Invertebrates Examples With Footage & Attention-grabbing Info

Examples of invertebrates embody bugs (e.g., ants, bees, beetles, butterflies); crustaceans (e.g., crabs, lobsters, barnacles); arachnids (e.g., spiders, scorpions); mollusks (e.g., clams, snails, octopuses, squid); echinoderms (e.g., sea urchins, sea stars) and cnidarians (corals, jellyfish).

On this web page you’ll discover data on these and different invertebrates, with footage and fascinating info on every…

Scroll right down to browse all the invertebrates, or use the index under to go to a selected animal…

Invertebrates Examples










Examples Of Different Invertebrates

What Is An Invertebrate?

An invertebrate is an animal and not using a vertebral column, or spine. A minimum of 95% of all recognized animal species are invertebrates. (As vertebrates, we’re very a lot within the minority!)

Whereas the time period “vertebrate” applies to a selected group of animals (members of the subphylum Vertebrata) the time period “invertebrate” is much less strict, and easily applies to any animal that lacks a spine.

All vertebrates, from fish to mammals, are associated by a distant, shared ancestor. Invertebrates, nevertheless, belong to many alternative, and never essentially associated, teams. The truth is, some invertebrates are extra closely-related to vertebrates than they’re to different invertebrates.

Within the checklist under, we’ve got included examples of invertebrates from every of the key teams, together with arthropods (bugs, arachnids, and so forth.), mollusks (bivalves, octopuses, and so forth.) and others.

Phrases reminiscent of “phylum”, “class” and “household” are used to explain varied invertebrate animal teams on this web page. To search out out what they imply, go to this web page: Animal Classification

Record Of Invertebrates


Examples Of Arthropods
The entire above animals are invertebrates – click on on the picture to find extra arthropods!

An arthropod is a member of the phylum Arthropoda. Arthropoda isn’t just the biggest group of invertebrates, it’s additionally the largest single group of animals within the animal kingdom. Over 80% of all animal species are arthropods.

Arthropods are invertebrates with segmented our bodies, jointed limbs, and an exoskeleton (a tough outer protecting that protects and helps the internal components of an animal’s physique).

You possibly can see extra examples of arthropods on this web page: Arthropods Examples

Beneath are examples of invertebrates from the key arthropod teams.


Arthropods make up the biggest group of invertebrates… and bugs make up the biggest group of arthropods. Round half of all recognized animal species are bugs!


Red Wood Ant
The crimson wooden ant, Formica rufa, is discovered throughout Europe and Asia.

Ants are bugs belonging to the household Formicidae. Ants dwell in giant colonies (some ant colonies can encompass over a million particular person ants). A lot of the ants in a colony are staff: wingless, infertile females, who carry out duties reminiscent of gathering meals and defending the nest from predators. Winged males referred to as drones mate with fertile females referred to as queens, who discovered new colonies.


Honey bee
Invertebrates carry out essential roles of their ecosystems. Bees such because the honey bee, pictured, pollinate flowering vegetation.

Bees are winged bugs which are associated to ants and wasps. Many bees dwell, like ants, in colonies based by a queen and consisting primarily of infertile feminine staff. The vast majority of bee species are solitary.

Several types of bees embody: honey bees, bumblebees, stingless bees and carpenter bees.


Hercules Beetle
The Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules, is the world’s longest beetle. This specimen was photographed in Ecuador.

Arthropods make up the biggest group of invertebrates… bugs make up the biggest group of arthropods… and beetles make up the biggest group of bugs!

Round 40% of all insect species are beetles, and 25% of all animals are beetles.

Beetles make up the order Coleoptera. The forewings of a beetle have advanced into protecting circumstances referred to as elytra.

You’ll find out extra about beetles on this web page: Beetles – The Final Information


Adult Male Monarch Butterfly
The monarch butterfly is thought for its long-distance migration. Click on on the photograph to search out out extra about this superb invertebrate.

