Beneficial bugs

A chalk-fronted corporal dragonfly

While the insects that give bugs a bad name – mosquitoes, gnats and flies – are out and about, so are the beneficial bugs like bees, butterflies and dragonflies. And as much as we hate the nasty insects, they can be beneficial too, serving as food for birds, frogs and even other good bugs themselves.

Here are a few handy websites for insect and bird identification.

Butterflies and Moths of North America’s website has a regional checklist which provides users with photos and information about the butterflies and moths in their particular region. People may also sign up for an account and have their sightings verified by an expert.

For dragonflies, the website also has a regional checklist with photos.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website,, has some useful tools for identifying birds.



A crimson-ringed whiteface dragonfly



An ebony jewelwing damselfly



An Eastern tiger swallowtail in flight



A swallowtail butterfly on a butterfly bush blossom



A bumble bee on a rhododendron blossom



An Eastern bluebird



A catbird who would rather eat jelly than bugs.



A frog in the sun

Crazy critters


Timus spies a bug on the porch ceiling.



Kyle and Kennedy butt heads.



Sherman (left) gives Buford a “pat” on the shoulder.

(Anna Applegate is a newsroom staffer at The Derrick and The News-Herald. She manages the Good Times. She can be emailed at