Insect ID Apps: Which is Best?

“Wow, I’ve never seen that bug before! I wonder what it is.” With over one million identified insect species on the planet, it can be incredibly difficult to know which insect you’re viewing. That’s where an insect field guide can come in handy. But who wants to lug an insect guidebook around everywhere they go? Now you can, with the help of your smartphone! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite insect identification apps to help you decide which app best fits your wants and needs. After buzzing through this list, we hope you’ll bee inspired to download an insect ID app today!

Picture Insect: Bug Identifier

Picture Insect has an ever-growing database of insects and the expert advice of entomologists, leading it to be one of the top insect identification apps. With both free and premium options available, Picture Insect is perfect for the casual and the serious bug observer.

Cost: Free with a premium version available

Available On: Apple App Store and Google Play

How It Works:

To start identifying thousands of insects, click on the camera button. Either take a photo or upload an image for the app to analyze. Following the analysis, you will be presented with three species options from which to choose. Usually, the first species is correct, but the app does give additional species for your identification consideration. Each species includes photos, commonly asked questions, a description, an interesting story, and more. You can even read about whether the insect is harmful to humans or animals. To view your virtual insect collection, click on the Me tab at the bottom of your screen.

The app’s constant ads to purchase the premium version can get tiring at times. But, if you’re willing to upgrade to premium, those ads will disappear, and you’ll gain access to unlimited identifications and the ability to consult with entomologists through the app. Whether you choose to stay free or go premium, you’ll be bugging out about this app in no time!

Insect Identification

With a simple interface and no extra features weighing it down, Insect Identification is an easy-to-use, reliable ID app. Take or upload photos, learn more about your identified insects, and save your insect collection all within Insect Identification.

Cost: Free

Available On: Apple App Store and Google Play

How It Works:

Click on the plus button to get started. Take a picture or upload an image, and Insect Identification will analyze the photo. Following the analysis, you will receive an identified species with the app’s match percent certainty. Once the insect has been identified, you can learn more about it by returning to your collection on the home screen and clicking on the new insect.

Unlike other ID apps, Insect Identification does not have any additional features that sometimes get in the way. This app does contain ads, but they do not detract from the experience. If extra features tend to bug you, then make sure to check out the simple Insect Identification app.

Leps by Fieldguide

Big on butterflies and moths? Leps (short for the order Lepidoptera) focuses solely on identifying these particular insects. Learn more about the species you are viewing while connecting with other Lepidoptera enthusiasts through the app’s online community.

Cost: Free

Available On: Apple App Store and Google Play

How It Works:

To identify your first butterfly or moth, click on the Publish tab, and upload or take a picture of the insect. The Lepidoptera does not need to be in the adult life stage – you can upload a photo of a larva, nymph, or juvenile as well. Leps will analyze the image and provide you with multiple species options, depending on the quality of the photo. You can click on each species to read more information, see its global distribution map, and compare it to other similar species. Once you are certain of the identification, you may choose to publish your figure or return to the home screen. If you choose to publish your photo, then others in the Lepidoptera community can verify your identification. Within Leps, you may also search the field guide to find a particular species of interest.

Additionally, Leps can be used similar to a social media feed through posting your observations and viewing others’ posts. Should you choose to use this function, you can follow other users, and comment on and like their posts. It’s like Instagram, only for butterflies and moths. Spread your wings and fly and download this hidden gem of an app today!

Seek

Created by iNaturalist, Seek not only identifies insects but wildlife, plants, and fungi as well. It is a great all-around tool for the budding naturalist.

Cost: Free

Available On: Apple App Store and Google Play

How It Works:

To begin using Seek, you can either choose your location or bypass that feature and go directly to the identifier. Next, you can pick to take a picture, upload a photo, or hover your phone over the object you wish to identify, and Seek will analyze it in real-time. While the object is analyzed, you can watch as the app narrows down the taxonomic rank from domain to species level. Occasionally, the app is unable to identify the species, but it will be able to tell you the genus, family, order, or class. If you are interested in Citizen Science, Seek also connects directly with the iNaturalist app, a program used to collect observational data for scientists around the world.

If you are looking for a one-stop-shop app that includes both flora and fauna, Seek is a great free option to check out. It’s un-bee-lievable what you might discover!

Insects – they’re all the buzz, and now, they’re easier to identify than ever. Fly over to your favorite app store platform and download an insect ID app today! If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our articles on plant ID apps and bird ID apps as well. Until then, happy observing!