Frequently Asked Questions: BugFiles

General QuestionsPlantScout Vendor Questions

    Do I have to subscribe to Dave's Garden to use this feature?

    No.  There's no subscription required to search or browse through BugFiles.

    You 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 to have a unique identity on our site while safeguarding your email address.

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    How do I add a new bug?

    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:
    1. Click on the "Add a new bug to the list" link (above the current images and comments on the homepage.)
    2. Fill 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.
    3. 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.

    Note: BugFiles 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.)

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    How do I add an image to BugFiles?

    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:
    1. Select your watermark preference or allow the system to select the "default" watermark (the most commonly-seen watermark on the BugFiles images);
    2. Access the correct entry and scroll down past the images and comments until you see "Add an image"
    3. Click on the "browse" button. This will open up a new window displaying your hard drive.  Locate your image you wish to upload, then press "Preview".
    4. Read the disclaimer and check or uncheck the box as fits your circumstances.
    5. Add 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.)
    6. Preview your image.
    7. If you're happy with the entry, press "Submit".
    8. IMPORTANT:   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:
    • We 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.
    • Images 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 wait time.

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    I have information about a bug to share!

    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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    I need help identifying a bug

    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.

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    Can I use images from BugFiles?

    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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    Why should I add information or my images to BugFiles?

    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 others.

    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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    What do the green stars, red x's and yellow flags mean?

    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: Good rating. This bug has received more positive feedbacks than negative.

    Neutral rating: Neutral rating. This bug has received ratings, but they have all been neutral, or there are as many positive ratings as negative.

    Caution: Negative rating. This bug has received more negative ratings than positive.

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    I think this bug image or info is wrong

    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 BugFiles.)

    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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    I've read these FAQs, but I still have a question

    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!)

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