Insect identification keys
How to use an insect key
An insect key is a tool used to determine the species of a given insect. Typically, insect keys are designed as dichotomous, or paired, couplets. A couplet is a choice between 2 options based on a description of a particular feature. Example: Insect size, antennae shape.
A user chooses which option best matches the insect being identified. This choice leads to another couplet. The process continues until the user reaches a final couplet that identifies the insect.
To use the key effectively, it helps if the user understands insect morphology (structure and body parts).
A glossary of insect terms is also available.
Simple and comprehensive keys
The Canadian Grain Commission has 2 keys available:
- A simple key to commonly found adult insects associated with stored grain in Canada
- A comprehensive key to adult beetles found in stored products, including grain, in Canada and worldwide.
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