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

Long pronotum
Notice the long pronotum on these two insects (indicated by green arrows). In both cases, the pronotum extends quite a way back over the abdomen. The long gray pronotum in the top photo actually blends into the gray wings that continue back past the rear end of the insect’s body. (Both of these insects are different species of South African pygmy grasshoppers.) Photo credits: Jon Richfield.

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect has only one pair of wings.

Does your insect have a long, shield-like pronotum that extends back over the abdomen, and hind legs that are much longer that its other legs?

The pronotum is part of the first segment of the thorax (the first segment is called the prothorax). If your insect has a “long, shield-like pronotum” your insect will look rather like it is wearing a piece of armor over much of its back. Be sure to also check the length of its hind legs, which is another good clue to this insect’s identity.

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has a long, shield-like pronotum that extends over the abdomen and long hind legs.

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,; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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