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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 the following set of characteristics: a wide abdomen that gives it an overall oval appearance, and beak-like mouthparts.

Narrow head, short antennae
Look at the adult (imago) in this illustration. Ignore the wings and focus on the head, which is narrow, and the short antennae, which have six segments each. Illustration credit: C.V. Riley.

Is your insect’s head narrower than its thorax, and does it also have short antennae with six to 10 segments each?

Compare the width of the head to that of the thorax to determine if your insect’s head is narrower. Then count the segments that make up one of the antennae. You may need a magnifier to see them clearly.


Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect’s head narrower than its thorax, and does it also have short antennae with six to 10 segments each.

No, my insect does not have these characteristics.


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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