Insect logo

HomeWho We Are List of Orders References Contact Us

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

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect doesn't have visible legs.

Enlarged forelegs
Notice the enlarged forelegs on this specimen. This type of creature typically holds its forelegs in this unusual posture. Photo credit: Click here.

Does your specimen have enlarged forelegs?

The forelegs are the first pair of legs on the thorax (the pair closest to the head). Are they noticeably larger that the other two pairs on the thorax?

Insects with this feature also have “mini-legs,” which are small appendages arising from the abdomen (they are evident in the illustration at right). Note: As mentioned in the photo caption, specimens with these characteristics often hold their legs up and forward.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my specimen has enlarged forelegs.

No, my specimen does not have enlarged forelegs.

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

HomeWho We Are List of Orders References Contact Us

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.

© 2012 GoExploreMichigan Media. Reproduction of material from any GoExploreMichigan Media webpages without written permission is strictly prohibited.