Last updated
Type of site
Entomology, Citizen science
Available inEnglish
Owner Iowa State University
Website bugguide.net
Registrationnot required
16 years ago
Current statusOnline

BugGuide (or BugGuide.net) is a website and online community of naturalists, both amateur and professional, who share observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures. [1] The website consists of informational guide pages and many thousands of photographs of arthropods from the United States and Canada which are used for identification and research. [2] The non-commercial site is hosted by the Iowa State University Department of Entomology. BugGuide was conceived by photographer Troy Bartlett in 2003 and since 2006 has been maintained by Dr. John VanDyk, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entomology and Senior Systems Analyst at Iowa State University. [3] The website has been recognized for helping change public perception of insects. [4]

According to VanDyk, BugGuide had over 809 million hits in 2010, averaging approximately 26 hits per second. [5] He also stated that in early 2011 the site consisted of almost 34,000 written pages representing about 23 percent of the estimated insect species in North America. [5] In April 2012 the guide surpassed 500,000 photos. [6] By October 2014, BugGuide had 30,774 species pages and 48,572 total pages, with over 808,718 images submitted by more than 27,846 contributors. [7] On 22 September 2014, BugGuide surpassed 1,000,000 pages (most of which are photographs). [8]

The photographs posted have contributed to or resulted in several scientific publications. A large proportion of images featured in an atlas of vespid wasps [9] are credited to contributors to BugGuide. [10] BugGuide photographs have detected new state records of invasive pest ants and beetles. [11] [12]

Geologist and moth collector Richard Wilson said of the site, "The BugGuide site is very useful for anyone finding an insect and it is very interactive on getting it identified if a picture can be taken." [13]

According to gardening author Margaret Roach, "The site is where naturalists of all levels share photos of 'insects, spiders and their kin' to foster enthusiasm and expand the knowledge base about these often-overlooked (and as BugGuide points out, 'oft-maligned') creatures." [14]

According to the site itself, BugGuide.net has been responsible for the identification of 11 new, previously undescribed species as of mid-2014. In addition, 12 species new to the Western Hemisphere were first identified via the site; another seven new to North America; and numerous new country records (primarily the United States) and state/county sightings. [15]

Related Research Articles

Entomology scientific study of insects

Entomology is the scientific study of insects, a branch of zoology. In the past the term "insect" was vaguer, and historically the definition of entomology included the study of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups or other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, land snails, and slugs. This wider meaning may still be encountered in informal use.

Forensic entomology

Forensic entomology is the scientific study of the invasion of the succession pattern of arthropods with their developmental stages of different species found on the decomposed cadavers during legal investigations. It is the application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters. It also involves the application of the study of arthropods, including insects, arachnids, centipedes, millipedes, and crustaceans to criminal or legal cases. It is primarily associated with death investigations; however, it may also be used to detect drugs and poisons, determine the location of an incident, and find the presence and time of the infliction of wounds. Forensic entomology can be divided into three subfields: urban, stored-product and medico-legal/medico-criminal entomology.

Hemiptera Order of insects often called bugs

The Hemiptera or true bugs are an order of insects comprising some 50,000 to 80,000 species of groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs. They range in size from 1 mm (0.04 in) to around 15 cm (6 in), and share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts. The name "true bugs" is sometimes limited to the suborder Heteroptera. Many insects commonly known as "bugs" belong to other orders; for example, the lovebug is a fly and the May bug and ladybug are beetles.

Parasitoid Organism that lives with host and kills it

A parasitoid is an organism that lives in close association with its host and at the host's expense, and which sooner or later kills it. Parasitoidism is one of six major evolutionary strategies within parasitism, distinguished by the fatal prognosis for the host, which makes the strategy close to predation.

Tachinidae family of insects

The Tachinidae are a large and variable family of true flies within the insect order Diptera, with more than 8,200 known species and many more to be discovered. Over 1300 species have been described in North America alone. Insects in this family commonly are called tachinid flies or simply tachinids. As far as is known, they all are protelean parasitoids, or occasionally parasites, of arthropods, usually other insects. The family is known from many habitats in all zoogeographical regions and is especially diverse in South America.

Thrips Order of insects

Thrips are minute, slender insects with fringed wings and unique asymmetrical mouthparts. Different thrips species feed mostly on plants by puncturing and sucking up the contents, although a few are predators. Approximately 6,000 species have been described. They fly only weakly and their feathery wings are unsuitable for conventional flight; instead, thrips exploit an unusual mechanism, clap and fling, to create lift using an unsteady circulation pattern with transient vortices near the wings.

Trichogramma is a genus of minute polyphagous wasps that are endoparasitoids of insect eggs. Trichogramma is one of around 80 genera from the family Trichogrammatidae, with over 200 species worldwide.

Parasitoid wasp evolutionary grade of hymenopteran superfamilies

Parasitoid wasps are a large group of hymenopteran superfamilies, with all but the wood wasps (Orussoidea) being in the wasp-waisted Apocrita. As parasitoids, they lay their eggs on or in the bodies of other arthropods, sooner or later causing the death of these hosts. Different species specialise in hosts from different insect orders, most often Lepidoptera, though some select beetles, flies, or bugs; the spider wasps (Pompilidae) exclusively attack spiders.

Trichogrammatidae family of insects

The Trichogrammatidae are a family of tiny wasps in the Chalcidoidea that include some of the smallest of all insects, with most species having adults less than 1 mm in length. The over 840 species are placed in about 80 genera; their distribution is worldwide. Trichogrammatids parasitize the eggs of many different orders of insects. As such, they are among the more important biological control agents known, attacking many pest insects.

