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

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect has wings.

Two Wings Example
This insect has two wings instead of four. Photo by Amanda McCreless.

Does your insect have only one pair of wings?

Often, you’ll find it easy to see more than one pair of wings, but not always. Sometimes, an insect’s second pair of wings are folded up and hidden behind the first pair (like beetles and grasshoppers). Also if your insect is a little moist, the wings may be stuck to each other, so you may have to use an insect pin to move around the wings so that you can make sure your insect has only one pair.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has only one pair of wings.

No, my insect has two pairs of wings.


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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