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Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events

Old "Lost" Photos and What To Do With Them

I have recently come across a number of old photos that were stashed on, of all things, a near-forgotten thumb drive that I had put away along with a bunch of others. These are from my more productive years of 2011 and 2012. A large number were images I had already posted, but there were more than a few that I thought I did, but didn't. I suspect the reason had to do with my battle with cancer late in 2012. I would like to know if posting these johnny-come-lately images is OK to have positively ID'ed. Also, I would like to communicate with someone here about keeping my images on this site permanently (or at least til their usefulness here lapses). I do not trust my children or grands or anyone else who comes into possession of my photographs to do the right thing. None have shown any indication of interest in my photo work (most people think I am something of a crackpot judging by the images I shoot) but that can change very quickly, especially if they get the odd idea of making money on it. Appreciate any input...

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

"keeping my images on this site permanently"
In regard to permanence of submissions, the only ways that I'm aware of for your images to be removed are:

1. They are deleted directly or frassed and then later automatically deleted.
2. Someone with admin rights or your username and password deletes your account.
3. Bugguide itself is removed from the internet.

In regard to 1, there is a plan in the works to limit frassing to images of no data value, and demote images not needed to help people ID bugs to a lower "data value only" rank. Deletion of frass has been suspended until such a ranking system is implemented. That means if you have data and county data with your posts, they are unlikely to be deleted.

Regarding 2, make sure you leave your username and password to a trusted heir! I don't see why this could not be the BG publisher himself, presently John VanDyk. He would have to agree, of course. That's a good topic for "Problems and Suggestions" forum.

For 3, if BG eventually becomes unsupported due to say, lack of funding or obsolescence (yes that can happen), it probably won't be deleted entirely, just frozen in time as a historical archive (no new additions). Or, the images may be ported to a more modern site of the future with a telepathic interface to holographic bug projections or something.

There are copyright issues that your heir would inherit. They may try to profit from your pics in the future. I suggest changing your copyright notice to "Public Domain" from its current "Creative Commons". I've had publishers ask me if they can use my pics (all with CC) for publications that will make a profit (forbidden under CC). I've given permission if the cause is worthy, like a field manual or museum publication. Your heirs may not be so generous. Maybe something in your will can address that.

You should see your user number
in the url when you click on "your images"

not there. I recall folks talking about this before and was puzzled then about the advice by others saying the same thing. I just now went to look and no ID # in sight anywhere on the page. Duh-oh!! Yeah, now I see it. Dummy me looked on the page not the URL...


A url is the address of a webpage (at the top), not the webpage itself. The url of the page with your images is The number the end is your user number. Oops, never mind. You got it.

There is nothing wrong with posting old images
Try to avoid posting images you have posted before, but it is not the end of the world if one or two slip in. You can always find your posted images by clicking on "your images" at the upper right. There are probably more there than you want to search through, so you can do an advanced search. Click on search without putting anything into the box. Then click on "advanced search". Put your user ID# in the first box. You are 32854. Then you can type Diptera or Coleoptera or Papilio or whatever you are looking for into the Taxon ID. A dropdown menu will appear that you can select from. Click on "Go" and you should get all of your posted images in that category so you can see what you have already posted.

Regarding your second question, you can simply put that statement on your contributor page. You can read what Beatriz has posted to her contributor page here

Well, kids, once again
I am in your debt. I have never known my user ID nor any way to acquire it. Generally, I just went to the data for Georgia using the closest taxon I could come up with. Very slow and time-consuming as you can imagine. And, yes, Beatriz's idea is quite what I am looking for. I wish I could have made the trip back up to the DelVal to see her art-work first hand. She's rather good. A few old friends went to an exhibit of her work and were quite impressed, which is saying something since two of them were the artsy-fartsy type and probably wouldn't understand why the pics were made in the first place. Yes, the art world is quite stratified, sad to say. Any way, thank you for the tips.

Thank you, Jon
You make me blush. I haven't done any paintings or exhibits in many years. I have been giving a lot of thought to the future of my contributions to Bugguide and the original photos for the same reason you are doing it. In fact, I was going to discuss it in the forums but you beat me to it :) I may bring it up again later because I think it is important enough that many of us, if not all of us, should make some decisions about the future of our photography.

Like you, I don't expect any of my relatives to become a curator of my pictures (I may have to rewrite that section of my contributor's page). I fear that all those photos will be lost to the world if I don't do something. I get requests for the use of my photos, and often, I supply the original version, usually free of charge, although I have also sold a couple of images.

What I started doing is posting higher resolution images of some of Bugguide pictures on Wikicommons (Creative Commons). At least people will be able to use them for non-profit purposes. As I said, I would like to discuss this subject more thoroughly with other contributors.

Glad you bring that up.
We have many images that we haven't posted to BugGuide and some where we downsized them to post. Been puzzling over what to do with the originals. Plus we have even more wildflower images than insects! Would be nice if the images and the data they represent were available to future folks somehow. Would be interested in hearing how others are planning for the future of their images.

You guys know wildflowers too?
I wish there was a bugguide for everything. If you participate with other identification sites, please share the links. You are wonderful and I so appreciate all of your knowledge and expertise.

I have recently started participating with Maryland Biodiversity Project. They require people to upload pictures to them using Flickr. Flickr use to require a yahoo account but they no longer do. Flickr used to be free but now it is only free if you have less than 1,000 photos.

It would be a way to record the coolest of photos. Obviously the photos would need to be labeled and arranged in a way that people can understand or the photos wont have much meaning.

Just a thought and something to consider.

It would be nice if there was somewhere on bugguide to include peoples Flickr accounts. That way I could "follow" the people who have similar interests.

I would recommend iNaturalist personally
Calphotos is nice but it has a very restrictive ID process, and there are lots of mistakes that have not been corrected for years. If you have questions about iNat, feel free to email me. There is a large community of interested naturalists, some amateur, some expert, and I've had more success with identifications here than anywhere else (at times, even on BugGuide!).

Well there is iNaturalist and calphotos
We were hoping EOL, Encyclopedia of Life, was going to bring all these disparate websites together somehow. Here in Illinois we are working with The Field Museum to try to organize some of the flower images. But there are three other wildflower websites already in the state and people post to multiple sites just as they post bugs to BugGuide and iNat. It's confusing and messy but we guess that's the way it will be. Keeping our fingers crossed that some kind of merge will occur sometime where we can load our full size images. Time will tell...

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