Guidelines for Contributors

How to contribute to UKMoths

The UKMoths website aims to illustrate as many British moths as possible, preferably in their natural poses, rather than pinned or 'potted' specimens. Of course, it's a constantly expanding resource and will never be complete, but with your help, we can keep making it better and more useful for everyone!

Photo requirements

Please note, the idea behind UKMoths is not to be a general gallery of peoples' photos, but a guide to species and their identification. This means that if a species (or lifecycle stage) is already well-represented, then it's unlikely that I'll need additional photos of the same species. If you're looking for somewhere to publish such photos, then why not try uploading them to our Facebook Page?

Therefore, I'd prefer to receive mainly photos of British species not yet depicted (they don't necessarily have to have been taken in Britain), or other lifecycle stages where these don't feature. In particular, larvae and micro-moths in these categories will be very gratefully accepted.

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 photos of moths that fall into the above categories, and you'd like to contribute, then please get in touch by email via contributors@ukmoths.force9.co.uk

What species are you looking for?

There is a Wants List page that lists all species not yet illustrated; otherwise, please check the species page(s) that you have photos for and see if there's a lifecycle 'gap'.

What format should I submit?

Ideally, unretouched digital photos in jpeg format are the best. This allows me to crop/resize and scale the image to best meet the needs of the website. I used to ask for a specific size in pixels, but now I prefer to work with originals if possible. If you're a dab hand with Photoshop or other image editing software then I'm happy to receive adjusted or scaled-down versions, but preferably not less than 1000pixels on the longest edge.

Do I need to have my email address published?

No, absolutely not - it's entirely up to you. The website does generate quite a lot of enquiries from site visitors asking to use the photos in various ways, so it helps me a lot if you're happy to allow this, but please specify when you submit photos whether you prefer to publish your email address. There will generally be a copyright notice along with each photo either way, but it doesn't need to link to your email address.

Is there any other way I can help?

Yes! If you are willing to research and write some brief species descriptions for species not yet illustrated, that would be great! This is one of the most time-consuming aspects of site expansion for me, and is quite often why I get bogged down for long periods where nothing seems to happen. I regularly have a backlog of hundreds of emails containing photos and the main thing stopping progress is the knowledge that there are also hundreds of hours' work involved in putting those photos online.

If you are interested in helping in this way, check out the Wants List and see if there are any moths you'd like to write species accounts for. The format is relatively free-form, but I usually like to include the following:

  • Wingspan
  • Distribution/abundance
  • Habitat
  • Adult flight period
  • Foodplant information
  • Any other pertinent info, e.g. brief ID details

There's no specific layout or format, but I like to present the species account in a conversational rather than structured arrangement. I'm happy to credit you by name on the species page too if you wish.

How should I get photos or descriptions to you?

Easy - just email me at contributors@ukmoths.force9.co.uk with the photos or species account. If you're sending photos of new species for the site, and want to create a species account too, that would be brilliant!

I sent you photos ages ago - why have they not appeared on the site?

Well, I apologise, but I do get huge backlogs of submissions sometimes, especially in the mothing season, and I have a busy lifestyle outside of the website too. Sometimes UKMoths has to take a back seat to business and family commitments for a while.

Ian, you never answered my email!

I know, I'm sorry again! I receive loads of email generated by the site, and find it difficult to answer every one individually, though I do read them all.

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