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Thread: Insect Identification Challenge

  1. #1

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    Insect Identification Challenge

    Like many good ideas - this is the result of a pub discussion.

    It was mooted that all information is now available on the internet so books have now become superfluous.

    However, I use traditional books for insect identification because, for me, that sort of technical information still isn't fully available on the internet.

    So the challenge is to identify the exact species and, where appropriate, sex of these 12 relatively common species. Although there are a couple of rather 'sneaky' species included.

    To save space, I have placed the photos on to my P base site.

    http://www.pbase.com/crustacean/2011_insect_challenge

    Just a bit of fun to see how good the internet really is. So a few basic 'rules'. Please don't post the answers here and ruin the challenge for everyone else. You can send me a PM if you want your answers checked.

    Although any other comments, including useful internet addresses etc would be welcomed.

    Also, as this is a test of internet available information, please do not ask for personal help in any of the entomological forums.

    And as an example of a really easy one:

    Insect Identification Challenge

    Insect Identification Challenge
    Last edited by Geoff F; 14th March 2012 at 03:15 PM. Reason: photos added

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Re: Insect Identification Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Like many good ideas - this is the result of a pub discussion.
    Honestly, if I really thought insect identification was a common pub discussion, I might frequent pubs more often (though maybe my problem is which side of the pond I'm on)....

    Anyway, I completely agree with you regarding insect and spider identification. However, I've have an incredibly challenging time find a good set of ID books. Geoff, can you tell us what books you use for ID? I'd really like to start collecting a nice set of ID books that I could refer to.

    Aside from the information not being readily available online, I think the process of flipping through an ID book is much easier to start narrowing down your search when you're not even sure what you're looking at. Do you feel this way too?

    - Bill

  3. #3

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    Re: Insect Identification Challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Aside from the information not being readily available online, I think the process of flipping through an ID book is much easier to start narrowing down your search when you're not even sure what you're looking at. Do you feel this way too?

    - Bill
    Yes I agree with that, Bill. It may be that I'm from a pre digital age but anything I read on a computer screen just goes from the screen to the back wall; and totally misses my brain.

    I have to print it out and read the paper copy before anything has a chance of sinking in. A 'proper' reference book certainly works best for me. And, as you said, with the opportunity to easily flip between ID Keys, general description and illustration until things start to 'register'.

    However, regarding suitable books. Most of what I use is just UK based, or sometimes European, so I can't offer much in the way of USA based identification.

    I do use many books which are specific to just one type of creature. For example, a hoverfly book, a dragonfly/damselfly book, crickets/grasshoppers, spiders, bumblebees, harvestmen, etc, all in specific books.

    Which, unfortunately, soon gets expensive.

    I will however give one world wide internet forum suggestion. Wild About The World. Where a group of experts will open up their books and give some suggestions.

    In the UK, I would recommend the Collins Complete Guide to British Insects for a one book option. But, as you would expect, this production has to skim rather lightly through such 'deep waters' so a lot has to be excluded. But a good starter publication.

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