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

Your answer to the previous question was that your insect did not have the following set of characteristics: slim and rather similar to a moth, with long, hair-like antennae, and silky hairs that cover its wings and body.

Hairs on the body and wings
These photos show insects with long, robust hind legs that are modified for jumping. Collected by Sara Mitchell. Photos by Amanda McCreless.

Does your insect have hind legs that are much longer than the other legs and more robust, and modified for jumping?

Compare the four front-most legs to the two legs that are farthest back on the body. Are the hind legs much long and more robust (especially with strong-looking “thighs”)? Grasshoppers are insects with larger and more robust hind legs. They use these legs to propel them into the air. In other words, they are great jumpers! (See the photo).

Click one of the following:

Yes, my insect has long, robust hind legs modified for jumping.

No, my insect does not have this feature.


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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