Aquatic Insects of Michigan

by Ethan Bright, Museum of Zoology Insect Division and School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan

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Identification Resources and Keys - Introduction

This part of the site provides users with the resources necessary to identify aquatic insects from our region. It is tentatively organized into two parts:

1) Keys and Diagnostic Tables:

    Borrowed heavily from published literature, my own personal observations and, hopefully, future contributions from other researchers and taxonomic/systematic experts. Species-level keys will sporadically appear based on the availability of time, resources (principally literature), and specialist imput.

2) Taxonomic Experts:

    Diversity exists not only among species and higher taxa, but also within species, and this diversity can often frustrate one's ability to make a proper diagnosis, particularly for taxa whose description is based upon few specimens. Names of taxonomists who have expertise with particular taxa will begin to appear, providing users with an additional resource for more diagnostic and ecological information.

How to Use This Site

In terms of where to start, obviously this depends on the user's experience with aquatic insects, and a knowledge considerable of entomology and taxonomic terminology. If you are unfamilar with aquatic insects, particularly the immature forms, begin with the order key, and then follow where the dichotomous key takes you. Users more familar with the orders and families of aquatic insects can simply find the appropriate key for the respective taxon using the navigation menu.

Again, this is a work in progress, an enormous task that will take considerable time. Please be patient! I encourage those with taxonomic expertise and time to contribute information, expertise, and organizational or designing skill. Please contact the author at

Page created: May 29, 2003 (EB) - Last updated: November 06, 2013 (EB)