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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: arches thorax and large, abutting eyes.

Three tail filaments
This is an example of an insect that has three caudal filaments. Public-domain illustration.

Does your insect have three caudal filaments?

Simply count the number of caudal (or tail) filaments. Do you see three tail filaments: two cerci plus a third caudal filament between them?


Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has three tail filaments.

No, my insect has only two tail filaments.


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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