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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 that it holds roof-like, slanting downward and outward from the middle of the back.

Hairs on the body and wings
This illustration shows an insect that has silky hairs covering its wings and body. Illustration credit: Pearson Scott Foresman.

Is your insect slim and rather similar to a moth, and does it have long, hair-like antennae, as well as silky hairs that cover its wings and body?

Look at your insect to check it for long, thin antennae and to see if it reminds you of a nondescript moth. The hairs might not be evident at first glance, so be sure to take a close look — you may want to use a hand lens — to check the insect for minuscule hairs covering its wings and body (see the illustration).

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect is slim and rather similar to a moth, has long, hair-like antennae, and silky hairs that cover its wings and body.

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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