Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Arachnid Key (Spiders, Scorpions, Ticks and Mites)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 12/23/2015

Answering a few basic questions in the Arachnid Key will help you narrow down your order.





Starting with question #1, determine which statement (a or b) is true for your creature. Follow the directions at the end of that true statement until you are given the name of the Order your specimen belongs to.


Question 1.

a. Arachnid has a tail or a stinger - YES, go to Question #2
b. Arachnid has no tail or stinger - YES, go to Question #3


Question 2.

a. Tail is straight like a needle - YES, Order Uropygi (whipscorpions)
b. Tail curves with a stinger at the tip - YES, Order Scorpiones (scorpions)


Question 3.

a. Has large pedipalps (claws) - YES, go to Question #4
b. Lacks pedipalps (claws) - YES, go to Question #5


Question 4.

a. Arachnid is less than 5mm long and flat - YES, Order Pseudoscorpiones
b. Arachnid is 8-51mm long and "spider-like" - YES, Order Amblypygi (whipscorpions)


Question 5.

a. Arachnid has regular legs - YES, go to Question #6
b. Arachnid legs are thin/stilt-like w/ "high" knees & low body - YES, Order Opiliones (harvestmen)


Question 6.

a. Body is separated into a cephalothorax and abdomen - YES, go to Question #7
b. Body is oval-shaped and lacks a waist - YES, Order Acari (ticks and mites)


Question 7.

a. Has 7 segments on each leg & 1st pair are NOT longer than rest - YES, Order Araneae (spiders)
b. Has other number of segments on each leg & 1st pair ARE longer than rest - YES, Order Solifugae (windscorpions)