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

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect has two or three long, tail-like appendages.

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This insect has the typical six legs, one pair of which arise from each of the three segments of its thorax. In addition, this insect has small walking appendages — the styli — that arise from its abdominal segments. Illustration credit: Leslie Mertz.

Does your insect have styli?

Look at the abdomen to see if your insect has styli, which are rudimentary appendages that are rather like extra, tiny legs. (Note: The singular of styli is stylus).

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has styli.

No, my insect does not have styli.

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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