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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 an elongated tube-like beak with chewing mouthparts at the tip.

Dragonfly
This is an example of an insect with short, easy-to-overlook antennae (green arrow); wings that are similar in size and shape, even though the hind wings are a bit wider than the front wings (double-headed red arrow); and a long, slender abdomen. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Does your insect have antennae that are small and hard to see; long narrow wings that are all about the same size and shape; and a long slim abdomen?

This question is asking whether:
• the antennae are tiny and easy to overlook
• all four wings are similar in size and shape — perhaps not identical, but close to it
• all four wings are long and narrow
• an abdomen that is considerably longer than it is wide.

To answer “yes,” your insect should have all of these characteristics.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has antennae that are small and hard to see; long, narrow wings that are all about the same size and shape; and a long, slim abdomen

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

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