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deep end of ID Request

The last three or four pages of ID Request are beyond us. Thought we'd bring it up to get some guidance.

Over 100 pages
ID request is now over 100 pages, if anyone is able to move images at least to order level.

I have been busy with school and work, but have been trying to grab a few. I think many are frass, but even if so I like to point people in the right direction or let them know what would be needed to get an ID.

I have moved recognizable ima
I have moved recognizable images from page 59 through the end to Order (and in a few cases further where a reliable ID existed). Page 59 and before have recognizable images generally and should be movable if one has the expertise. After page 59 it's mostly galls, scales, and unrecognizables...

Lest anyone fear this as a po
Lest anyone fear this as a pointless exercise, a mayfly I dredged out of the deep end (where it'd been lingering for nearly 4 months) just got an ID to genus once it made it to the Order page.

I've gone through pages 43-57 and moved what I could, but unfortunately it wasn't very much - looks like others have been helping out as well, thanks all!

Back from the gathering
moved a lot of images to the order pages. But the last 25 or thirty pages or so are a mystery to us. Hopefully some of you will have a go at some of those images. Thanks

pages 30 to 60 or so
If you can tell a scale from a gall, a bark louse from a book louse from a psocid, a mealy bug from a mealy bug destroyer, then the last 30 pages of ID Request could use your help. See if you can move some of those images into the guide at Order or beyond. Please don't move them to the Insecta or Arthropoda pages. Those are basically the same as ID Request - except they seldom get looked at. Better off to just leave things at ID Request. We've been moving images since we got back from Oregon and have cut ID Request in half. Hope you can find some time to help. Thanks

Also moved some
Wish there was a faster way to move images. Lots of plant pathology-related photos back there.

That's where I'm at too
Leaning towards plant path on a few, but I admit I don't know the gall formers/leaf miners/other internal insects well enough to confidently tell the difference.

Thanks for doing that
It really helps to cut everything down. I managed to shift a handful, but there are some tough ones towards the end.

Last 20 pages of ID Request
still full of mysteries if you can help

Shifted a few
Only to order in many cases, but it's something at least. Definitely some oddities towards the end there.


Moved out some of the ones we recognize
but yes, still "lots of unknown larvae, galls, mines, scales, etc" back there if anyone knows them.

I've gotten from page 43-page
I've gotten from page 43-page 50 this evening, and will keep looking at 51-57 tomorrow. Much of what's left on 43-50 is galls, mines, mites, larvae I don't know to order, etc.

The rest I have moved as far down as possible; this means some images of poor quality have been moved in case someone can ID them further. I've frassed a few others.

aaand have finished my look-t
aaand have finished my look-through to the last page (p56). Lots of unknown larvae, galls, mines, scales, etc that I haven't the least clue on back there.

OK, finally caught up with ID Request after spending a few weeks
visiting siblings. We have moved everything after pg 43 (more than 1000 images deep) on ID Request that we could to Order or deeper. Everything that is left past that, some 5 or 6 hundred images is beyond us. We can't even place them to order. We could use your help on the deep end of ID Request, especially if you know galls or scales or insect larva to do something with those last 23 odd pages. So just putting out the call.

We don't agree that they should necessarily be summarily frassed just because they haven't been ID'd yet. Some images on BugGuide have waited eight years for the right person to see them and earn their identification. We are, of course, expecting that many will be frassed - we just don't know enough to make that decision.

Thanks for any help you can give

I really appreciate all your work, and I admire your expertise.
That goes for all the editors.
Also appreciate the welcome attitude towards newcomers, even though every
new image represents more work for someone.

Great work guys.
I went through the last few pages, but couldn't help with much. Just know that the community appreciates your hard work. I agree with y'all that not everything should be frassed; who knows what interesting discoveries could lie amongst them.

My non-editor thoughts.
If no one has made an ID after a certain time period, no one ever will. State on your page that photos that could not be identified will be deleted at some point. People are always free to resubmit the photos. My guess is that almost no one will. I am always optimistic that someone will be able to identify things but if that isn't possible that is fine.

If there are academic groups interested in something rare or especially difficult to identify, state on your page that images may be shared with these groups and let them download the ones they may want to later look at within your time frame.

Every ID I get from BugGuide is a treasure! I don't expect that I will get an id from every picture I post. As you are probably aware, while I am enamored with small creatures, they do not always pose for me and I am not an expert at photography.

This is not a service that we pay for and expect to get a result. When we get information, we are lucky and grateful to get it.

I am not at all sure how I got to this thread. I am not an editor. I know I am restating ideas that others have stated. It is OK for you to make rules that work for you. Defining the rules on the page would probably be a good idea.

