What are spiracles?

Respiration is a metabolic process which is carried out in all living organisms. This process mainly involves the synthesis of energy, with the intake of oxygen and the liberation of carbon dioxide from the oxidation of complex organic substances.

Various breathing organs

Every organism is different from each other in structure. Hence the organs present in them too varies. Take the case of the respiratory system. Animals like cows, birds, snakes, lions, elephants, including humans, have lungs as their primary respiratory organ. The earthworms breathe through their skin. Fishes breathe through Gills and insects breathe through spiracles. Let us know more about spiracles in this article.


Spiracles are openings or tiny pores on the surface of some animals, which usually lead to respiratory systems.

  • The body of the insects is covered with holes called spiracles. The oxygen enters these holes and reaches the trachea which helps them to circulate throughout the body. The carbon dioxide is carried by the trachea and expelled out through the spiracles
  • In cockroach, respiration occurs through spiracles – a small opening on the sides of its body. When air through external openings, enters into its respiratory system, spiracles serve as muscular valves paving way to the internal respiratory system. The respiratory organ of cockroach is referred to as tracheae.

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