Site Instructions

Some information on how to navigate the website.

On the homepage there is a link to two identification program. The first program is trained with the photos of the 5000 species that are on the website. The second identification program covers butterflies found in the United States and Canada.

The home page shows the various classes or orders that are shown on the site. Click on the picture and you will be taken to a page that shows the families for that class or order. Click on the family and it will show a set of thumbnails for all the species of the family that I have records. I have tried to show a pinned specimen and a live specimen for each species as the species can look different. You may select a month which will show only the species that have the records for that month. Go to the species page and there is an Iowa map which shows where specimens have been collected or photographed in Iowa, a graph showing when the specimens have been collected, photos and a list of specimen records for that species. If you click on the Lat/Lon, it will take you to a Google Map showing the location. Some locations are not shown because the species is listed as special concern, threatened or endangered. Also some locations on private property are not shown.

The graph showing records dates now shows by week and the area below are the months with days colored to show what day of the week the records were obtained.

Clicking on the photos will give you a larger version of the picture.

I have elected to keep the butterflies (Lepidoptera2) and moths (Lepidoptera1) separate instead of under Lepidoptera. I am using the Moth Photographers Group website listing for moths and the North America Butterfly Association checklist to define the Lepidoptera taxonomy on the site.

Records Menu

You will see a list of records that can be searched in a number of ways. Taxon can be entered in partially till you get the result desired. You can enter anything from the order level down to the genus level. State allows you to get a list of species for the state based on what taxon you entered. County can be entered partially. Locale can be partially entered such as Squaw Cr ( for Squaw Creek Park). Collected By Can be entered partially and a popup will show names in the website records. Year can be entered as "2016". In the months between: windows a single month or a range of months can be picked. Date Allows you to see records for a specific date in case you are checking to see if a particular date has records. If you click on a record, you will see the associated data for the record and a google map. If you use more than one search item, you may not get results for the combination. For instance, Scott County and 2016, as there are no records for Scott County for 2016.

Records can be exported for the search criteria you select.

Also if you click on View Results as Species List, the data will be shown as a list of species for the criteria you specified. You will also see a breakdown into families, genera, species and subspecies. The resulting list can also be exported.The result can be printed.

Species Menu

If you go to the Species Menu, a list of the classes and orders is also shown. Clicking on the items will take you to the next level of viewing. You can also get a list of species for each county.

Submit Sightings

When the page comes up, you can drag a photo to the window.

Go to the species window and start typing the genus species or common name, a look up should show.

Pick the genus species. If unknown, leave blank.

If your photos do not have GPS, (if they do, the program will get the data from the file) enter the GPS for where the picture was taken. You can use one for the area if you wish. Google map allows you to pick a location.

Add notes if any like a name for the location.

Add your name and email. After the first time, it should remember you.

Check the certify box and then submit.

I will email the identification to you when made.

Records will show on the website in a few days.


Under "More" is Additional Info which shows a list of Articles that tell about myself and the website and also various items dealing with insects.

Also under "More" the other menu items will appear if the size of the page is reduced.

Search Window

The search window allows for orders, families, genus/species or common name searches. Be aware that a lot of insects do not have common names. You can also look up moths by Hodges and the new Pohl P3 numbers.

Note Records with no date came from BOMONA and a couple of other places. The date that was assigned was 1/1/1950 as a place holder because the software they were using could not go further back. By doing this they do not show on the date graphs looking like they were collected in January.