Identifying bugs can be a tricky task, especially if you have no prior knowledge of the insect world. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take to help make sure that you correctly identify any bug you come across.
How To Identify Insects
Firstly, it’s important to understand the differences between insects and other arthropods such as spiders and millipedes. Insects typically have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts (head, thorax and abdomen). If your specimen has more than six legs or lacks antennae then chances are it is not an insect.
Once you’ve verified that your specimen is in fact an insect, the next step is to look at its coloration and size. There are hundreds of different species of insects and they can come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. If possible, take a picture or make detailed notes about the bug’s appearance so you can use these for reference when looking up what insect it is.
Finally, the best way to identify an insect is to compare it with photos online or consult experts such as entomologists or insect specialists. With their help you’ll be able to find out the exact identity of any bug you encounter. Just remember that without proper knowledge and experience it can often be difficult to correctly identify an insect – so if in doubt it’s always best to check with an expert. Here are some of the places you may be able to find insect specialists to help you locate the bugs you may be searching for.
Social Media Groups
There are many Facebook, Twitter and other social media groups dedicated to the study of bugs. Joining one of these and asking for help is a great way to get accurate answers from experienced entomologists.
- @BugQuestions (Ask an Entomologist)
Most universities have departments specializing in insect and arthropod research. Contacting them can be a good way to find out what kind of insects you’ve encountered.
Insect Identification Websites
There are numerous websites that allow you to enter information about an insect and get back information on its identity. These sites use databases filled with images and descriptions of all kinds of bugs, so they can be extremely helpful when trying to identify an unknown species.
Coaching and Teaching Websites
If you’re determined to learn more about insects, there are websites that offer courses and teaching on entomology and insect identification.
Identifying a bug may seem like a daunting task but with the right knowledge and resources you can easily identify any bug you come across.
By following these steps, anyone should be able to accurately identify any insect they come across. With a bit of patience, research and expert help you can soon figure out what bug is in front of you!
This article should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from an entomologist or other qualified individual. Always take all necessary precautions when handling insects and always contact an expert if there is any doubt about the identity of an insect. Additionally, remember that some insects may pose a health risk so contact your local health department for more information before attempting to identify them.