Apologia Biology: Module 12 – Phylum Arthropoda

Phylum Arthropoda is home to some of my least favorite creatures….spiders and centipedes.  Oh they’re OK outside, but please stay out of my territory!  That’s all I’m saying!  However, in all fairness to this Phylum, it is also home to Shrimp Cocktail, Coconut Shrimp, King Crab Legs, and Crayfish Etouffe’.

Class Crustacea

This week’s class focused mainly on Experiment 12.1 – Crayfish Dissection.  Applie took some great pictures of her Crayfish Dissections, so be sure to check out her blog.

Class Arachnida –

While, as admitted, this is not my favorite creature, they are an amazing group!  When we first moved into our house, we had a huge banana spider take refuge just outside our dining room window.  It was amazing to watch her spin her web and catch insects.  She was quite beautiful in her own way.  At night, in the light of a nearby street light, the web made cool, yet creepy shadow on the dining room wall!  One day the “bug guy” came to spray and I ran outside to tell him not to kill the spider!  He said that was a first! 🙂  After several weeks, Charlotte got a little greedy, trapped and ate a dragonfly, and promptly fell to the ground dead!  (Photo courtesy of Photobucket.com)

That ends my tale, but check out these interesting videos….

NOVA Series Examines Strength of Spider Silk

Look at this…a Trap Door Spider…

Ever wonder, How do spiders make their web?

Here is an interesting art project: Spider Web Art Project

Class Insecta

Of the many things to learn about Class Insecta, and perhaps the most beautiful is the metamorphosis from egg to larva, to pupa, to adult.   Surprisingly, a majority insects go through this type of process.  AMAZING!   We have had the privilege of watching the metamorphosis of the Monarch, and other butterflies, over and over in our own backyard.


I cannot observe this process without being reminded of our own metamorphosis.  Romans 12:2 says, “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (NAS)  The only other time this word is used in the Bible is in the transfiguration of Christ, mentioned in all four gospels!   Brings a little depth to our own metamorphosis, doesn’t it?  Have we undergone a complete metamorphosis, changed to an entirely new creature? Or are we stuck in the larval stage?

The remaining time in class was spent observing some very interesting insect collections; one contained many local species and the other was a collection of insects from Thailand.  Because of time limitations, for Experiment 12.2 – Insect Classification, we used the specimen in the textbook for our project.

A couple of ideas to throw in the pot: 1)  Have each student do a virtual insect collection of 10 – 20 local species, print pictures and make scrapbook-like pages for their notebooks, journal their identifications and 2) Have each student bring one or two live specimen in a jar for the class to identify and observe.

Study Link:  Flashcards & Games at Quizlet.com

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  1. #1 by appliejuice on March 16, 2011 - 8:30 pm

    We have several of those Orb Weavers around out house every summer. I like them. 🙂

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