All About Arthropods

Abbey Boggs 4/10/2014 Mitcham-PAP Bio-6


The objectives of this lab are:

  • To examine a grasshopper and a crayfish
  • To find similarities (phylum traits) between a grasshopper and a crayfish
  • To find differences (class traits) between a grasshopper and a crayfish


Two animals in the phylum Arthropoda are the grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis) and the crayfish (Cambaridae camburus). Grasshoppers live in grassy areas and usually eat leaves, stems, and crops such as corn. A common predator of grasshoppers is a bird. Another animal in the phylum Arthropoda is the crayfish. Crayfish live in water, often freshwater. Crayfish eat plant matter and small fish, and are eaten by some fish, turtles, and birds. Arthropods are secondary consumers, because arthropods can eat producers and primary consumers. Arthropods occupy a wide range of niches, including maintaining the populations of their prey. Other niches of some arthropods include being parasites, and helping to keep other organisms clean.

Integumentary System

An arthropod's integumentary system typically consists of:

  1. Three sections (a head, a thorax, and an abdomen), which aid in movement
  2. The exoskeleton, including the cuticle, which is protective and is composed of chitin

All about an arthropod's integumentary system

The integumentary system of an arthropod functions to prevent water loss from the arthropod's body, to protect the arthropod, and to aid in the movement of the arthropod. The integumentary system also provides a structure and framework for the arthropod's body. Arthropods are segmented, which helps ease movement. An arthropod's integumentary system is closely related to the muscular system, because the integumentary and muscular systems work together to make movement possible with an arthropod.


Arthropods have the following adaptations:

  • A hard exoskeleton that prevents arthropods from becoming overly dry
  • An open circulatory system, which allows nutrients to travel directly to where they are needed

Test Your Arthropod Knowledge!