Reference guide

In addition to the tag cloud, categories, and archives-by-date on the sidebar, it is nice to have some pages with thumbnail pictures that you can quickly scan through to find a specific critter. So, that’s what these reference pages are for.

This main page first divides the arthropods up by subphylum. Check the traits listed to see whether your creature is spiderlike (Chelicerata), shrimplike (Crustacea), insectlike (Hexapodia), or centipedelike (Myriapodia).

Each of those links will lead to sub-pages with thumbnails of my images. Clicking on the name of the arthropod associated with the thumbnail will take you to the writeup page where I talk about it, usually with additional pictures.

Sometimes, there are multiple entries for a single species, such as when there is one entry for the larva/nymph and another for the adult. There are also a few cases where two subjects that I originally thought were different species, turn out to be the same thing.

(Updated through 2011-6-11 )

Subphylum Chelicerata – Arachnids (spiders, mites, ticks, pseudoscorpions, harvestmen)

Traits: One or two body segments; eight legs plus two pedipalps; simple eyes; no antennae


Subphylum Crustacea – Crustaceans (Pillbugs, woodlice, crayfish, shrimplike organisms)

Traits: Hard shells; compound eyes; four antennae; variable number of legs (often more than eight)


Subphylum Hexapodia – Insects and Entognathids

Traits: Six legs; two antennae; three distinct body segments; adults often have wings.


Subphylum Myriapodia – Centipedes and Millipedes

Traits: Elongated; two antennae; large number of nearly identical body segments; many, many legs.


Subphylum Trilobita – Trilobites

Traits: Three-lobed body, extinct, only found as fossils.


3 Responses leave one →
  1. Steve Unger permalink
    July 17, 2008

    I just found a catapillar I can’t ID…how can I ID it?

  2. July 18, 2008

    I usually start with Bug Guide, with a search on whatever terms seem likely (like “fuzzy orange caterpillar” or “inchworm” or whatever), and see what comes up. If something looks close but not exact, I then click on the image to go to its page, then use the “browse” function to check out its relatives to see if I can find something closer.

    If you can’t find it, but have a photograph, then just register on bug guide so that you can log in (it’s free), and then go to “ID Request” and upload the picture. Somebody will probably leave a comment within a couple of days giving you a likely ID, at least to the family level.

    If you think you’ll want to ID caterpillars in the future, live east of the Mississippi, and want a good guide, I recommend Caterpillars of Eastern North America. It’s very good, with excellent pictures.

  3. May 16, 2011

    Good news! The Journal of Irreproducible Results lives! Contrary to your comment at , see Or subscribe.

    Further good news: the article you mentioned, “Vide Infra” by Dr. Tim Healey, is reprinted in one of our current anthologies, “This Book Warps Space and Time”, published by Andrews McMeel, ISBN-13: 978-0-7407-7713-4, p258.

    Our latest anthology, “Don’t Try This in High School”, includes an article on Insect Rights, p151, and Nixing Ixodes, p 203. ISBN 0-978-0-913399-12-5. Published by Everything in the Universe this week.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS