Mar 3, 2017
Hi, welcome to the first Angler’s Entomology Podcast Blog Post. Today I’d like to add some supplementary material for the podcast about Insect Identification. Not a lot – just some links to the resources I mentioned in the podcast. And … it is the nature of a list of links online – within a relatively short period of time some of these links will be moved or broken. Sorry about that – I’m not going to be spending my time tracking down links over time. So – I hope these work for long enough for them to be useful to you.
First, though, as I mentioned on the podcast, here is the link to Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo – on March 18, 2017. Selene and I will be there with local insects. I’ll be showing them off while Selene will be tying imitations. Come on up and say ‘hi’.
So, below is a series of links to resources that I think you may find helpful. This is certainly not comprehensive – it is just a few links I’m familiar with. Between this and some googling you should be able to find some very nice resources for your locale.
Local Entomological Societies
I mentioned “local entomological societies”. To help you track some down here are two lists that may be of use. As I said, like many of these internet lists, many of the links are broken or no longer point to what they were supposed to point to. I provide the list so that you can at least know that at one point there was and may still be a local entomological society (and its name). Using that information you may be able to track them down. So try these as a resource:
Websites that may help identify insects
Here are three sites that either have sections where they will help identify insects or have very good information to help you identify insects:
Regional Websites that have keys or identification tools
These are just a few tools/links. It is not comprehensive – I’m sure there are other resources online that you can track down.
For New Zealand
Downloadable keys and regional resources
Here are a few sites that have keys you can download. Again, this is not comprehensive but may act as a place for folks to start. Note that many states (all?) have a program within their state “EPA” (or DNR or Dept. of Env. Quality) that assesses the health of waterways. Typically they use insect life as a bioindicator of health. Often those programs have databases of what they’ve found or resources available to ensure correct identification of those species. Some searching at your state gov website may find some useful resources. In terms of other resources or some examples of that I’ve found:
Upper Midwest (this is a great guide)
I love the internet, but there is nothing like a good old book. Remember for what we are doing you really don’t need the most recent (and most expensive) current edition. Older editions (while maybe not having the most recent names) are a heck of a lot cheaper. Also check these books out via interlibrary loan before purchasing. I’ve provided links to Amazon, but you can also find a lot of these used via Half Priced Books, Abe Books.
(check out the used ones – there were fancy versions printed and paperback versions. The fancy versions are pretty pricey).
The "How to Know" series. These aren't comprehensive and really just deal with more common insects, but they are affordable, and a GREAT introduction to using taxonomic keys.
How to Know the Insects – Looks like this one has been updated and reprinted. Nice.
How to Know the Immature Insects – unfortunately very old with some rather dated and odd names
There are tons of books out there for anglers on trout stream insects. I know there are western US versions of some of these books and I’m sure there are international field guides as well. Here are a few that I have and use.
I hope you find these links of use and leave a comment if you know of other resources that folks may find useful.