Master list of insect authorities (class Insecta), a work in progress

"There are hardly any world authorities on any insect order, let alone all insects, so it's a tricky group." - Scott Loarie
It would be incredibly meaningful if we were able to find accredited authorities for at least most insect orders. This list documents my attempts to find them. Keep in mind that - with the exception of complete taxa and AntWeb - most of these authorities have not been officially adopted by iNaturalist as references for our Tree of Life and should not be used as a curatorial reference before consulting the iNat community and an admin. A list of implemented authorities can be found on the Curation Guide.

Italics denote an officially adopted authority.

Orders with complete sources

Order Blattodea (Cockroaches and Termites): Cockroach Species File Online
Order Dermaptera (Earwigs): Dermaptera Species File Online
Order Embiidina (Webspinners): Embioptera Species File Online
Order Ephemeroptera (Mayflies): Ephemeroptera of the World
Order Mantodea (Mantises): Mantodea Species File Online
Order Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies): World Odonata List
Order Orthoptera (Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Katydids): Orthoptera Species File [discussion]
Order Phasmida (Stick Insects): Phasmida Species File Online
Order Plecoptera (Stoneflies): Plecoptera Species File Online
Order Psocodea (Lice): Psocodea Species File Online
Order Siphonaptera (Fleas): FLEAS
Order Thysanoptera (Thrips): Paraneoptera Species File Online
Order Trichoptera (Caddisflies): Trichoptera World Checklist Database
Order Zoraptera (Zorapterans): Zoraptera Species File
Superorder Neuropterida (Neuropteridans - including Neuroptera, Megaloptera, and Raphidioptera): Neuropterida Species of the World (NSW)
___• Order Megaloptera (Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies)
_
• Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings and Allies)
__
__• Order Raphidioptera (Snakeflies)

Orders with partial sources

• Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
___Infraorder Staphyliniformia (Rove, Carrion, Hister, and Clown Beetles): StaphBase [suggested by @beetledude]
_
Superfamily Curculionoidea (Weevils): Curculionidae database by N. Yunakov
__
Family Phalacridae (Shining Flower Beetles): Phalacridae database by M. Gimmel
Order Diptera (Flies): Systema Dipterorum: The BioSystematic Database of World Diptera [suggested by @treegrow, with issues noted in the comments below]
__
Superfamily Sciaroidea (Fungus Gnats and Gall Midges): Fungus Gnats Online [suggested by @kitty12]
__
Family Culicidae (Mosquitoes): Mosquito Taxonomic Inventory
• Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps, and Sawflies)
__
Epifamily Anthophila (Bees): Discover Life bee species guide and world checklist
__
Family Formicidae (Ants): AntWeb
__
• "micro parasitic hymenoptera": Hymenoptera Online (HOL) [discussion]
• Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
__
Families Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, and Pieridae (Various Butterflies): ButterflyCorner's Family Tree
__
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies) in Africa: Afrotropical Butterflies and Skippers: A Digital Encyclopaedia [suggested by @cabintom]
__
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies) in India: Butterflies of India
__
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies) in North America: A Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada
• Order Notoptera (Notopterans)
__
Suborder Mantophasmatodea (Rock Crawlers): Mantophasmatodea Species File Online
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Hoppers, Aphids, and Allies): HemBases: Hemiptera Databases in MNHN-Paris [suggested by @psyllidhipster, though not all encompassing]
__
Family Miridae (Plant Bugs): On-line Systematic Catalog of Plant Bugs by R. Schuh [suggested by @wongun]
__
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (Cicadas, Hoppers, and Spittlebugs): 3I Interactive Keys and Taxonomic Databases [suggested by @nomolosx]
__
Superfamily Aphidoidea (Aphids): Aphid Species File Online
__
Superfamily Coreoidea (Leaf-footed Bugs): Coreoidea Species File Online
__
__• Superfamily Lygaeoidea (Seed Bugs): Lygaeoidea Species File Online

Orders completely missing sources

• Order Archaeognatha (Bristletails)
• Order Mecoptera (Scorpionflies, Hangingflies, and Allies)
• Order Strepsiptera (Twisted-winged Insects)
• Order Zygentoma (Silverfishes)

