Spiracle

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Hadley, Debbie. "Spiracle." ThoughtCo, Mar. 7, 2009, thoughtco.com/spiracle-definition-of-the-term-spiracle-1968539. Hadley, Debbie. (2009, March 7). Spiracle. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/spiracle-definition-of-the-term-spiracle-1968539 Hadley, Debbie. "Spiracle." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/spiracle-definition-of-the-term-spiracle-1968539 (accessed September 19, 2017).
The spiracles, openings that allow gas exchange in insects, are visible on this large caterpillar.
The spiracles, openings that allow gas exchange in insects, are visible on this large caterpillar. Photo: Shawn Hanrahan, Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa)

Definition:

Breathing holes located along the sides of insects. The spiracles are connected to the air tubes, or trachea, and allow the insect to exchange gases. The insect can open or close the spiracles by contracting muscles along its side.

See also: How Do Insects Breathe? and The Insect Respiratory System