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Common Invertebrates Sorted by Color and Pattern


This guide was designed to help you to recognize an insect or spider by the most noteworthy features of its appearance.  This approach has its limitations, e.g., it cannot do justice to the many all-brown insects and spider species, although a small and varied sample of them is presented in the first category below.  But it features many beautiful and distinctive insects and spiders, and may surprise you with their trends their appearance takes.  The Fooling Predators of Prey page may help you to distinguish very species similar in appearance but not actually closely related taxonomically.


1.  Single color: It has a single color, or very nearly so. 

2.  Two colors: It has two or three solid colors and they are more or less equally represented OR the "minor" color is an identifying marking. 

3.  With spots: It has prominent spots OR lots of them (speckles). 

4.  With stripes: It has prominent stripes OR lots of them. 

5.  With calligraphic characters:  It looks as though a human painted a (relatively simple) design on it. 

6.  With a complex, difficult-to-describe pattern:  It would take real artistry for a human to produce it. 


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