Harvard University's E-Type Initiative: About



Specific Image Requirements - Insects

Different families of insects have varying requirements for the range of views necessary for taxonomic analysis. Standard views include dorsal, lateral and ventral of the entire body, but additional images of the head (frontal and dorsal), pronotum, pygidium (rear of abdomen) and tibia of the front leg may be needed for more thorough identification of certain groups. The standard series of images varies for each Order. For most groups, standard practice is to orient the head to the left (Lepidoptera are an exception). Specimen labels should be imaged separately from the specimen.

Note that these are only suggestions - more specific images may certainly be included if desired.


Dorsal, head frontal, posterior abdomen dorsal and ventral (to show genitalia), pronotum dorsal, wings (complete view of front and hind wings, if possible)

  • Blattellidae


Standard series (dorsal, lateral, ventral), along with head frontal

  • Aegialitidae
  • Agyrtidae
  • Anobiidae
  • Anthicidae
  • Brachypsectidae
  • Brentidae
  • Byrrhidae
  • Cephaloidae
  • Cerambycidae
  • Cerophytidae
  • Cerylonidae
  • Chrysomelidae
  • Cistelidae
  • Coccinellidae
  • Corylophidae
  • Curculionidae
  • Dascillidae
  • Dermestidae
  • Dytiscidae
  • Elateridae
  • Endomychidae
  • Erotylidae
  • Eucinetidae
  • Eucnemidae
  • Gyrinidae
  • Haliplidae
  • Helodidae
  • Heteroceridae
  • Hydraenidae
  • Hydrophilidae
  • Hydroscaphidae
  • Lagriidae
  • Leiodidae
  • Lyctidae
  • Melandryidae
  • Meloidae
  • Melyridae
  • Monommidae
  • Mordellidae
  • Nitidulidae
  • Oedemeridae
  • Othniidae
  • Perothopidae
  • Phalacridae
  • Pselaphidae (include pronotum dorsal if head drooping)
  • Ptiliidae
  • Ptilodactylidae
  • Ptinidae
  • Pyrochroidae
  • Pythidae
  • Rhipiceridae
  • Rhipiphoridae
  • Scaphidiidae
  • Scydmaenidae
  • Silphidae
  • Sphaeritidae
  • Sphindidae
  • Tenebrionidae (oblique frontal view of head for the few with frontal horns)
  • Throscidae
  • Trichopterygidae
  • Trogidae

Standard series, along with head frontal, pronotum dorsal (particularly if drooping on the specimen)

  • Cantharidae
  • Carabidae
  • Cleridae
  • Dryopidae
  • Elmidae
  • Lampyridae
  • Malachidae
  • Parnidae
  • Phengodidae

Standard series, along with pronotum and head dorsal

  • Colydiidae
  • Cryptophagidae
  • Cucujidae
  • Lathridiidae (include head frontal)
  • Mycetophagidae
  • Ostomidae (include head frontal)
  • Rhysodidae

Standard series, along with head, abdomen ventral (last 3 sclerites)

  • Buprestidae (head frontal)
  • Staphylinidae (head dorsal)

Standard series, along with pygidium (rear of abdomen - from above for flat species, directly behind for others), close-up of front tibia in greatest plane

  • Histeridae

Standard series, along with head frontal, front and hind tibia, pygidium

  • Ochodaeidae
  • Scarabaeidae

Standard series, along with head frontal, lateral rear of elytra (at a 45 degree angle, to show tubercles)

  • Bostrichidae
  • Zopheridae

Standard series, along with head frontal, close-up of hind leg (with femur and tibia in same plane)

  • Bruchidae

Dorsal and lateral, head dorsal, front tibia, pygidium

  • Lucanidae


Standard series (dorsal, lateral, head frontal, complete view of wing on one side)

  • Asilidae
  • Bombyliidae
  • Conopidae
  • Dolichopodidae
  • Drosophilidae
  • Lauxaniidae
  • Micropezidae
  • Milichiidae
  • Neriidae
  • Otitidae
  • Pipunculidae
  • Stratiomyidae
  • Syrphidae

Standard series, along with head lateral

  • Psilidae
  • Tabanidae


Dorsal, lateral, head frontal, thorax lateral, complete view of wing pair on one side

  • Pompilidae
  • Vespidae

Dorsal, lateral, head frontal

  • Formicidae


Dorsal, ventral, genitalia (if removed)

  • Cossidae
  • Geometridae
  • Hesperiidae
  • Lasiocamidae
  • Lycaenidae
  • Noctuidae
  • Nymphalidae
  • Papilionidae
  • Pieridae
  • Satyridae


Dorsal, lateral, head frontal, complete view of wing pair on one side (both if possible)

  • Mantispidae

Dorsal, lateral, head frontal, head/thorax lateral and dorsal, complete view of wing pair on one side (2 images if necessary)

  • Ascalaphidae
  • Chrysopidae


Dorsal (lateral if wings not spread), thorax lateral , complete view of wing pair on one side; female: dorsal and lateral of posterior abdomen, male: dorsal of posterior abdomen, ventral of 2nd abdominal segment to show genitalia

  • Coenagrionidae
  • Gomphidae
  • Lestidae
  • Libellulidae
  • Synlestidae


Lateral, dorsal (if wings spread), head/pronotum (dorsal, lateral), ovipositor (female) or dorsal posterior of abdomen (male), ventral posterior of abdomen, stridulatory apparatus on wings

  • Acrididae (exclude stridulatory apparatus)
  • Gryllidae
  • Tettigoniidae


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