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Wingless Insect Key


Identification | Process


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The Wingless Insect Key can be used to help identify such creatures as Proturans, walkingsticks, silverfish, and diplurans.

Our fourteen point Wingless Insect Key can assist in identifying a winged insect. Beginning with Question #1, determine which statement ('a' or 'b') is true for the insect in question. From there, simply follow the directions at the end of the true statement until you are ultimately given the name of the Order your insect belongs to. Finally, visit our list pages to specifically identify your insect.
Question 1
a. Insect does NOT have eyes - YES, go to Question #2
b. Insect has eyes - YES, go to Question #4

Question 2
a. Insect was found on cold mountaintop (icy region) - YES, Order Grylloblattodea
b. Insect has NOT found on cold mountaintop - YES, go to Question #3

Question 3
a. Insect is microscopic and has 12 body segments - YES, Order Protura
b. Insect is NOT microscopic and is thin at the waist - YES, Order Zoraptera

Question 4
a. Insect has less than 6 segments on its abdomen - YES, Order Collembola
b. Insect has more than 6 segments on its abdomen - YES, go to Question #5

Question 5
a. Insect's tail is split at abdomen (appears to have two tails) - YES, Order Diplura
b. Insect lacks a split tail at abdomen - YES, go to Question #6

Question 6
a. Insect has 3 OR MORE "tails" at end of abdomen - YES, go to Question #7
b. Insect DOES NOT have a visible tail - YES, go to Question #8
*Note that insects of the Order Grylloblattodea may appear to have a 3-part tail but the center "tail" is actually an ovipositor.

Question 7
a. Insect's eyes meet at the top of its head - YES, Order Microcorypha
b. Insect's eyes DO NOT meet at the top of its head - YES, Order Thysanura

Question 8
a. Insect's body is shaped like a stick - YES, Order Phasmatodea
b. Insect's body IS NOT shaped like a stick - YES, go to Question #9

Question 9
a. Insect has a large coxae (hip joint) with flat abdomen - YES, Order Siphonatera
b. Insect shows a "normal-sized" coxae - YES, go to Question #10

Question 10
a. Insect has both a thin waist and elbowed (bent) antenna - YES, Order Hymenoptera
b. Insect DOES NOT have both a thin waist nor an elbowed antenna - YES, go to Question #11

Question 11
a. Insect's abdomen curls upwards over its back when walking - YES, Order Thysanoptera
b. Insect's abdomen DOES NOT curl over its back when walking - YES, go to Question #12

Question 12
a. Insect has noticeably long antenna - YES, go to Question #13
b. Insect has short antenna - YES, go to Question #14

Question 13
a. Long antenna point forward over the head - YES, Order Isoptera
b. Long antenna sweep backwards over the body - YES, Order Psocoptera

Question 14
a. Head is rather large or bigger than the thorax (chest) - YES, Order Mallophaga
b. Head is smaller than the rest of the body - YES, Order Anoplura

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