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Insect Identification Key
Identify Insects in Michigan ... and beyond!

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect is doesn't have hind legs that are much longer than its other legs.

No obvious head or eyes
These insects don’t look much like insects. They have no distinct head or eyes. Don’t let the little red spheres fool you. Those are actually droplets of fluid that this particular insect is secreting from tube-like projections (called cornicles) on its rear end. Photo credti: USDA/Q. Holdman.

Does your insect lack an obvious head and eyes?

Insects with these features often look very little like insects. They are small, usually round or oval, “spots” that are frequently found on plant leaves or the bark of trees. See the photo at right for an example of insects with these features.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect lacks an obvious head and eyes.

No, my insect does not have this characteristic.

I would like to return to the start of this key.

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Unless noted otherwise, photographs on this website are the property of the photographers and may not be reused without written permission from the photographers. To obtain permission, email the photographers here. High-resolution versions of the photographs are available.

Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz,; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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