Skip to content

Invertebrates Examples With Photos & Fascinating Details


    Examples of invertebrates embrace 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 attention-grabbing info on every…

    Scroll right down to browse the entire invertebrates, or use the index beneath to go to a particular animal…

    Invertebrates Examples










    Examples Of Different Invertebrates

    What Is An Invertebrate?

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

    Whereas the time period “vertebrate” applies to a particular 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, nonetheless, belong to many alternative, and never essentially associated, teams. In reality, some invertebrates are extra closely-related to vertebrates than they’re to different invertebrates.

    Within the checklist beneath, we have now included examples of invertebrates from every of the foremost teams, together with arthropods (bugs, arachnids, and so forth.), mollusks (bivalves, octopuses, and so forth.) and others.

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

    Listing 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 most important 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 overlaying that protects and helps the internal components of an animal’s physique).

    You’ll be able to see extra examples of arthropods on this web page: Arthropods Examples

    Beneath are examples of invertebrates from the foremost arthropod teams.


    Arthropods make up the most important group of invertebrates… and bugs make up the most important group of arthropods. Round half of all identified animal species are bugs!


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

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


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

    Bees are winged bugs which can be associated to ants and wasps. Many bees reside, 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 embrace: 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 most important group of invertebrates… bugs make up the most important group of arthropods… and beetles make up the most important 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 instances often known as elytra.

    Yow will discover out extra about beetles on this web page: Beetles – The Final Information


    Adult Male Monarch Butterfly
    The monarch butterfly is understood for its long-distance migration. Click on on the picture to seek out out extra about this wonderful invertebrate.

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

    Again To Invertebrate Index


    Whereas nearly all 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).

    Yow will discover 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 embrace lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. The phrase “decapod” means ten-footed, and refers back to the ten fundamental legs of a decapod (decapods usually have quite a few different, leg-like appendages). The forelegs of a crab have advanced into pincers.


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

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

    Again To Invertebrate Index


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

    Yow will discover 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 totally different spider species.

    Sadly for individuals who endure from arachnophobia (a worry of arachnids, significantly 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 often known as sea spiders, that are present in marine habitats, are usually not true spiders.)

    Spiders are capable of spin silk with organs often known as spinnerets, that are positioned on the stomach. Many forms 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 seek 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 in opposition to predators.

    Yow will discover out extra about scorpions on this web page: Scorpion Details

    Again To Invertebrate Index


    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 Hearth Centipede, Scolopocryptops gracilis, an invertebrate present in North America

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

    Again To Invertebrate Index


    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 similar to clams and mussels, to cephalopods similar to octopuses and squid, that are essentially the most clever of all invertebrates. All mollusks have a nervous system and a physique half known as a mantle.

    You’ll be able to 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 reside over 500 years. Clams are present in each marine and freshwater habitats, and are meals not only for animals similar to 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 muscular tissues of the foot.

    Gastropoda is residence to extra species than every other mollusk class. Slugs are gastropods that both lack a shell, or whose shell is small or inside.



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

    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 smooth physique and a tough beak. Octopuses normally transfer by crawling or slowly swimming over the ocean mattress, however when they should go quicker, 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 means of the water.

    Like different cephalopods, squid are capable of change the colour of their our bodies virtually immediately.

    Again To Invertebrate Index


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

    Sea Urchin

    Sea Urchin

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

    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 build up strain inside these canals, that are linked to its tube toes.

    Sea Star / Starfish


    Sea stars, often known 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 might probably regenerate new limbs to switch 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 large California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus)

    Named for his or her resemblance to the bulbous fruit of a cucumber plant, sea cucumbers are a bunch 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.

    Again To Invertebrate Index


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

    Of their medusa kind, cnidarians are free-swimming, with umbrella-shaped our bodies (often known as “bells”) and a “tail” of tentacles. Of their polyp kind, cnidarians are sessile (hooked up 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
    Dwell coral within the Philippine Islands

    Corals reside in colonies consisting of numerous genetically an identical polyps. Every coral secretes a laborious exoskeleton. Over time, the colony’s exoskeletons accumulate, forming coral reefs.

    Coral reefs are an vital habitat for a lot of types of marine life, and are often known as the “rainforests of the ocean”.


    Lions Mane Jellyfish
    Lions Mane Jellyfish

    People of the similar jellyfish species could both be medusae or polyps.

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

    The tentacles that path behind the bell are outfitted with stinging cells which can be used each to seize prey and as protection in opposition to predators.

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

    As polyps, jellyfish have tubular our bodies and are usually hooked up to a floor. Toddler jellyfish develop on the prime of the polyp and detach from the father or mother – a course of often known as “budding”.

    Portuguese Man o’ Struggle

    Portuguese Man 'o War

    Regardless of resembling jellyfish, Portuguese man o’ conflict are basically totally different from their cnidarian cousins, due primarily to the truth that a single Portuguese man o’ conflict shouldn’t be really a single organism – as a substitute, it’s a colony of organisms, every of which is named a zooid. A person zooid is hooked up to the colony and unable to reside by itself.

    A single Portuguese man o’ conflict consists of a number of several types of zooid, every of which performs a particular job, e.g., digestion, replica and prey seize.

    Again To Invertebrate Index


    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’t operate individually, nonetheless, 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 get hold of meals, which consists of quite a lot of plant and animal materials, from the soil by which they reside. An earthworm’s food regimen consists of different invertebrate animals similar to nematodes (roundworms) and rotifers.

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

    Earthworms lack each lungs (they “breathe” by means of 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 will be differentiated from these by the presence of a sucker at each ends of their our bodies. Leeches use each suckers when transferring, and a few leech species are additionally capable of 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 include a whole lot of tiny, sharp tooth.

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

    Again To Invertebrate Index

    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 means of their our bodies.



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

    Though most nematodes are microscopic, some will 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 every other kind 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 identified for his or her skill to face up to excessive circumstances, 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

    (No picture accessible)

    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.


    (No picture accessible)

    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 means of 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. Because of this, lancelets probably maintain clues about vertebrate evolution.

    Again To Invertebrate Index

    Uncover Extra With Lively Wild

    Yow will discover extra examples of invertebrates on these pages:

    Discover out extra about invertebrates on the next pages:

    Uncover Different Sorts Of Animals