I am quite good at crafting policy statements. If you wanted me to make a draft for you to review, I could probably do that. That way you could all weigh in honestly stating that I have no clue, and perhaps get a policy statement that gets closer to where you want to be. I really don't take stuff personally. I love to make things work better. Let me know. I don't think I get notified for forum responses so perhaps email me if I can help. eaglebeach (at)

this is somewhat my philosophy...
have a term limit, like with Frass. After so many days, images get purged from ID Request. People can resubmit if need be. Honestly a lot of the stuff at the deep end are poorer quality images/specimens

Moved a bunch of stuff from the deep end
to Order. Much of what remains out there are possibly scales and larva and such. Not sure if it would be helpful to move them to the unidentified scales and larvae pages. Seems like that would simply be moving the problem from one place in the guide to another. Thoughts?

bumping this up for help
The deep end of ID Request is filled with scales and galls and larvae and stuff we don't even recognize to order. Guessing a lot of it is frass but we don't know enough to know if there is something important in these images. Moved a lot of what was there to order but don't know what to do with most of what is left. Sorry. Help?

Took care of a few...
...but there's a lot of stuff there that I don't recognize either. Sorry.

I just cleaned up 100+ beetle images

thanks to you and all the editors
.happy holidays!

We've moved a bunch of images from ID Request to Order
but once again the deep end of ID Request stymies us. Guessing much of it is frass, but we don't want to move it there without giving folks some kind of ID - which unfortunately with our knowledge, or lack thereof, we can't do.

Just popping this up to the top
Looked through the last few pages of ID Request but we just don't know enough to know what order to move things to. We certainly can't tell folks what they've imaged, but that doesn't mean there isn't someone out there who can. There's about ten pages of mystery back there. It doesn't hurt anything for them to be there, but just encouraging folks to look. You may know what you're looking at, or you may be knowledgeable enough to know that the image can be frassed. Wish we did, but...

I've been trying to go throug
I've been trying to go through the deep end (pages 20+) of ID Request and move non-moth, non-spider, non-larva images to order at least (which is as far as I can move many of them). Many of the images back there are of cruddy quality anyhow (and I don't move the completely unidentifiable ones as there's really no point), but I figure it's a safer bet to move them and let an expert frass them than to leave them in the deep end with no hope of ever being seen; some are pretty good images that just got missed somehow.

Please do advise if folks are finding this annoying!

Once again, the deep end of ID Request
has much that the two of us don't have a clue what to do with. Maybe some other editors can stare at those last 100 images or so and see if they can figure them out.

I cleaned up a lot of the beetle pics
moving/frassing accordingly

Once again
In the last two days I've frassed dozens and moved dozens more into the guide from the last 10-15 pages; just in the last few hours I've frassed 73 images, almost all from the deep end. I'm reaching the limit of what I can do, though, especially on the last several pages, which have all sorts of mostly frass-worthy images that I often can't identify past order, if that. A lot of them could probably be moved to unidentified tracks, sign, and other mysteries but there are many more that should probably get some sort of ID before being frassed that I just can't provide.

The problem with Browse
is the growing number of superfamily and subfamily and superorder etc pages. You can click on Browse and not see anything that looks remotely like your bug. You can click on one and then click back and click on the next and click back, but it often gets too tedious. The field guide feature is best met at present by the special pages some editors have been making which lets you scroll through a large number of images till you see something that looks like your bug. Phil Harpootlian's Coleoptera Info page is a great example. Just used it to find an unusual Carabid that we knew we had seen but couldn't remember a name. Would never have found it using Browse.
We think John VanDyk's fix will be pages like this that have lots of images but only one from each species or genus.

This may be the wrong place for this question,
but the large number of images piling up in various categories raises the question "what is the goal of Bug Guide?"
At least one specimen of each species for every state, every county?
Multiple specimens to show variations?
Thanks for all your great efforts and dedication!

Also, I hope, to document species interactions
I would like to see more emphasis on this

Are you aware that the field guide goal is best met using Browse mode as this reduces the number of images? Advanced Search is also very useful to filter the possibilities

Thanks for the comment, John, and for all your ID help.
I have never thought of BG as a field guide before because to me a "field guide" is something you can put in your backpack or coat pocket.
I have thought of it as a big reference book that lives on my desktop.

But the day is here now, with the rise of "Tablets" and other portable internet devices, that we can take BG with us into the "field."

I've been using the browse feature often. I now have about 1800 images posted here, many of which I have ID'd and placed myself, when I feel sure.
I like BG a lot!