Posted by bobby23 bobby23, August 31, 2018 04:15

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

Observer

bobby23

Date

October 20, 2017 04:36 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Spotted Cucumber Beetle Diabrotica undecimpunctata

Observer

bobby23

Date

October 27, 2017 03:27 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

bobby23

Date

October 27, 2017 03:26 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth Malacosoma americana

Observer

bobby23

Date

May 16, 2018 05:06 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Four-spurred Assassin Bug Zelus tetracanthus

Observer

bobby23

Date

June 9, 2018 03:06 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Pondhawk Erythemis simplicicollis

Observer

bobby23

Date

July 5, 2018 09:42 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Metric Paper Wasp Polistes metricus

Observer

bobby23

Date

July 6, 2018 08:19 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Striped June Beetle Polyphylla occidentalis

Observer

bobby23

Date

July 6, 2018 08:22 AM EDT

Description

This is one of the prettiest animals I ever saw. It had all of the grace of a brontosaurus as it lumbered across the sidewalk, but it was no bigger than an almond (which is also happened to look like).

Comments

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Thanks for compiling this incredibly useful resource!

Posted by rowdius about 2 years ago (Flag)
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@rowdius thank you! Hopefully at least some of these can be used to establish more complete insect orders in the future.

Posted by bobby23 about 2 years ago (Flag)
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this is very useful bobby thanks for starting this - @hkmoths do you have some feedback on the lep section? @borisb and @wongun and @beetledude do you have other sources to add?

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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The following catalogue may added to the list.
Order Hemiptera
Family Miridae: On-line Systematic Catalog of Plant Bugs by R. Schuh. http://research.amnh.org/pbi/catalog/index.php

Posted by wongun about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Added, thanks!

Posted by bobby23 about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks for the @, @loarie.

In fact, I have a farily large number of sources to suggest -- in various insect orders / arthropod groups. Unfortunately I also have a very nasty deadline for my day job (with which I'm busy now, despite it not being day), immediately whereafter I am being sent away on a training workshop to become even more cleverer.

I trust that this can stand over until next weekend. If it cannot wait, please PMessage me and I shall make a plan within making a plan.

Rn

Posted by beetledude about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Of course, @beetledude. Share whenever you have the time. The interest alone is appreciated!

Posted by bobby23 almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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I expect @psyllidhipster & @glmory may have some sources.

Posted by wongun almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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I have been working off of Aphids on the World’s Plants ( www.aphidsonworldsplants.info )which pretty much matches the reference you posted. Seems like it would be straight forward to implement it as the official source for aphids anywhere in the world.

Posted by glmory almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Hemiptera Databases network ( https://www.hemiptera-databases.org/ ) has a few very good sources for various groups. As far as Sternorrhyncha is concerned:
Psylloidea: https://www.hemiptera-databases.org/psyllist/
Aleyrodoidea (Whiteflies) : https://www.hemiptera-databases.org/whiteflies/

For Coccoidea, there is ScaleNet: http://scalenet.info/fams/

Posted by psyllidhipster almost 2 years ago (Flag)
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Regarding African butterflies. ADBD is in very poor shape and can't be trusted. I'm surprised to see it here.

Much better is the Lepidopterist Society of Africa's "Afrotropical Butterflies and Skippers
A Digital Encyclopaedia" (http://metamorphosis.org.za/?p=articles&s=atb).

Actually, in practice its what curators of African butterflies have been following.

Posted by cabintom about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks, @cabintom. I was unaware of the Afroptropical Butterflies and Skippers" - I only knew of ADBD. I have updated the list above. Do you know of any butterfly ranks above genus that are exclusively endemic to Africa?

Posted by bobby23 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@bobby23 I haven't considered that question before, so I don't have an answer I can immediately give. Though I would imagine there are certain tribes or sub-tribes that are endemic to the Afrotropical area.

Posted by cabintom about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@bobby23 How about Fungus Gnats Online for Sciaroidea?

Posted by kitty12 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Great resource, @kitty12. Thank you! I have added it to the list.

Posted by bobby23 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@edanko @treegrow @upupa-epops since we're on the topic of Diptera, do any of you know of any other taxonomic authorities / aggregators for flies? I know its a large order, so I don't expect there to be any references for the entire order, but (from the perspective of someone who does not study insects) it is plausible that more well-studied branches - such as Muscoidea, Tephritoidea, or Syrphidae - may have dedicated authorities out there.