A butterfly is a member of the insect order Lepidoptera, which additionally consists of moths. Butterflies have 4 giant, scale-covered and sometimes brightly-colored wings, and tube-like mouthparts for sucking. A butterfly larva is named a “caterpillar”.

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Whereas the vast majority of bugs are present in terrestrial (land) or freshwater habitats, most (however not all) crustaceans are discovered within the sea.

Crustaceans are invertebrate animals with a tough exoskeleton, two pairs of antennae, and a pair of compound eyes (which are sometimes mounted on stalks).

You’ll find out extra about crustaceans on this web page: Crustaceans – The Final Information


Ghost Crab
Ghost Crab

A crab is a member of the crustacean order Decapoda. Different decapods embody lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. The phrase “decapod” means ten-footed, and refers back to the ten important legs of a decapod (decapods typically have quite a few different, leg-like appendages). The forelegs of a crab have advanced into pincers.


Goose Barnacles
Goose barnacles might resemble bivalves, however are in actual fact crustaceans.

After a quick free-swimming larval stage, a barnacle attaches itself to an acceptable floor (typically the physique of one other animal) and turns into sessile (rooted to the identical spot).

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An arachnid is a member of the arthropod class Arachnida. Grownup arachnids have eight legs, with many arachnids having further appendages reminiscent of claws or feelers that resemble legs.

You’ll find out extra about arachnids on this web page: Arachnids – The Final Information


European Garden Spider
Backyard Spider Araneus diadematus

Spiders are arachnids of order Aranea. They’ve eight legs and (not like bugs) lack antennae. There are round 50,000 completely different spider species.

Sadly for many who endure from arachnophobia (a worry of arachnids, notably spiders), these invertebrates are present in a variety of habitats, and on each continent besides Antarctica.

Most spiders are terrestrial (land-living), however some are semiaquatic and located in freshwater habitats. (The group of invertebrates referred to as sea spiders, that are present in marine habitats, aren’t true spiders.)

Spiders are in a position to spin silk with organs referred to as spinnerets, that are positioned on the stomach. Many kinds of spider spin intricate webs with a view to seize prey.


Deathstalker Scorpion with stinger raised
Deathstalker Scorpion – one of many world’s most harmful scorpion species. (Click on on the picture to search out out extra about this invertebrate.)

Scorpions are distinctive arachnids with pincers and tail along with their eight legs. On the finish of the tail is a venomous stinger, which is used each to subdue prey and in self-defense towards predators.

You’ll find out extra about scorpions on this web page: Scorpion Info

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Myriapoda is the group of arthropods that accommodates centipedes and millipedes. Myriapods have lengthy, skinny our bodies comprised of quite a few segments, and a single pair of antennae.


Western Fire Centipede
Western Fireplace Centipede, Scolopocryptops gracilis, an invertebrate present in North America

Centipedes are predatory invertebrates whose chew is venomous. Centipedes have a single pair of legs per physique section and transfer quickly, not like the slower-moving millipedes, which have two pairs of legs per physique section.

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Mollusks Examples
Mollusks Examples – click on on the picture to see extra examples of those primarily marine invertebrates.

A mollusk is a member of the invertebrate phylum Mollusca. Mollusks are extraordinarily various, starting from bivalves – shelled animals reminiscent of clams and mussels, to cephalopods reminiscent of octopuses and squid, that are probably the most clever of all invertebrates. All mollusks have a nervous system and a physique half known as a mantle.

You possibly can see extra examples of mollusks on this web page: Mollusks Examples


Giant Clam
Large Clam

A clam is a bivalve – a member of the invertebrate class Bivalvia. Like all bivalves, clams have a hinged, two-part shell (every half is named a “valve”) that may be open and closed.

Some clams can dwell over 500 years. Clams are present in each marine and freshwater habitats, and are meals not only for animals reminiscent of walruses and octopuses, but in addition for people.


Banana Slug
Banana slug Ariolimax stramineus

Slugs and snails make up the mollusk class Gastropoda. A gastropod strikes by secreting a layer of mucous from the underside of its foot, over which it slides by contracting the muscle tissues of the foot.

