Advice on getting insect signs idenitified?

This is the season when I seem to find lots of mystery insect signs: eggs, molts, chewed leaves, etc. Any suggestions on how to best tag these observations for identification? Or other resources, field guides, websites for identification? All suggestions welcome. Thanks!

I don’t know about US, but in Europe there are particular field guides on tree/plant damages. Maybe your forestry services have some resources on them, that’s a start.


I remember Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates, by Eiseman and Charney, being highly recommended during one of the iNat online workshops.
I haven’t had the opportunity to use it, but it has been on my list since then!


Well, if you don’t know what it is you can id them as winged insects (most of insects are in that group) and add annotations if you’re sure in any, and we’ll id it for you, there’re many resources on ids of things, including projects for US galls and leafminers (European too, plus whole website on them), if you need to id moult you’d like to look up insect larva, e.g. here or read up about whole groups, like here. Or you can tag one of iders.


If you find insect eggs you could try rearing them. I would assume they would most likely be on a leaf, and that plant could be the food source. Even a hatched larva could give clues as to what the insect type is.

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Not sure I’m brave enough to rear them, but the idea of including info on the host plant/food source is great advice! Thanks!

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