On our regional range maps, we color in entire states and provinces, and similarly, our West Virginia range maps color in entire counties. This can sometimes be misleading, especially in the largest states and counties, where the particular insect species may live in only a part of the area that is colored in. In the cases of large provinces such as Ontario and Quebec, it is often the case that the insect species in question lives in only the far southern part of the province, and the insect is not as cold-tolerant as a glance at the map might suggest.
Under-collecting in many states, provinces, and counties can also make the range maps misleading. The fact that a geographic subdivision isn't colored in on the map may signify that the species doesn’t live in that area, or alternatively that the insect species does live there but has not yet been collected and reported.
On the regional maps, West Virginia is colored in for a particular species based on the fact that we have photographed the species in West Virginia. In some cases, there are also published records from the state of West Virginia. When Upshur County is colored in, it is usually on the basis of our having photographed the species in Upshur, our home county.
On both the regional maps and the West Virginia maps, the light green color signifies areas that have reported the species.
Our counties, states, and provinces page provides maps that includes the names of those subdivisions, which may prove helpful since our range maps do not include that information.
Most of our West Virginia records are from sources listed in our Works Consulted page for Neuroptera and Megaloptera. Revisions of genera and subfamilies often gave extensive lists of records of each species. For documenting distribution of various species in West Virginia counties, the work of Donald C. Tarter was especially useful.
On-line sources have also been quite useful. BugGuide.net provides photographs of species with date and locality records. Also useful are the many university insect collections that are providing their collection data on-line. Three especially good sites that are adjuncts to traditional pinned collections are: The Canadian National Collection; Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology; and the University of New Hampshire Insect and Arachnid Collections curated by Donald Chandler.
We would be glad to hear of corrections and additions to the ranges shown on the range maps. To keep the maps as accurate as possible, new range information should be based on a determination by a professional entomologist or other subject expert, or based on a publicly accessible photographic record. For the latter, the best location to place such a record is BugGuide.net, where typically dozens of people double-check the accuracy of the identification.