Does your insect have a flat body, and a head partially or completely covered by a shield-like pronotum?
Look at the dorsal side (the top) of the thorax for a prominent pronotum. The pronotum will look somewhat like armor or a shield that covers at least the first segment of the thorax. In some insects, the pronotum extends forward and covers part or most of the head, too, and this question is asking whether your insect has this feature. See the illustration.
If you see this characteristic and your insect has a dorsoventrally flattened body, your answer is “yes.” Helpful hint: Insects with these characteristics are also typically found in a dark place — or scrambling to get to a dark place.
Click one of the following:
Yes, my insect has a flat body, and a head partially or completely covered by a pronotum.
No, my insect does not have these characteristics.
I would like to return to the start of this key.
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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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