On our maps we color in entire countries, states, provinces, and territories. This can sometimes be misleading, especially in the largest states, where the particular insect species may live in only a part of the area that is colored in. In the cases of large provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, it is often the case that the insect species in question lives in only the far southern part of the province, and the insect is not as cold-tolerant as a glance at the map might suggest.
Under-collecting in many countries, states, provinces, can also make the maps misleading. The fact that a geographic subdivision isn't colored in on the map may signify that the species doesn’t live in that area, or alternatively that the insect species does live there but has not yet been collected and reported.
On the North American maps the light green color signifies areas that have reported the species. On the maps that include part of the Neotropics, a dark red dot indicates countries reporting the species.
Our countries, states, and provinces page provides maps that includes the names of those subdivisions, which may prove helpful since our range maps do not include that information.
Most of our West Virginia records are from sources listed in our Works Consulted page for Neuroptera and Megaloptera. Revisions of genera and subfamilies often gave extensive lists of records of each species.
On-line sources have also been quite useful. BugGuide.net provides photographs of species with date and locality records. Also useful are the many university insect collections that are providing their collection data on-line. Three especially good sites that are adjuncts to traditional pinned collections are: The Canadian National Collection; Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology; and the University of New Hampshire Insect and Arachnid Collections.
We would be glad to hear of corrections and additions to the ranges shown on the range maps. To keep the maps as accurate as possible, new range information should be based on a determination by a professional entomologist or other subject expert, or based on a publicly accessible photographic record. For the latter, for North American species, the best location to place such a record is BugGuide.net, where typically dozens of people double-check the accuracy of the identification.