The UKmoths website aims to illustrate as many British moths as possible, preferably in their natural poses, rather than the 'pinned' specimens found in many reference guides. Of course, this online encyclopaedia is always expanding, (and will never be complete!) but with your help, we can build a useful resource for everyone.Photos required - please read!
Please note the idea behind UKmoths is not meant to be a gallery of peoples' photos, but a guide to species and identification. This means that if a species (or lifecycle stage) is already depicted, then it's unlikely that I am looking for additional photographs of the same thing. I receive hundreds of photographs of Poplar Hawk-moths and other striking species, but of course I can't use them all.
Therefore, I'd prefer to receive mainly photographs of British species not yet depicted, or other lifecycle stages where these don't yet feature. In particular, larvae and micro-moths in these categories will be very gratefully accepted. (Check the Wants List for a list of species not yet illustrated).
Also, the more natural-looking the photo, the better. I'm trying to reduce the number of 'in-pot' or artificial background photos for a more aesthetic approach.
If you have good-quality photographs of moths that fall into the above categories, and you would like to contribute to this effort, the following are some guidelines to help smooth the process.
What format can I submit?
Ideally, JPEG format files, of around 600-800 pixels along the longest edge, with medium compression level. This should produce a file something in the region of 100-200Kb, depending on the complexity of the image.
Although the final images when placed on the website are around 350-400 pixels on the longest edge, it pays to start with a higher resolution. This produces a better thumbnail image, and there is now an arrangement where these higher resolution photos can be accessed as links from the smaller images.
I do have photos, but not in electronic format.
No problem. I have access to a high-resolution 35mm transparency scanner, as well as a flatbed scanner, and I am more than willing to scan any photos in return for their use on the website. In addition, I will gladly create a CD-rom of your high-resolution scans, so that you can use the images in your own documents & projects etc.
What's in it for me?
Well, apart from the knowledge that you are assisting in the production of a very worthwile resource, not a great deal. I can't offer any financial incentive. In fact running the website costs me a fair amount. To help with this, I produce a CD version which I make available to interested parties for a small donation towards the website running costs. Please ensure you are happy for your photos to be distributed in this way before you agree to contribute.
Why does it take so long for my pictures to appear on the website?
Hmm... Just that I'm a busy chap with family commitments and so on. I usually upload a reasonable number at once, so it may be some time before a particular batch gets included. For each new species, I also have to research and write a piece of descriptive text, and this can take some time. In peak periods, (May-September) the website generates a huge amount of personal email which I always try to respond to. This takes up much of my evening most days, reducing the amount of time I can spend on the website itself.
So how do I proceed?
Check the limitations above, then if you have any jpeg images, just email them to me with details of location, and whether you would like your email address publishing as acknowledgement. If you prefer, you can send them in the post on floppy disk etc. If you have any photos you would like scanning, please get in touch by email and we can arrange something. Either way, you can email me via this link.