Instructions for using LEP WING ID
Submit An Image For Identification Assistance.
A) Prior to uploading your digital photograph of an unknown species edit the image to be: jpg; RGB or sRGB; not to exceed 400 pixels in width (this allows our program to automatically proportionately resize your image to fit our requirements for matching images with one another). HINT: The image should show a flat wing surface that is more or less perpendicular to the plane of the camera lens. Also, during editing you should crop your image so the subject fills most of the frame. If you are interested in using one of our “test” images left click on TEST IMAGES in the sidebar menu.
B) Please enter your name and email address. We ask for this information because every upload is tagged with a time stamp and we are conducting a study of user interests.
C) Left click on BROWSE to review your folders/files and select the image to be uploaded by highlighting the selected file and then left click on UPLOAD. Wait a few seconds for your image to appear.
STEP 2: Define The Image Boundary.
A) Left click and hold on the image to drag the cropping tool to frame the subject in as tight a box as possible. HINT: start the cropping drag at the upper left corner to get the box edges to just miss touching the front edge and outer edge of the wing; drag to the bottom right corner to enclose the specimen with little or no extraneous background showing.
B) Click on SUBMIT to enter your defined image boundary.
C) You are now viewing your bounded image, if OK then click on SAVE or to go back and redo the boundary click on REDEFINE.
STEP 3: Define The Reference-Signature Mark.
A)Left click and hold to drag the cropping tool to enclose the area of the wing you wish to select as the reference mark that our program will use for image matching. HINT: a smaller reference area will result in a faster search. Avoid crossing the line between the forewing and the hindwing and avoid referencing pixels outside the wing margins.
B) Left click on SAVE REFERENCE MARK. You are now looking at the area of the wing to be submitted for matching your image with an image in our library.
C) To reject (repeat) your selection of the reference mark left click on REDO CROP; to accept your selection of reference mark left click on CONTINUE.
STEP 4: Choose Search Mode.
Either, left click on SIMPLE to search all images in the library. The program will automatically initiate the search. HINT: this is extremely slow.
Or, left click on ADVANCED to use certain criteria (color, wing surface, group, Family, Genus) for a faster search.
STEP 5: Advanced Search Criteria.
Pick one attribute within each category A-E.
A)Wing surface. Choose among: ‘not sure’, ‘dorsal’ (topside), or ‘ventral’ (underside).
B)Identify the color. Based on the forewing (even if you selected a reference mark on the hindwing) choose the primary color considering the surface (dorsal or ventral) you selected in the preceding step. If you selected ‘not sure’ for the wing surface then select the color exhibited on the dorsum.
HINTS: consider white to include: crème, very light grey, and off-white; consider grey to include silver and light black; consider black to include: dark grey and charcoal; consider brown to include: tan and chocolate; consider blue to include: navy blue, purple, turquoise, and aqua; consider green to include: lime/lemon green; consider yellow to include: mustard and gold; consider orange to include: butterscotch; consider red to include: pink and maroon.
Because many species show a wide range in the degree of brown-grey; red-orange, black-blue, and so on, we have scored the species liberally. Many species have been assigned multiple color categories. So, if a wing looks black in the shadows but deep navy blue in the sun then we have scored the color both ways. If you have difficulty determining the color to select, and your advanced search does not offer a satisfactory match to your specimen, then repeat the search based on a different color.
C)Group of Lepidoptera. Choose among: ‘not sure, ‘butterfly’, or ‘moth’.
D)Family name. Choose either ‘not sure’, or, if you are sure of (or want to guess) the family name then select that name within the drop-down list. Among the butterflies we have included danaines within the Nymphalidae but list satyrines as Satyridae. This is not a comment on classification but an aid to create a smaller search unit. Similarly, we have retained the traditional Family names for the macromoths.
E)Run search. You have completed the selection of advanced search criteria.
To run the search left click SEARCH LIBRARY.
STEP 6: Interpretation Of Results.
In due time a set of up to five images will appear that the program selected as the best match to your reference mark. We have designed the program to rank the images (top to bottom) based on a numeric value that represents the degree of matching of our library image to your submitted reference mark. Note that this is not a ranking of best names, but instead a value that measures the match in pattern, position, and color of your previously selected reference mark with an image in our library. The top ranked image will not necessarily provide the most likely species identification, although in many cases it will. Please use this information with caution in your desire to put a name to the subject of your submitted image. Use the images in the search results to assist you in obtaining an identification based on your ability to see similarities in the butterfly or moth when viewed in its entirety. Furthermore, caution in accepting a name presented in the search results is required because: 1) reference marks are not necessarily diagnostic and unique to any one species, and 2) the resident library of images that are searched by our program is restricted to a small number of species of butterflies and moths. We do not have images of all of the known species in our library. Therefore, we expect the user to determine if the similarity between the submitted image and the search results provides a suitable match.
HINT: one way to test the search results is to conduct a second search using a different reference mark and alter any advanced criteria that were chosen with less than 100% confidence.