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The Breathing System of Insects

The tracheal breathing system of insects

Insect breathing uzopediaInsects do not breathe through their mouths as we do. The do not have lungs and their blood, which is a watery, yellowish liquid, does not carry oxygen and carbon dioxide around their bodies.

Insects have a system of tubes, called tracheae, instead of lungs. These tracheae penetrate right through the insect's body. Air enters the tracheae by pores called spiracles. These spiracles are found on each side of the insect's abdomen. Each segment of the abdomen has a pair of spiracles. Insect spiracles

Insect spiracles

Insect twoThe air passes into the tracheae which branch into smaller and smaller tubes, in a similar way to the bronchioles in our lungs. The tracheae finally come to an end in the tissues which are respiring. Here in the tissues the oxygen is taken from the air in the tracheae. At the same time carbon dioxide enters the tracheae so that it can be expelled from the body.

The process of breathing in insects is slow. Large, active insects, however, may pump their abdomens to help quicken the movement of these gases.
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