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Phylum Arthropoda
updated Mar 2020

What are arthropods? Arthropods are among the most familar animals to us. 75% of all known animal species belong to Phylum Arthropoda.They include land-dwelling animals like insects, spiders and scorpions. Arthropods that are found in the sea include crabs, shrimps, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, mantis shrimps and barnacles.

Arthropod features: Arthropods have a harded outer skeleton (exoskeleton) called the cuticle. 'Arthropoda' means 'jointed foot' in Greek. Indeed, arthropods have jointed legs. Arthropods make up most of all known animals, so this body plan seems to work well.

Human uses: Arthropods are well used by people everywhere. They are among our favourite food! Remember that crabs and shrimps are also arthropods. Insects have influenced humans since the beginning of time. Their useful functions include pollinating our food crops. On the flip side, they also spread disease and destroy our food crops.
Phylum Arthropoda: some subgroups
Subphylum Chelicerata
Class Merostomata
(horseshoe crabs)
Class Arachnida (spiders, scorpions)

Subphylum Mandibulata

Class Myriapoda (centipedes, millipedes)
Class Insecta (insects)

Class Crustacea
Subclass Malacostraca

Order Decapoda

Infraorder Penaeidae (shrimps)
Infraorder Caridae
Infraorder Astecidae
Infraorder Anomura
(hermit crabs, porcelain crabs)
Infraorder Brachyura
(true crabs)
Order Stomatopoda (mantis shrimps)
Order Isopoda (sea slaters)

Subclass Cirripedia
Subclass Copepoda (copepods)

from Pechenik, Jan A., 2005. Biology of the Invertebrates. 5th Edition

A pair of anemone shrimps is commonly
found in our carpet anemones.

Kusu Island, Jul 04

Mantis shrimps are not like other shrimps
and belong to a different Order Stomatopoda.
Changi, Jul 05

Striped hermit crab
Chek Jawa, Feb 05

The Flower crab and other decapods
are among our favourite seafood!
Changi, Jun 05

Porcelain crabs often live with other animals.
Changi, Jul 05

Sea slater
Chek Jawa, Jan 05

Mangrove horseshoe crab
Pulau Sekudu, Dec03

Coastal horsehoe crabs
Pulau Sarimbun, May 05

Barnacles are crustaceans and arthropods!
Tuas, May 05
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