Gastropoda is house to extra species than another mollusk class. Slugs are gastropods that both lack a shell, or whose shell is small or inner.



A snail is a gastropod mollusk with shell, into which the animal can retreat for cover.

Snails are present in each terrestrial and aquatic environments (freshwater and marine). There are lots of extra species of marine snails than there are land snails.


common octopus photo
The frequent octopus is an invertebrate within the order Octopoda.

An octopus is an eight-legged marine mollusk with a tender physique and a tough beak. Octopuses often transfer by crawling or slowly swimming over the ocean mattress, however when they should go sooner, they use jet propulsion – contracting the mantle and projecting a stream of water from a gap known as a siphon.


Humboldt Squid
The Humboldt squid is a big invertebrate discovered within the Pacific Ocean.

A squid is a predatory molluscan invertebrate that, together with octopuses, cuttlefishes and nautiluses, belongs to the category Cephalopoda.

Squid have eight legs and a pair of tentacles, with which they seize their prey. Squid hunt by sight, and use jet propulsion to maneuver by the water.

Like different cephalopods, squid are in a position to change the colour of their our bodies virtually immediately.

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Echinoderms are invertebrates within the phylum Echinodermata. At present, 11,580 species of echinoderm are acknowledged. (supply)

Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

Sea urchins are a gaggle of echinoderms with spherical, spined our bodies. Present in oceans worldwide, sea urchins transfer by crawling over the substrate utilizing quite a few “tube ft”.

Like different echinoderms, the ocean urchin has a “water-vascular system” consisting of a collection of water-filed canals inside its physique. It strikes by increase stress inside these canals, that are related to its tube ft.

Sea Star / Starfish


Sea stars, also referred to as starfish, are echinoderms whose legs are organized round a central disc. Most sea stars have 5 legs, however some species have extra.

If a sea star loses a number of of its legs it will possibly regenerate new limbs to exchange these misplaced. Much more amazingly, in some species, a whole new sea star can develop from a single indifferent limb.

Sea Cucumber

California Sea Cucumber
California sea cucumber or big California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus)

Named for his or her resemblance to the bulbous fruit of a cucumber plant, sea cucumbers are a gaggle of echinoderms discovered on the ocean mattress of oceans worldwide. The mouths of sea cucumbers are surrounded by tentacles with which they acquire meals. Most sea cucumbers are scavengers.

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Cnidarians (pronounced nigh-dairy-ans) are a gaggle of soft-bodied invertebrates with two important physique varieties: medusa and polyp.

Of their medusa kind, cnidarians are free-swimming, with umbrella-shaped our bodies (referred to as “bells”) and a “tail” of tentacles. Of their polyp kind, cnidarians are sessile (connected to a floor), with cylindrical our bodies and a mouth surrounded by tentacles.

Sea anemones and corals are examples of cnidarians that solely have a polyp kind. Jellyfish usually have each a medusa stage and a polyp stage of their life-cycles.


Live Coral
Reside coral within the Philippine Islands

Corals dwell in colonies consisting of a lot of genetically equivalent polyps. Every coral secretes a onerous exoskeleton. Over time, the colony’s exoskeletons accumulate, forming coral reefs.

Coral reefs are an essential habitat for a lot of types of marine life, and are referred to as the “rainforests of the ocean”.


Lions Mane Jellyfish
Lions Mane Jellyfish

People of the identical jellyfish species might both be medusae or polyps.

As medusae, jellyfish are free-swimming, pushing themselves by the water with common contractions of their umbrella-shaped our bodies, referred to as “bells”.

The tentacles that path behind the bell are geared up with stinging cells which are used each to seize prey and as protection towards predators.

Being stung by a jellyfish might be extraordinarily painful (and in uncommon circumstances, lethal).

As polyps, jellyfish have tubular our bodies and are usually connected to a floor. Toddler jellyfish develop on the high of the polyp and detach from the guardian – a course of referred to as “budding”.

