The first step in studying biology is to understand the organisms present. This key will allow you to identify common local animals and begin to understand the world around us.

Photograph of the candy-striped Leafhopper

The Candy-striped Leafhopper is a common but frequently overlooked species at Harper College.

Intent: This key is designed to be non-technical for the general public. Harper College is very typical of the Northwest Suburbs, so this key will be useful over a large portion of the Chicagoland Region. The key focuses on the common animals that exist around us in buildings, lawns, weedy patches, and small natural areas. Do not expect to find rare and endangered species in this key.

Instructions: Follow the hot links in the key by matching the characteristics and pictures to a gallery for each species type. The thumbnails can be enlarged and paged through to match your specific species. Data on feeding behaviors and pollution tolerance are included where appropriate.