Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Insect skeleton



Humans have bone skeletons on the inside with all our soft bits on the outside surrounded by a soft skin.

However, in insects:

  • the skeleton is an external, hard exoskeleton which provides:
    • support for the animal contents and muscles;
    • protection against water loss.
  • the exoskeleton of insects doesn't grow with them, so they have to moult (shed their skin) to grow. They only do this when they are young, and cease to moult once they become an adult.