classes within this phylum classified as follows:
- Annelids- worms that have cylindrical, segmented bodies with a tubular cavity between each of the segments.
- Nematodes- worms that lack a tubular cavity between their segments and have round cross sections that do not resemble Earthworms or Leeches.
- Plathelminthes- worms that have flattened ventrals, dorsals, and spiral in orientation with difficult to identify traits for identification purposes without dissections.
- Nematomorpha- worms that are long, slender, many branched without any digestive tract for absorption of food and lack a gut lid but do have an outer layer of muscles used to propel themselves through water by undulating their body like sidewinding snakes.
- Gastrotricha- worm that are microscopic with dorsal adhesive field used to attach themselves to substrates
- Kinorhyncha- worm that are similar to free living flatworms but have bristles instead of cilia for movement and a sensory organ known as a statocyst.
- Loricifera- microscopic worms that have both bristles and cilia for movement through water and feed on bacterium while being free living. They have a carapace made up of microscopic plates called scales
- Priapulida- worm with an anterior proboscis used to chew into other invertebrates or enter their body cavities for feeding purposes while the posterior segment has 2-3 fingerlike projections that hug the walls of the gut and may leave slime to make movement easier.
- Acanthocephala- worm that parasitize invertebrate animals such as aquatic insects, crustaceans, molluscs or echinoderms (marine invertebrates) to obtain food while leaving their hosts alive because they do not kill their hosts.
- Cycliophora- microscopic worm with a mouth surrounded by tentacles for feeding purposes while lacking subpharyngeal glands, are rarely found in aquatic habitats, have an incomplete digestive tract but highly developed neurochord which is used to detect light or other stimuli.