I'm glad you mentioned species interactions. To that I would add
various other behaviors of species such as mating, eating, egg-laying,
metamorphosing, etc.

it's easy to edit this virtual pocket guide if you have a phone
no need for a big tablet

Not just editing
If you have a smartphone and are in internet range, BugGuide is truly an unbelievable field guide!

On the Home page you can see our mission and plan
BugGuide is lots of things: an online field guide, a virtual insect collection, a community of buglovers, a place where folks can get answers to their questions on bugs, etc. As a virtual insect collection, it is not a problem that there are large numbers of images, as a matter of fact, that just makes the collection better. It does, at present, interfere with the online field guide goal, but John VanDyk is working on a fix for that. But an image of every species from every county from every month would not be a reasonable or even a valuable goal. That would be countless thousands of repetitive images, even more than a good collection needs.

Deleted the part in the original comment about moths
since that seemed to be confusing folks now that moths are routinely moved to the Moths page after a few weeks. The question is just what to do with the mystery stuff that makes up the last half dozen pages of ID request or so. No overall plan is needed for all ID Request since there are only about 30 pages of images there.

Could have a new section maybe
"Older ID requests" and have ID requests that are 2 weeks or 3 weeks old automatically move there, might clean it up a bit.

Though some might say that isn't fixing the issue.

People are probably going to HATE this idea, but...
what if ID Request had an automatic purge date like Frass (maybe longer, even 45 or 60 days). Most of the stuff that stays back that far (at least for the taxa I curate) is often eventually frassed anyway.

We as editors try to do our best to give IDs and move stuff, but given the inflow of images we cannot devote all of our time to this and things are going to pile up. If someone's images get purged after a month or more, they can always resubmit them.

Alternaitve suggestions:
1. Why not routinely move all moths buried in ID request to moth guide?

2. I encourage editors, especially the very nice ones, who comment on poor images to frass them directly rather than leaving this for other editors.

And elsewhere ...
If in ID-Request the moth pictures are indeed of better quality than others as John and Jane seem to suggest, the more unsatisfactory ones apparently are placed into Moths: Perhaps some purging would be a good thing there as well (purge any of mine if it deserves it!).

Just bouncing this up to the top
Much very strange stuff sitting on the last ten pages of ID Request

Once again went through the end of ID Request
The last six or seven pages are beyond us. Sorry, but don't know what to do with those last hundred fifty plus images. Will try some more, but...

Went through the end of ID Request again.
Moved what we could. Frassed some that had IDs. Most of what is left back there is likely frass, but we hate to frass something without at least giving it some kind of ID, and most of those are beyond us. Some have multiple species and we're not sure whether to frass or to pick one of the species and move it there. Anyway, just wanted to let folks know we're pretty much stuck back there.

Moved some struff from the deep end of ID Request
but now the last seven or eight pages are mostly beyond us, mostly bees and wasps. Could use a hymenoptera expert back there if one is available.

I would prefer to frass the poor photos of
dead wet bees

Happy to receive contributors' IDs,
but since I often do not know the qualifications of a contributor, I always like an editor to weigh in. There have been times when another contributor has suggested and ID and it looked REALLY good to me -- only to have an expert explain that it was CLOSE, but not accurate. When I do have an editor's pronouncement I try to choose whether to move it to a guide page or send it to frass depending on the quality of the image and the data map.

Moving images to guide from ID request.
I know you Editors deal with this day in and day out (thank you, thank you!).

Recently I've tried to help out a bit by trying to identify some of the more common images in ID Request. Or occasionally saying I agreed with the guess made by the contributor. In the last week or so a bunch of these were moved to the "Moths" or "Beetles" categories after having languished in ID request for a while.

By suggesting an ID I had hoped (without saying so) that the contributors would try to use the guide to find matching images and even move the images there if they found one (as I have often done). But mostly they didn't, and there is no indication that most of them followed up in any way at all. Maybe they just looked in, saw the ID, and went away.

Maybe I should quit trying to "help," since I'm not an editor or expert. Or maybe it can be made clearer to contributors what they should do...say thank you, or frass their own images, move them, or whatever.

My two cents. Thanks. :-)

Thank you for the suggested IDs.
That is exactly what we hope contributors will do for each other. And we hope those who posted the images and get the IDs will help to move their images as you suggest. The difficulty is always that the posters (and we include ourselves in this even though we have been on the website for years) don't always know if their image is worthy of the guide. See our recent post of mayfly larvae here. If someone had just ID'd them, we wouldn't have known what to do with them. Luckily Roger jumped in and kept one and frassed two, something we could not have known to do.

So keep making ID suggestions and keep encouraging folks to move their images, but don't get depressed if they don't. They aren't being obstinate, they probably just don't know what to do.

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