American Insects site

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How is the site arranged?

A. From the home page, a series of thumbnail galleries takes you from order to family to genus and species. The individual thumbnails are generally in taxonomic order through the level of subfamily, and then alphabetical for genus and species.

Q. Are you looking for submissions of photos?

A. Actually no, because at the moment I have an enormous backlog of my own photos waiting to be posted. I don't lack for photos, only for time!

Q. How many pictures are on the site?

A. As of 10 December 2014, there are 3,306 species covered on the site. Not too shabby! That's double the number in published field guides such as the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America.

Q. How did you learn to identify so many different groups?

A. I'm not a particularly skilled identifier. A lot of people have helped by providingidentifications. Some of these helpful folks are listed on the site acknowlegment page, and others are listed on the acknowlegment pages for each order of insect. I have identified many of my own photos, but sometimes only partly so (to family, subfamily, or genus, for example).

Q. Is there a way to view only the North American species, or only the Latin America species?

A. For North America, no.  For Latin American (Neotropical) species, we have an adjunct site called Latin American Insects. That site really just serves as a pointer to this one, offering thumbnail galleries of Latin American species, with the thumbnails linking to the text and larger photos on this site.

Q. I have some range information that corrects what you say on the site.

A. Great, please email us! Note though, that we need some kind of record to back up range extenstion information. This could be a pinned specimen identified by an expert and placed in a public collection, could be a published record, or could be an on-line record from a respected web site.

Q. I think you have an ID wrong.

A. Please, send an email and tell me what you know!

Q. What camera do you use?

A. A Canon 5D Mark II. Other equipment includes the Canon macro twin flash and Canon's 180 mm macro lens. I don't generally use a tripod in the field, although a small percentage of the photos on this site were made with a tripod.

Q. What are your favorite places to take pictures?

A. We have a page that features selected insect photography locales in Canada and the U.S., and another that lists Latin American sites where we've photographed insects.