What Techniques Can Be Used in Identifying a Bug?


Quick Answer

Identify bugs by counting their legs; checking for wings, antennae or feelers; and looking for moving jaw or mouth parts. Use this information to identify the bugs with an insect field guide or with online tools, such as Bugfinder.

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Full Answer

To identify bugs, start by counting the number of legs, as insects have six legs and spiders have eight. Observe whether or not the bug has wings to determine if it is a flying or walking insect. Some insects that have wings still hop along rather than flying, as their wings may not support them. Also identify bugs by noting whether insects have antennae or other appendages and whether these end in a point or have more rounded ends.

Identifying the types of foods bugs eat also aids in identification, and determining whether there are mouth-like appendages or pincer-type mouth parts can assist in this endeavor. The time of day during which a bug is observed can also help in identification, as insects such as mosquitoes are more active at dusk or dawn, while others are most active during the hottest parts of the day. Take pictures of insects to view them more closely at home to help in identifying them.

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