Noninskct iikxapods

These small, 6-Iegged arthropods are all relatively primitive. 'They arc distinguished from insects by their mouthparts.

I MM ATI IKK iNSKcrr It might not be an adult specimen. In many orders, the immature stages are like small adults but without wings or genitalia.


It may be a wingless adult insect. Cio to Key (pp.38-39)

sprl\< ¡tails (Collembola)

• often have a jumping organ (furcula) that can fold under the abdomen

• elongate or globular body shape

See p.207

dipll kans (Diplura)

• pair of tail- or force pi ike appendages at end of abdomen See p.211

protl kans (I'rot lira)

• antennae very short or absent

See p.210

Key 3: Wingless Insects

Some insects are always wingless, notably fleas, lice, and the primitive silverfish and bristletails. I lowever, many orders in which most insects have fully developed wings also contain species in which the wings are very short or absent. Winglessness is common in oceanic island and cave-dwelling species. Remember that a wingless specimen may be an immature winged insect.

Always Winglkss


• brown with body flattened from side to side

• often found on animals or in nests

See p. 135

parasitic licl (Phthiraptera)

• found on hair or feathers of host animals

• eyes small or absent

• legs modified to grip host

KRIS I I I I AILS (Arehaeognatha)

• abdominal segments with small projections

• eyes touching

Mainly Winglkss tkkmitks (Isoptera)

silvkri isii (Thysanura)

• abdominal segments with small ventral projections

• eyes small, not touching

See p.47


Occasionally Wingless

s( x)rpionelies (Mecoptera)

• head elongated downward to form beak

See p. 133

(I lymenoptera)

• often with constricted waist

• first abdominal segment fused to thorax

• many live in colonies

• often have sting

See p. 178

stk :k insects (I'hasmatodea)

• sticklike body

• widely separated legs See p.66

harki joe x boom .ice (Psoeoptera)

• humped back when seen from front

• large head and bulbous forehead

• bulging or reduced eyes See p.81

s( x)rpionelies (Mecoptera)

• head elongated downward to form beak

See p. 133

bl cs

(I lemiptera)

• mouth parts form slender or short tube under head

• antennae have fewer that 10 segments

See p.85

i ii rips


• slender, elongate body

See p. 101

moths (I .epidoptera)

• body covered with scales

• proboscis usually coiled

See p. 158

moths (I .epidoptera)

• body covered with scales

• proboscis usually coiled

See p. 158

1 lies (Diptera)

• very small prothorax

• vestigial wings (halteres) often present See p. 136

Key 4: Winged Insects

The orders that appear here contain mainly winged insects although some of the groups do contain wingless species. Some beetles and bugs may not appear to have wings unless examined closely. The wings are sometimes very small or hidden. In addition to the more obvious details, such as the wing shape and color, the way in which tliev are held also aids identification.

Common in all Habitats

IU itterflies and moths


• body and wings covered with scales

• proboscis often coiled

• long, threadlike antennae See p. 158

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