Linnaeus in his Systema naturae (1735) grouped under the class Insecta all segmented animals with firm exoskeleton and jointed limbs - that is to say, the insects, centipedes, millipedes, crustaceans, spiders, scorpions and their allies.
His order of wingless insects (Aptera) included Crustacea, spiders, centipedes and other creatures that now form classes of the Arthropoda distinct from the Hexapoda; it also included Hexapoda of parasitic and evidently degraded structure, that are now regarded as allied more or less closely to various winged insects.
The term, however, is somewhat elastic in its current use, and students of centipedes and spiders are often reckoned among the entomologists.
Birds and mammals take the first place; the leading collections devote a good deal of attention to reptiles and batrachians; fishes and aquatic invertebrata are most often to be found only when there are special aquaria, whilst non-aquatic invertebrates are seldom to be seen and at most consist of a few moths and butterflies, spiders, scorpions and centipedes, molluscs and crustaceans.
Insects are numerous, and of about 500 species of beetle some 80% are not known to exist elsewhere; cockroaches and green locusts are pests, as are, also, mosquitoes,' wasps, scorpions, centipedes and white ants, which have all been introduced from elsewhere.
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