An arthropod (from Greek arthro-, joint + podos, foot) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Arthropoda, and include the insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans.
- Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crawlin' ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely
Owre gauze an' lace;
Though faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.
- Robert Burns, To a Louse, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 464.
- Fair insect! that, with threadlike legs spread out,
And blood-extracting bill and filmy wing,
Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about,
In pitiless ears full many a plaintive thing,
And tell how little our large veins would bleed,
Would we but yield them to thy bitter need.
- William Cullen Bryant, To a Mosquito; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 530.
- The Sphinx atropos squeakes when hurt,
nearly as loud as a mouse, which, when
uttered in the most plaintive tone, natural-
ly shocks the human heart, and makes it
shudder at the thought of destroying inof
-fensive animals merely for the sake of curi-
osity. I cannot help reflecting on this tyr-
anny, this wanton cruelty, exercised by
thoughtless man, on many animals, but
especially in insects: 'tis certain, that every
animal possessing life, has feeling; and,
therefore, is as capable of suffering pain,
as of enjoying pleasure; and, as Shake-
speare humanely expresses “The poor bee-
tle crushed beneath the foot, feels the
pangs of death as great as when a mon-
arch falls.” Gentle reader, pardon this di-
gression, my feelings commanded my pen."
- James Barbut, The Genera Insectorum of Linnæus, Exemplified by Various Specimens English Insects drawn by Nature, (1781)
- What gained we, little moth? Thy ashes,
Thy one brief parting pang may show:
And withering thoughts for soul that dashes,
From deep to deep, are but a death more slow.
- Thomas Carlyle, Tragedy of the Night Moth, Stanza 14; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 530.
- Insects, being so small, do not have oxygen-carrying bloodstreams. What little oxygen their cells require can be absorbed by simple diffusion of air through their bodies. But being larger means an animal must take on complicated oxygen pumping and distributing systems to reach all the cells.
- J.B.S. Haldane in On Being the Right Size (1926)
- Thou art a female, Katydid!
I know it by the trill
That quivers through thy piercing notes
So petulant and shrill.
I think there is a knot of you
Beneath the hollow tree,
A knot of spinster Katydids,—
Do Katydids drink tea?
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., To an Insect; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 415.
- An inordinate fondness for beetles
- The (possibly apocryphal) response J. B. S. Haldane gave when asked what could be inferred about the mind of the Creator from the works of Creation. Reported in Hutchinson, G. Evelyn (1959). "Homage to Santa Rosalia or Why Are There So Many Kinds of Animals?". The American Naturalist 93 (870): pp. 145–159.
- To a good approximation, all species are insects.
- Meanwhile, there is dancing in yonder green bower,
A swarm of young midges, they dance high and low;
'Tis a sweet little species that lives but one hour,
And the eldest was born half an hour ago.
- Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Midges; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 512.
- A work of skill, surpassing sense,
A labor of Omnipotence;
Though frail as dust it meet thine eye,
He form'd this gnat who built the sky.
- James Montgomery, The Gnat; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 315.
- The midge's wing beats to and fro
A thousand times ere one can utter "O."
- Coventry Patmore, The Cry at Midnight; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 512.
- The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), lines 217-8.
- In an evolutionary instant about 540 million years ago, there was an explosive diversification of multicellular animals. It is called the Cambrian explosion... Most of the major groups of marine animals, except fishes, appeared at that time, including sponges, echinoderms, and, most notably, arthropods.
- Stanley A. Rice, Life of Earth: Portrait of a Beautiful, Middle-aged Stressed-out World (2011)
- Siquidem et per naturam pleraque mutationem recipiunt, et corrupta in diversas species transformantur; sicut de vitulorum carnibus putridis apes, sicut de equis scarabei, de mulis locustae, de cancris scorpiones.
- Many creatures go through a natural change and by decay pass into different forms, as bees [are formed] by the decaying flesh of calves, as beetles from horses, locusts from mules, scorpions from crabs.
- Isidore of Seville Etymologiae Bk. 11, ch. 4, sect. 3; p. 221. Translations and page-numbers are taken from Ernest Brehaut An Encyclopedist of the Dark Ages: Isidore of Seville (New York: B. Franklin,  1964).
- Kay: Bugs thrive on carnage, Tiger. They consume, infest and destroy. They live off the death and decay of other species.
- Jay: So basically you have a racial problem with all insect-based life forms?
- Kay: Listen, kid -- imagine a giant cockroach five times smarter than Albert Einstein, four times stronger than an ox, nine times meaner than hell, strutting his stuff around Manhattan Island in his brand new Edgar suit. Does that sound like fun?
- Men in Black, written by Ed Solomon.
- To a first approximation, all multicellular species on earth are insects.
- N. E. Stork 2007. Biodiversity: world of Insects. Nature 448, 657-658 (9 August 2007)
- These creatures were remarkably efficient, for once they were started they had no sense to stop and continued whirling for hours and hours....All went well until a strange boy came to the place. He was the son of a retired officer in the Austrian Army. That urchin ate May-bugs alive and enjoyed them as tho [sic] they were the finest blue-point oysters. That disgusting site terminated my endeavors in this promising field and I have never since been able to touch a May-bug or any other insect for that matter.
- Where the katydid works her chromatic reed on the walnut-tree over the well.
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Song of Myself, Part 33, line 61; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 415.
- Happy the Cicadas live, since they all have voiceless wives.
- Xenarchus (Grecian poet), quoted in Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1876).