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Silkworms and bees have been used extensively by humans for the production of silk and honey, respectively.In some cultures, people eat the larvae or adults of certain insects.Insects are mostly solitary, but some, such as certain bees, ants and termites, are social and live in large, well-organized colonies.Some insects, such as earwigs, show maternal care, guarding their eggs and young.
Other terrestrial arthropods, such as centipedes, millipedes, scorpions, and spiders, are sometimes confused with insects since their body plans can appear similar, sharing (as do all arthropods) a jointed exoskeleton.
The evolutionary relationship of insects to other animal groups remains unclear.
Although traditionally grouped with millipedes and centipedes—possibly on the basis of convergent adaptations to terrestrialisation—evidence has emerged favoring closer evolutionary ties with crustaceans.
The higher level relationship of the Hexapoda is unclear.
Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm (22–28 in).
Clockwise from top left: dance fly (Empis livida), long-nosed weevil (Rhinotia hemistictus), mole cricket (Gryllotalpa brachyptera), German wasp (Vespula germanica), emperor gum moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti), assassin bug (Harpactorinae)], "cut into sections") are by far the largest group of hexapod invertebrates within the arthropod phylum.