Insects are the unsung heroes that support the world.

Insects are crucial for the health of our environment and new apps make it easy to identify and understand them.  Insects pollinate over 85% of wildflowers and over 75% of agricultural crops. Beetles are necessary for the decomposition of organic matter, and they are critical in controlling pests.

Some insects are harmful and need to be controlled.  Bad insects can spread disease, destroy crops, and upset the balance of healthy ecosystems. They threaten global biodiversity, food security and human livelihoods.

It is helpful to be familiar with insects and appreciate the ‘good’ ones for the jobs they do and know to stay away from the ‘bad’ ones.  There are more than a million known insect species.  Insects are amazing to look at, they have fascinating behaviors, and some, like the water boatman males make crazy noises. There are excellent apps to assist you in your pursuit of interesting insects.  Insects are most active in the hotter seasons of the year.  Learning to identify the ones you should stay away from is important. There are excellent apps to assist you in your pursuit of interesting insects.

In 2019 a review of insect population-decline studies determined that 41% of insect species worldwide are declining.

For both Google Play and iPhone:

Picture Insect is an excellent bug identifier and will also teach you about them. Users can either take a photo or upload an image for the app to analyze.  Users will receive three species options from which to choose.  It has an ever-growing database of insects. Its identification accuracy is 95.28%.

There is a premium option available.  This app is free.

 

For only IOS:

Insect ID Bug Identifier is simple to use and teaches you about the bugs that are around your yard and home.  Scan a photo of a bug using the Scan button, take a photo with your camera or press the Add (+) button to import a photo from your camera roll.  Insects you scan will be added to your collection book which you can access anytime. This app is free.

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Identifier: Plant and Insect is simple to use. Just take a photo of an unknown plant or insect and Smart Identifier will help you.

This app is free

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seek app, by iNaturalist will identify plants, insects, and animals around you.  The app has a large database, and it also has crowdsourced information from ‘citizen scientists’.  The app has about 10 million observations from users that can be helpful.

 It is free and only for iOS.

 

 

Insect Identifier by Photo is easy to use.  Take a photo of the insect you are interested in and the app will identify and share interesting information about it.  You can save all your photos to create a collection of insect photos and facts.  This app is free and only for iOS.

 

 

 

 

 

Bug Identifier: Bugs, Spiders will identify a photo of an insect within a few seconds.  It has over 1,000 species of insects cataloged in its database. This app is free and for iOS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For only Google:

Entomologists have divided insect species into units called ‘orders’.  The members of each insect order come from a common ancestor, have similar structural features and certain biological characteristics. Take a photo of an insect and this bug identifier app will give you a thorough education.

This app is for Google only.

Picture Insect and Spider ID app claims to be the “mirror into the insect planet”.  It is free and for Google Play.

 

A few unusual insects:

This is the Hercules beetle which is the longest beetle.  It is also the strongest creature on earth for its size – it can carry 850 times its weight.

 

These are Thorn bugs and they have brightly colored thorn shapes sticking up from their heads.  They are part of the treehopper family.

 

This is the Australian walking stick.  When they sense danger, they give off a scent that smells like peanut butter.  They hide easily in bark and branches.

 

This is the Calleta silkmoth caterpillar.  It’s large and beautifully colored.  It has spiky barbs all over its back.