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

Insect leg
The insect leg has three main parts: the femur (thigh), the tibia (shin) and tarsus (foot). In addition, it has two smaller parts known as the trochanter and the coxa. As the illustration shows, the tarsus is made up of several segments. Some insects have more segments than others. When counting the tarsal segments, do not count the claws at the end. This illustration shows the claws as tiny lines at the tip of the tarsus, but some insects have larger claws. In this illustration, the tarsus has five segments. Illustration credit: Nicholas W. Beeson.

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect has no styli.

Does your insect have long, thin antennae that are each comprised of 28-50 segments, and does your insect have five-segmented tarsi?

You may need to use a hand lens or dissecting microscope to count the segments on the antennae. The segments will look somewhat similar to beads on a necklace.

The second part of the question refers to the segments in the tarsi. The tarsus (the singular of tarsi) is the “shin” is a part of the leg. See the photo for a description of the tarsus.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has long, thin antennae that are each comprised of 28-50 segments, and five-segmented tarsi.

No, my insect does not have this set of 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,; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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