Georgeous photograph of first instar baby brown mormorated sitnk bug nymphs on a leaf with their eggshells.


We're Crazy About Bugs!

How do you identify an insect in a photo?

Crisp photo of a Lacewing with a reflection on black glass.

The Smart Way to Identify a Bug in a Picture

The absolute best option is sending a real insect specimen to an insect diagnostician, but that kind of help is costly and time consuming. Do not despair! The smart way to identify a bug from a photo you took, is to ask an expert. That’s right, people can still provide the best help identifying insects in pictures compared to any other approach. And there are some brilliant experts out there that will offer their help for free. In addition to this website, the author of InsectAsylum uses, contributes to, and trusts the BugGuide, and there are some amazing folks that do similar work at Reddit/r/whatsthisbug/ and Whats that bug?. All you have to do is seek an insect identification after you upload a picture. Simple as that.

The Fast Way to Identify a Bug in a Picture

You may not be patient enough to wait for somebody else to help you out. Free is great, but we live in a world where information is usually pretty easy to get, and often the timing of that is measured by the millisecond. Not being a bug expert yourself, you might find it hard to do the right internet search on "house bug identification" to find the insect identification help you need. You're going to be wasting lots of milliseconds of your day. The app store has some new bug identifier apps with a five star rating! Awesome sauce, or Snake oil? To be honest, these bug identifier apps are not quite ready for widespread use.

However, there is one super-fast app that is totally worth trying out. It is not specifically an insect identification app and it was only accurate 9 out of 20 times. It had reasonable guesses when used to identify bugs by picture, so it shows promise. That app was Google Lens. It is great for the impatient person. This method rapidly can point you in the right direction about half of the time. Good luck!

The Most Rewarding Way to Identify a Bug in a Picture

Learn about insects and let your brain become your own bug identification guide! Exploring insects can provide asylum from the everyday grind. Go for a hike, bring along a camera, and voila: unlimited opportunities for photographs of the world's most abundant and diverse creatures. It can be a load of fun! Use the pictures of bugs provided here to begin your journey and learn the insect orders. This will help you immensely. Then work on understanding the families, and even some species. At that point you won't need an expert very often. You will be able to help yourself!

Use Our Photograph-based Insect Identification Guide to Learn

Mobile phone being used to ID a bug.  The more info link is shown at the bottom center.
This picture guide will help guide you to identify a bug to the scientific order name.
More Attractive bug portraits, like the owlfly larvae here, are accessible in another gallery.

Colorful photo of a Blue Death Feigning Beetle - Asbolus verrucosus - eating a carrot.