UK invertebrate of the year: vote for your favourite

<span>And the winner is?</span><span>Composite: Guardian Design / Getty Images / Alamy / Shutterstock</span>
And the winner is?Composite: Guardian Design / Getty Images / Alamy / Shutterstock

Most of life on Earth is not like us at all. Barely 5% of all known living creatures are animals with backbones. The rest – at least 1.3 million species, and many more still to be discovered – are spineless. They are the invertebrates, animals of wondrous diversity, unique niches and innovative and interesting ways of making a living on this planet, which include insects (at least a million), arachnids, snails, crustaceans, corals, jellyfish, sponges and echinoderms.

And yet, despite their numerical advantage, originality and dazzling charisma, invertebrates are usually overlooked in favour of animals that more closely resemble ourselves. So, over the last two weeks, we’ve gone in search of the UK’s invertebrate of the year, and profiled 10 different invertebrates – plus the invertebrate nominated by readers, Lumbricus terrestris, the common earthworm.

And if you need a reminder of them, here they are: glowworm, Clifden nonpareil, swallowtail, Asian or yellow-legged hornet, barrel jellyfish, St Piran’s hermit crab, distinguished jumping spider, ash-black slug, minotaur beetle, shrill carder bee and the common earthworm.

And now we’re asking you to choose your favourite by clicking on one of the options below. In reality, of course, they are all winners, and we are winners, too, lucky enough to share the Earth with these amazing creatures.

As one reader, James Chisnall, put it: “It’s important to remember it’s not just our planet, and everything from the largest to the smallest deserves our respect and its place on this sphere we call home.”

Voting ends at 8am BST on Monday 15 April, after which the votes will be tallied and the champion invertebrate will be crowned.