Brown marmorated stink bug species of insect

The brown marmorated stink bug is an insect in the family Pentatomidae, native to China, Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan. In September 1998 it was collected in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where it is believed to have been accidentally introduced. The nymphs and adults of the brown marmorated stink bug feed on over 100 species of plants, including many agricultural crops, and by 2010–11 had become a season-long pest in orchards in the Eastern United States. In 2010, in the Mid-Atlantic United States, $37 million dollars in apple crops were lost, and some stone fruit growers lost more than 90% of their crops.. It is now established in many parts of North America, and has recently become established in Europe and South America.

Medical entomology study of insect impacts on human health

The discipline of medical entomology, or public health entomology, and also veterinary entomology is focused upon insects and arthropods that impact human health. Veterinary entomology is included in this category, because many animal diseases can "jump species" and become a human health threat, for example, bovine encephalitis. Medical entomology also includes scientific research on the behavior, ecology, and epidemiology of arthropod disease vectors, and involves a tremendous outreach to the public, including local and state officials and other stake holders in the interest of public safety, finally in current situation related to one health approach mostly health policy makers recommends to widely applicability of medical entomology for disease control efficient and best fit on achieving development goal and to tackle the newly budding zoonotic diseases. Thoughtful to have and acquaint with best practice of Med. Entomologist to tackle the animal and public health issues together with controlling arthropods born diseases by having Medical Entomologists’ the right hand for bringing the healthy world [Yon w].

<i>Lytta nuttalli</i> species of insect

Lytta nuttalli, or Nuttall's blister beetle, is a species of North American beetle first described in 1824 by Thomas_Say.. The genus Lytta is from a Latin word suggesting madness The specific nuttallii recognizes the contributions of Thomas Nuttall, a contemporary of Say.

<i>Dolichovespula arenaria</i> species of wasp

Dolichovespula arenaria, also known as the common aerial yellowjacket, sandhills hornet, and common yellow hornet, is a species of wasp within the Dolichovespula genus widely distributed in the North American continent.

<i>Monostegia</i> genus of insects

Monostegia is a genus of sawfly. The authority is based on the description by Achille Costa and Oronzio Costa, although earlier work grants this to Fabricius 1798., though the commonest species, M. abdominalis, bears the authority of Fabricius.

John Stuart Noyes is a Welsh entomologist.

Vulsirea nigrorubra is a species of stink bug in the family Pentatomidae. It is found in the Caribbean.

<i>Mormidea</i> genus of insects

Mormidea is a genus of stink bugs in the family Pentatomidae. There are about five described species in Mormidea.

Vulsirea is a genus of stink bugs in the family Pentatomidae. There are at least two described species in Vulsirea.

Mecideini tribe of insects

Mecideini is a tribe of shield bugs in the family Pentatomidae. There is at least one genus, Mecidea, in Mecideini.

Decline in insect populations

Several studies report what appears to be a substantial decline in insect populations. Some of the insects most affected include bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies and damselflies. Anecdotal evidence has been offered of much greater apparent abundance of insects in the 20th century; recollections of the windscreen phenomenon are an example.


  1. "Discovering bugs and her passion". The Des Moines Register . July 31, 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. McCullough, Corinne; Worthington, Cakey; Paradise, Christopher J. (Fall 2013). "Using Digital Macrophotography to Measure Biodiversity, Identify Insects, and Enhance Outreach and Education". American Entomologist. 59 (3): 176–182. doi:10.1093/ae/59.3.176.
  3. "John VanDyk's Contributor Page" on BugGuide.Net.
  4. Ahern, Kevin (November 2009). "WebWatch – Done Buggy". BioTechniques . 47 (5): 909. doi:10.2144/000113266.
  5. 1 2 Pounds, Diana (3 February 2011). "Five questions for John VanDyk" (PDF). Inside Iowa State. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  6. "BugGuide passes the half million mark". Iowa State University, Department of Entomology. May 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  7. "System Statistics". BugGuide. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  8. "longhorned beetle - Stenocorus vittiger". BugGuide. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  9. Buck, Matthias; Marshall, Stephen A.; Cheung, David K.B. (19 February 2008). "Identification Atlas of the Vespidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata) of the northeastern Nearctic region". Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification. 5. doi:10.3752/cjai.2008.05. ISSN   1911-2173.
  10. Marshall, Stephen A. (Winter 2008). "Field photography and the Democratization of Arthropod Taxonomy". American Entomologist. 54 (4): 207–210. doi:10.1093/ae/54.4.207.
  11. MacGown, J.A.; Hill, J.G. (2010). "Two new exotic pest ants, Pseudomyrmex gracilis and Monomorium floricola (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected in Mississippi" (PDF). Midsouth Entomologist. 3: 106–109. ISSN   1936-6019.
  12. Aalbu, Rolf L.; Kanda, Kojun; Steiner, Warren E., Jr. (April 2009). "Opatroides punctulatus Brullé now established in California (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)". The Pan-Pacific Entomologist. 85 (2): 38–42. doi:10.3956/2008-24.1.
  13. Gable, Cate (19 July 2011). "The Moth Man of Bay Center". Oregon Public Broadcasting . Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  14. Roach, Margaret (20 September 2012). "why i'm abuzz about bugguide.net". A Way to Garden. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  15. "Bug Guide firsts list for Latin American Bug Guide project". BugGuide. Retrieved 6 August 2014.