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See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

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

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

Mandy Howe, Contributing Editor
Full name:
Mandy Howe
City, state, country:
Washington, USA

Note: Mandy passed away in August 2016.


[Note: I typically check here and/or here on BugGuide when I can help identify spiders.]

Greetings, oh mighty creature connoisseurs! My name is Amanda (Mandy), but I sometimes use "Lady Arachnophile" online. Araneology (study of spiders) is my current passion & obsession. I find spiders to be beautiful, misunderstood creatures and have been intrigued by them my whole life, but have taken up this more serious interest in them starting around 2004. I'm self-taught and not currently working in the professional realm, though I've been honored to take small parts in research and publications along the way. I maintain membership with the American Arachnological Society, the International Society of Arachnology, and the British Arachnological Society.

I'm able to do microscope identifications and dissections, so if you'd like to add to BugGuide's voucher specimens by sending a spider for verification of ID, feel free to email me and we can work something out (there may be certain spiders that I will pass on). I have fun helping a variety of individuals and websites with identification and am also currently doing work for with Kyle Williams and (previously) Eric R. Eaton.

Also, I am forever grateful to Lenny Vincent, Rick Vetter, and Rod Crawford, as well as all the other professionals that may have helped me along the way, or will help me in the future. I'm also grateful to be working with (and always learning from) so many of the other amazing editors and contributors here at BugGuide!

I'll try and post any spiders I find that are a new or under-represented species for the Guide, or show something unique. (Note to self: BG user #34136)

My current equipment (on a shoestring budget!):
→ (before June 2013) Canon Powershot A540 with cheap Opteka 10x macro lens and styrofoam bowl flash diffuser
→ (after June 2013) Canon Powershot G15 with a couple macro filters and a Canon MR-14EX Ring Flash
→ 2 Amscope stereo microscopes: Trinocular Model SM-2TZZ & Binocular Model SE306R-PX
→ LED ring light for microscope Model LED-80AM-YA (note: this is not bright enough for most purposes, and don't let the fancy knobs sway you: changing those settings doesn't really make any difference; gooseneck LEDs, fiber optics, or something else like directional lamps from IKEA will work better (see link below))
→ Microscope mounted digital camera Model MU300 (Cheap, but works great! Just fiddle with the exposure if it looks too bright.)
→ Dissection tools, preservation vials/microvials, collection equipment, aspirators (etc., etc.) usually purchased from
→ Dry collection vials purchased in bulk from Thornton Plastics
→ 2 JANSJĂ– work lamps from Ikea for extra microscope illumination
Zhumell Digiscoping Adapter for attaching my camera to the microscope eye piece for photography on the binocular 'scope
Celestron LCD Compound Microscope for checking out teeny, tiny things (individual cells, etc); not the best quality 'scope, but still fun to use
→ Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 for photo organization and editing
→ Sometime in the fall of 2013, I started playing with the free program "CombineZP" for stacking images (this is especially helpful for microscope images since the depth of field is so shallow), and in 2016 I "graduated" to Helicon Focus.

Some BugGuide quick-links:
Complete Markup Article
Where do I post it?
List of Site Experts (many thanks to =v= for compiling it!)
Guide to Critical Images Needed for Identification
Photo-Voucher Program
Summary of BugGuide Articles
Equipment, Set-ups, & Techniques (click the 'images' tab to see an entry)
Contributor Portraits
BG Gatherings & Events (click the 'images' tab to see an entry)
List of Non-Native Arthropods in North America
List of Non-Native Arthropods in North America, Part II
System Statistics in Real Time (may take a long time to load)

With the exception of any images I have uploaded on behalf of someone else, (check the small copyright directly below each image to find out), all of the images I share here are under the following license:

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Attribution should be Mandy Howe, If you use any of my images please send me a courtesy email even if it is consistent with the Creative Commons license above, as I'd love to see how they are being used. I can also send you a higher resolution copy of my mediocre photos in most cases. The license does not include commercial use of my images, but only because I'd like people to ask permission first. To date, I've never said "no" or charged a fee, so expect that I'll say "yes"... just please ask first! =)

583 images submitted by this contributor
Guide pages submitted by this contributor