Posted by bobby23 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Systema Dipterorum is the standard reference for Diptera names. However, they don't provide a bulk download of their data. Many of the names are also available from Catalogue of Life, but they have an old version from 2011.

Posted by treegrow about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Not all names, obviously, but a systematic guide to the dizzying number of Coleoptera higher taxa. https://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=4001

Posted by kitty12 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thank you @kitty12. Alas, the paper of Bouchard &al (2011) that you linked to for Coleoptera higher classification has become desperately out of date. The current scheme for beetles on iNaturalist is much closer to the truth as it stands today.

Posted by beetledude about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Regarding Afrotropical butterflies, I strongly agree with @cabintom that ADBD has become unusably unreliable and out of date, and I am happy to see that the LepSocAfrica / Williams encyclopedia has been suggested to take the place of ADBD.

Posted by beetledude about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@beetledude What a shame that 2011 is already out of date. I wonder if the authors are revising?

Posted by kitty12 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@kitty12
I would certainly not call it a "shame" that a paper of 972 pages had become outdated in 8 years' time. I would rather call that a triumphant sign that the taxonomy of Coleoptera is undergoing a taxonomic revolution in our very lifetime, similar to many, many other groups of organisms. It's difficult to keep up. A new family of beetle was described this week.

I don't believe that the original authors of the 2011 work will prepare an update. Their work (about 800 pages of the total) has been done: they cleared up nomenclatural problems at the family-group level throughout the order. That will stand the test of time, but that is not what their paper is used for most. I don't think that it was ever their intention that the introductory 100 pages (classification) would become the international standard for a decade. Their paper was, in fact, meant to be nomenclatural, perhaps exclusively so. But they compiled a workable classification, even though there are some quaint and oldfashioned ideas therein, outdated even for 2011, upon its publication.

This was, however, incontestably a watershed paper. What is happening now is that numerous teams work towards comparable tomes for smaller groups within the Coleoptera, mostly at the level of superfamily; at times at the level of family. A new edition of Bouchard &al (2011) will likely run not to almost 1,000 pages, but to 10,000.

Posted by beetledude about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Are any of you familiar with well-curated aggregators for any descending groups of Coleoptera (e.g. some more charismatic families/subfamilies like Coccinellidae, Curculionidae, Lucanidae, or Dynastinae)?

Posted by bobby23 about 1 year ago (Flag)
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@bobby23
Bobby, they simply do not exist. For the Coccinellidae I mostly work from a catalogue from the 1930s. Most comprehensive curc catalogues are older, but there are spanky new ones for the northern hemisphere. Available in PDF. I've got a very modern resource for the world Dynastinae, fortunately: 1980, and written in a cross between English and Hungarian. Available on yellowing East European paper.

Give us a break, man. We're working on it. ;-)

Sooner or later us coleopterists will get to bird or mammal level. (Rather later than sooner.) Like this magnificent marvellous catalogue of the Staphyliniformia, which took the eminenent Al Newton 40 years to complete:

StaphBase: https://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/details/database/id/204.

Oh that you may certainly use! Just keep up with the continuous and unrelenting updates. But PUHLEEZE don't use the stinkin' Catalogue of Life for any other Coleoptera -- with the exception of StaphBase, CoL is worse to much worse to extremely much worse than what we already have on iNaturalist.
 

Posted by beetledude about 1 year ago (Flag)
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Should Catalogue of the Craneflies of the World (https://ccw.naturalis.nl/) be included here?

Posted by michaelpirrello 7 months ago (Flag)
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Also, Systema Dipterorum keeps timing out, is it still available?

Posted by michaelpirrello 7 months ago (Flag)
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I would move discussion over to the forum. @bouteloua brought all of this information there, which is honestly a lot more convent. (This journal post was made in a pre-iNatForum world, truly a dark era.) Here's a link to that post: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/taxonomic-resources-for-insects-wiki/11584

This is the first I'm hearing of Crane Flies of the World. I see no reason why it should not be included.

Systema Dipterorum was available as recently as two weeks ago (or at least that is when I was last there), so I assume the site is having temporary issues and will be restored in the near future.

Posted by bobby23 7 months ago (Flag)
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Posted by optilete 7 months ago (Flag)

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