Insects can often be identified through digital images alone and with advances in phones and cameras, many people have high resolution digital cameras readily available. However, taking images appropriate for identification of insects can still be a challenge, due to the small size of many insects. Below are some photography tips to help facilitate the identification process at the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab:
Provide additional information about an insect sample or ask an insect question using the form below:
- Use your best photography equipment available (i.e., highest resolution) to get the clearest image possible.
- Get as close as feasible to insect subjects, as long as the images are clear. A clear, crisp photo from farther away is prefered over a blurry, up-close shot.
- Take several images of specimens, from different angles (top, bottom, side)
- Include a size reference (ruler, coin, pencil, etc.)
- Include geographic information. This is very important, as many insects may be restricted to certain parts of the state, country, or globe.
- If an insect is found in/on a plant, include images of the entire plant and also up-close images of any damage to the plant.
- Provide background information about the case. This can be done with the form above or in a separate email.
Please enter the State you reside in so we can factor that into our response.
Non-Wisconsin Residents: Most states have insect identification services available. Physical specimens from out-of-state cannot be shipped to the UW Insect Diagnostic Lab, and must be handled within your own state through your local Extension office or a university entomology department. The UW Insect Diagnostic Lab may be able to assist with electronic submissions (digital images) from out of state, but you are encouraged to contact your local Extension office or university first.
Wisconsin Residents: please choose your county from the Wisconsin County drop-down menu below to help us provide the best service based on your location.
Please describe the insect in detail: providing background information greatly assists in the diagnostic process.
Please include details such as the size, color, general appearance, and behavior of the insect; the presence of wings, antennae, or other appendages; the specific location where the insect was found, the name of the plant on which it was feeding, and any other relevant details.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.