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A guide to Australian insect families (from CSIRO) can be found at:

A useful introduction to Insects, visit:

A diagram of Insect morphology illustrating terminology with legend of body parts:

A diagram of an insect illustrating terminology based on a worker ant, see:


Following is a list of the moderators for insects with their usernames and area of expertise:

Ian Baird (ibaird) - Moths 

Michael Batley (michael.batley) - Bees

Suzi Bond (SuziBond) - Butterflies

John Bromilow (jbromilow50) - most insects

Glenn Cocking (GlennCocking) - Moths

Chris Cohen (Myelaphus) - True Flies

Greg Daniels (GregD) - Robber Flies specialist, True Flies

Roger Farrow (RogerF) - all insects, especially Grasshoppers, Crickets & Katydids

Dave Ferguson (DaveFerg) - True Flies

Matthew Frawley (MatthewFrawley) - Butterflies

Don Herbison-Evans (donhe) - Moths

Sandra Lauer (Illilanga) - Cockroaches & Leafhoppers

Bryan Lessard (BrytheFlyGuy) - Flies

Jon Lewis (Jon Lewis) - Ants

James Lumbers (jgl) - True Flies

Michael Maconachie (maconachie) - Dragonflies & Damselflies

Roy McDowall (roymcd) - Dragonflies & Damselflies

Alison Milton (Alison Milton) - Beetles & Wasps

Harvey Perkins (HarveyPerkins) - Dragonflies & Damselflies

Lindsay Popple (lpopple) - Cicadas

Kim Pullen (KimPullen) - all insects, especially Beetles

Sam Reid (samreid007) - Ants & Sawflies

Alice Wells (Alice) - Caddisflies

Susan Wishart (SWishart) - Assassin Bugs, Shield, Stink & Jewel Bugs

We are still in need of specialist moderators for a variety of insects, such as Wasps, Lacewings & others.


Photographing insects

There are two main ways to photograph insects with a camera: using a macro close-up lens or a zoom lens. If the insect tolerates your getting very close, then you can use the macro lens. For example, some moths will remain quite still when approached, believing they are camouflaged and invisible. However, many insects, especially those that can fly, will move away when you approach. This is especially true for insects like butterflies and dragonflies. So a good zoom lens is very useful for photographing many insects. If you are using a smartphone, then use a macro lens or a macro attachment. E.g. OlloClip for iPhone. If you want to have an insect identified to species then clear photographs are usually needed because minute parts of the anatomy may need to be checked. It is valuable to take several photos from various angles so that these anatomical details can be seen. Many insects are have particular plants that they feed on, and they can be identified more easily when the associated plant is known. So if the insect is resting or feeding on a plant, take note of what the plant is or ensure that a photo shows the plant clearly.

Insects - 3 species

Shield, Stink & Jewel Bug (Pentatomoidea) Cantao parentum (Mallotus Harlequin Bug,)

Cantao parentum
Cantao parentum
Cantao parentum
Cantao parentum

More information

Bee fly (Bombyliidae) Manjua paralutea (A bee fly)

Manjua paralutea
Manjua paralutea

More information

Dragonfly (Anisoptera) Orthetrum villosovittatum (Fiery Skimmer)

Orthetrum villosovittatum Male
Orthetrum villosovittatum Male
Orthetrum villosovittatum Female
Orthetrum villosovittatum
Orthetrum villosovittatum
Orthetrum villosovittatum

More information

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