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

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect doesn't have a beak-like, long and pointed snout, and large eyes.

Long prothorax, cylindrical body
This is an example of an insect with a long prothorax and a cylindrical body. Illustration credit: A.D. Imms’ paper in Transactions of the Linnean Society of London Zoology, 1913.

Does your insect have a long, cylindrical body, and is the prothorax noticeably smaller than the other two thoracic segments?

Look at the overall body of your insect to determine whether its shape is long and cylindrical. Next, focus on the thorax, which is made of three segments: the prothorax, which is the segment closest to the head; the mesothorax, which is the middle segment; and the metathorax, which is the last segment. Compare the prothorax to the mesothorax and the metathorax to determine whether the prothorax is considerably smaller than the other two.


Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has a long, cylindrical body; and the first segment of its thorax is smaller than the other two.

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, DailyGraceCards.com; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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