Key to Ten Insect Orders

Key to Ten Insect Orders

Leaf-footed Bug, family Coreidae

See if you can "key out" the insect at the left. Note that the wings on the insect’s right are forced open. When this species is at rest, its back wings are hidden beneath its front wings. Also, you can’t see the mouth parts, but they are of the "sucking" type.

1a  Wings absent or if present hidden beneath thick, sometimes hard and    shiny, sometimes leathery, front wings, or wing coverings (Be careful here. If there’s a crack down the back, probably that’s where the front wings or wing coverings meet and there are regular flying wings folded below…) Go to…    7
1b   Wings clearly visible when the insect is at rest  Go to..   2

2a  Butterflies & moths; mouthparts consisting of coiled tubes for sucking; wings covered with tiny colored scales

LEPIDOPTERA; butterflies & moths

2b  Not butterflies & moths; mouthparts not coiled tubes; wings not covered with tiny  colored scales

Go to..    3
3a  One pair of wings   DIPTERA; flies
3b   Two pairs of wings Go to..   4

4a Front wings longer and with considerably larger surface area than hind wings                 

Go to..   5

4b Front wings with about the same area as hind wings

Go to..   6
5a  Wasps and bees; tarsi ("feet") 5-jointed, usually thin-waisted
HYMENOPTERA; wasps & bees
5b   Not wasp or bees; tarsi 2- or 3-jointed, waist usually thick HOMOPTERA; cicadas, aphids

6a Antennae short stubs, compound eyes very large, body slender

ODONATA; dragonflies

6b Antennae hairlike, eyes not particularly large,thick-bodied

ISOPTERA; termites
7 a  Wings entirely absent Go to..    8
7 b  With wings, though they may be hidden beneath a wing covering Go to..    12

8a  Bodies narrow-waisted, antlike 

HYMENOPTERA; wasps & bees

8b  Bodies thicker

Go to..    9
9a   Egg-shaped, rear end usually equipped with 2 short tubes (aphids) HOMOPTERA; cicadas, aphids
9b   Bodies more slender shaped, rear end without 2 short tubes (not aphids) Go to..   10

10a  Most of body whitish, soft-bodied (termites)

ISOPTERA; termites

10b  Most of body not whitish, usually hard-bodied

Go to..    11
11a   Antennae with 4 or 5 segments, mouth parts sucking HEMIPTERA; true bugs
11b   Antennae with many segments, mouth parts chewing ORTHOPTERA; grasshoppers, crickets

12a  Rear end (abdomen) with tweezerlike appendages


12   Rear end without tweezers-like appendages

Go to..    13
13a   Mouth parts sucking, usually straw-like Go to..    14
13b  Mouth parts for chewing Go to..    15

14a   Front wings thick (leathery) and often colored at the base, but clear at the tip; beak rises from head’s front or bottom

HEMIPTERA; true bugs

14   Front wings of same texture throughout; beak rises from back part of bottom of head

HOMOPTERA; cicadas, aphids
15 Front wings with obvious veins, when at rest the edges over the back often partly overlapping one another, usually not conspicuously hard ORTHOPTERA; grasshoppers, crickets
15b   Front wings without veins, when at rest the edges over the back meeting one another in a straight line, usually hard like thin plastic COLEOPTERA; beetles