Portuguese Man o’ Battle

Portuguese Man 'o War

Regardless of resembling jellyfish, Portuguese man o’ struggle are essentially completely different from their cnidarian cousins, due primarily to the truth that a single Portuguese man o’ struggle will not be really a single organism – as an alternative, it’s a colony of organisms, every of which is named a zooid. A person zooid is connected to the colony and unable to dwell by itself.

A single Portuguese man o’ struggle consists of a number of various kinds of zooid, every of which performs a selected job, e.g., digestion, copy and prey seize.

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Annelids, or segmented worms, are invertebrates within the phylum Annelida. The physique of a typical annelids consists of a collection of segments, every of which accommodates the identical organs. The segments can not operate individually, nevertheless, as they share a digestive and nervous system.


Nightcrawler, or Earthworm

Earthworms are lengthy, tubular invertebrates belonging to the order Opisthopora. The 6,000-plus species of earthworms are distributed on all continents besides Antarctica.

Earthworms receive meals, which consists of a wide range of plant and animal materials, from the soil wherein they dwell. An earthworm’s weight loss program consists of different invertebrate animals reminiscent of nematodes (roundworms) and rotifers.

An earthworm strikes by increasing and contracting its physique, with hairs referred to as “setae” appearing as anchors within the soil.

Earthworms lack each lungs (they “breathe” by their pores and skin) and eyes (they’ve light-sensing cells of their pores and skin).



Leeches are annelids within the subclass Hirudinea. They’re associated to earthworms, and might be differentiated from these by the presence of a sucker at each ends of their our bodies. Leeches use each suckers when shifting, and a few leech species are additionally in a position to swim.

Most leeches are parasitic, utilizing their specially-adapted mouthparts to connect themselves to different animals (together with people) with a view to drink their blood. The mouths of blood-sucking leeches comprise lots of of tiny, sharp enamel.

Previously, leeches had been used to deal with varied illnesses; it was believed that having blood drained by a leech would assist restore the physique’s pure stability.

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Different Invertebrates



There are 9,539 dwelling sponge species (supply). Collectively, they make up the phylum Porifera.

Sponges are comparatively easy animals, missing each a nervous system and a abdomen. Most sponges are able to motion solely of their juvenile kind.

The vast majority of sponges are present in marine habitats, though there are a small variety of freshwater sponge species.

Sponges are filter feeders, feeding on microorganisms contained inside the water that flows by their our bodies.



Nematodes, or roundworms, are a big group of primarily microscopic animals with wormlike our bodies.

Though most nematodes are microscopic, some might be very giant: a species that lives contained in the sperm whale can attain lengths of as much as 13m (43 ft.). Many nematodes are parasites, dwelling both on, or inside, different organisms.

Nematodes are present in just about each habitat on Earth. There are extra nematodes than another sort of animal; it’s estimated that round 80% of all animals are nematodes.



Tardigrades, or “water bears”, are microscopic invertebrate animals with eight legs. Tardigrades are recognized for his or her means to resist excessive situations, and have been discovered on mountains, in deep sea habitats, and on Antarctica.


Rotifer Testudinella patina

Rotifers are tiny aquatic invertebrates that make up the phylum Rotifera.

Most rotifers are between 0.2 and 0.5 mm in size. Regardless of their small measurement, rotifers have brains, a nervous system and a digestive system.

Sea Squirt

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Sea squirts are marine animals with lengthy, water-filled our bodies. The biggest sea squirts attain lengths of round 10 cm / 3.94 in. Sea squirts feed by capturing particles of meals contained in water that’s drawn in and expelled from separate openings within the physique.


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A lancelet is a small, fish-like animal of order Amphioxiformes. Lancelets are discovered within the sandy beds of shallow tropical and temperate waters worldwide. They’re filter feeders, capturing plankton from the seawater drawn in by gill-like openings.

Lancelets are thought-about invertebrates as a result of they lack a vertebral column. Nevertheless, they do possess a notochord – a stiff, versatile rod that runs the size of the animal’s again.

The presence of a notochord is seen as an early step in direction of the event of a vertebral column. For that reason, lancelets probably maintain clues about vertebrate evolution.

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