No. There's no subscription required to search or browse through BugFiles.
can even remain completely anonymous while you search for bugs and
read the coments that others have submitted. However, to add a
photo or comment, you must register a free username, which allows you
have a unique identity on our site while safeguarding your email
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If you're sure the bug is not listed in BugFiles, the first step is to
sign up for a free membership and log in. Once you've done that,
here are easy steps to create a new entry:
Click on the "Add a new bug to the list" link (above the current images and comments on the homepage.)
in all the appropriate fields. Common names should be capitalized as
proper names ("Gypsy Moth" for example), as are the family and genus
name. Species names are not capitalized.
After you press "submit" you'll have the option to go to your new entry and submit image(s) and a comment if you wish.
If you make a mistake or need assistance, use the "Report an Error"
button (at the top) while you're looking at the entry. Tell us
what needs to be edited, and well take care of it for you.
is designed to be a user-friendly compendium of entomological
information, covering true bugs, arachnids, as well as other insects
commonly called "bugs". It is created through the efforts
of naturalists from around the world who volunteer their time, images and information.
Our goal is to provide accurate information, but we are not
entomologists. If you are seeking professional guidance or
advice, we encourage you to contact your local university's entomology
department or your extension agency (if one is available in your locale.)Back to the top
To add images to our database, the first step is to create a user name and log in. Once you've done that, you can:
Select your watermark preference or allow the system to select the "default" watermark (the most commonly-seen watermark on the BugFiles images);
Access the correct entry and scroll down past the images and comments until you see "Add an image"
on the "browse" button. This will open up a new window displaying your
hard drive. Locate your image you wish to upload, then press
Read the disclaimer and check or uncheck the box as fits your circumstances.
a brief caption to note the season and/or location, or any other
relevant information abou tthe bug. (Lengthy or detailed information
should be added separately as a comment.)
Preview your image.
If you're happy with the entry, press "Submit".
Wait until you receive a message that your message was
succesfully uploaded before using your browser's back/forward buttons
or closing the page. If you don't wait for this message, the image will
probably not load properly.
Here are some tips for adding images successfully and easily:
recommend a standard image size of 640x480 pixels, and no larger than
800x600. You do not need to upload a thumbnail size image; our
system will automatically create the thumbnail image.
that are saved as a .gif may take a while to load, especially if
they're larger than 1MB; if you're on a slower connection, you may want
to save it as a .jpg which will reduce the file size and reduce the
BugFiles is unique in that our members create each entry, and then they and/or other members can add images, information, and comments. If you'd like to share the information you have on a particular bug, you're welcome to.
To add a comment, you'll find a link to do so beneath the entry and any other comments that have been posted. If you don't see these links, you'll need to create a free member ID or log in if you've already completed the signup process. If you need further assistance, please let us know.
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We'd love to be able to provide free ID help through our helpdesk, but we simply can't.
The good news is we offer a Bug Identification
forum where our members provide their expertise on images and
descriptions submitted. Typically, items are
positively identified within a day or two of submission. Back to the top
Non-commercial use of our images is allowed. For example, you can use
them on your own personal computer, or print them out for a personal
journal. Any other use of our images (electronic or print) on
another website, for public lectures, eBay listings, printed catalogs,
books, etc. require written permission and proper credit. Contact us if
you wish to use one or more of our image(s) and we'll help you obtain
permission from the copyright holder(s) and provide you with suitable
wording to credit BugFiles.
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There are several good reasons to share your images and information:
1. What you
know helps others - whether they're trying to identify a mystery pest,
or deciding if a bug is a friend or foe. BugFiles is a
vibrant, growing database because hundreds of naturalists generously
share their experience, information and photos for the benefit of
2. Your images receive public exposure, and may even
be requested for commercial use elsewhere. Several textbook and
gardening magazine editors frequently browse through our databases for
images. We help them contact members to negotiate for the use of an
image in books or upcoming articles.
3. It's fun to see your submissions appear in the daily newsletter, and become an integral part of BugFiles.
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It's a simple visual way of displaying how users feel about a
particular bug. We encourage all our users to add a note and rating
to all the bugs you're familiar with. (You must be logged in with a
free username to add a comment.) To keep things simple, we have three
ratings, each with its own icon:
: Good rating. This bug has received more positive feedbacks than negative.
Neutral rating. This bug has received ratings, but they have all been
neutral, or there are as many positive ratings as negative.
: Negative rating. This bug has received more negative ratings than positive.
In cases of possible mistaken ID, we encourage the user who spots the
potential problem to post their question to the accompanying thread
(using reasonable tact, of course.) In that way, we get the
photographer involved in the identification process right off the bat,
and it is part of the "peer review" environment we try to develop with
Let our BugFiles administrators know, and they'll be happy to
watch the thread for the ensuing discussion, and move the photo when a
firm ID is established.
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This FAQ is intended to help answer the most common questions we
receive; if you did not find the answer to your question, feel free to
post your question to the BugFiles discussion forum which is accessible to all registered users. (Need to register? Go here - it's free and easy!) Back to the top