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Why Is the Blood of Insects Colorless?

Updated on March 17, 2020
Mohammad Farzam profile image

This is one of the most curious questions asked about an insect: "Why is the blood of insects colorless?" Well I have the answer to that.



As we all might know, insects belong to the group of arthropods which form a part of the group of invertebrates. What seperates insects from other arthropods are their unique features, both external and internal. These features sometimes raise questions about them. But before that, talking about the physical features of an insect, their most common feature is jointed legs and antennae. Many insects also have wings, which gives them the ability to fly. Now, taking a deeper look at the insect body structure, the body of the insect breaks down into three main parts:

  1. Head
  2. Thorax
  3. Abdomen

Further simplifying, the head features the eyes, the mouthparts and the antennae. The Thorax generally consists of the jointed legs, and two pairs of wings. The abdomen has posterior appendages which are generally involved with reproduction. The exoskeleton is made up of a horny substance, known as 'Chitin'. The number of the features varies in different insects, and also depends on the adaptations that they carry.

Like humans, insects breathe through the trachea, which further divides into complex bronchus-like structures. These pipe-like structures open to the outside of the the body through a series of small valved apertures called spiracles along the surface of the body. In insects that chew, the digestive system includes a muscular gizzard (an extra addition to the stomach) that is lacking in insects that live by sucking. The simple circulatory system is composed of a tubular heart that pumps blood forward into the head, from which it diffuses through the tissues and back into the heart. The aquatic larvae of many insects breathe by means of external gills; some very primitive species breathe directly through the body wall.

Circulatory system of an insect


Why is the blood of an insect colorless?

Now, coming towards the main point, the blood of an insect is colorless, because it plays no factor in transporting the blood. Yes that is why it does not contain any haemoglobin-like pigment, thus is colorless. In biological terms, the colorless blood is known as hemolymph. What it really does is it helps digestion. It does this by dissolving nutrient ions, such as pottasium and sodium, which help the insect body function.

Now, the question that really comes to the mind, is that "How do the insects breathe?" The simple answer to this is that insects have many tubes and air sacs wired inside of their bodies which trasport oxygen around their bodies.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mohammad Farzam


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