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

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect does not have two or three long, slim cerci.

Long beak with mouthparts at end
Notice the long beak with mouthparts at the end. The pictured insect is a common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis), which is found in Europe. Photo credit: Richard Bartz, Munich.

Does your insect’s head have an elongated tube-like beak with chewing mouthparts at the tip?

Look at the mouth of the insect for a long beak (see photo). Note: Some insects with this characteristic — but not all — also have an abdomen that is curled up like a scorpion's tail.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has an elongated tube-like beak with chewing mouthparts at the tip.

No, my insect does not have this characteristic.


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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