Dear contributor,

We look forward to your contributions to this free, citizen-contributed, peer-reviewed encyclopedia of Indian Moths, which can be viewed at

We very much welcome your contributions in the form of media files (mainly individual photographs, but also identification keys, line drawings, etc.). These files could show distinctive characteristics of a moth species, or its morphological variation, habits, habitat, early stages (eggs, caterpillars and pupae), and so on. The media files will form a bulk of the species pages and most of our user contributions.

Register and contribute images at
but please read the guidelines below before you do so.

Upload of identified species
At this point in time, we would strongly urge contributors to submit moth images that have already been identified with suitable references for confirming species’ identities. No references are required for species already uploaded on the MOI website; references are only need for species pages that are yet to be created and are not yet on the website. Identified species, with detailed references (sample below) will be given priority for review. 

We encourage providing detailed references (sample below)
Syllepte sellalis (Guenée, 1854) 
1.    OD: Botys sellalis Guenée, 1854. Delt. & Pyr. Pg. 330. TL: Sylhet. Text at ( in French). 
2.    Hampson, G. F. 1896. The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Moths, Vol.4. Taylor & Francis, London. Pyralidae 594 p - 287 332, # 4964. 
3.    Kendrick, R. 2002. Moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera) of Hong Kong. Plate 16/28. 
4.    Sondhi, S. Karmakar, T., Sondhi, Y. & K. Kunte. 2021. Moths of Tale Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India with seventeen additions to the moth fauna of India (Lepidoptera: Heterocera). Tropical Lepidoptera Research 31(Supplement 2): 1-53. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5062572.Pl 1/23. Incorrectly identified as Patania verecunda. 
6. confirms placement as Syllepte sellalis

We also encourage mentioning similar species, for confirming species identities. Many genera on the website already have these species lists which can be viewed in the Taxonomic Information tab at the link below.

Upload of unidentified species
We would strongly urge you to identify species with references before you submit an observation for review. We request you to use our website to try and identify your species before uploading them. Submissions of unidentified species without references will receive low priority for review. If at all unidentified species are being uploaded, they should be well-marked, distinctive moths, and not cryptic species, which are normally impossible to identify using photographs alone. 

All your contributions are peer-reviewed by a group of experts before they appear on the website; hence your contributions will take time before they appear on the website. 

Uploads of early stages and life cycles of moths
Larval stages, which have not been identified or reared to an adult, should not be uploaded. There is insufficient information on early stages of most moth families to attempt identification without the entire life cycle. Incomplete life cycles will not be considered for review. 

First time contributors
If this is the first time you are considering contributing to Moths of India, please read the guidelines in their entirety before submitting your files and associated information. It is a long list, but please pay attention since this affects the quality of images and other data displayed on this website. Also, review the media guide below.

1. Registration
Registration - please register using your email/Google/Twitter/Facebook at

When completing the registration form, the copyright field is your name either in full or with initials, for example: D. Sawant or Dattaprasad Sawant, Kuschel Gurung, Biju P. S., Dahru Veino, and Nagraj V., as it appears in your formal ID card. Please do not have all capital letters or small letters, or superfluous punctuations, in your name, but do use full stops for initials (e.g., Biju P. S. and Nagraj V.). Also, no honorifics ('Dr.', 'Prof.', 'Mr.", etc.).

2. Uploading observations

Uploading observations to the Moths of India website 
Log in to the website using the details you provided to register. Go the tab “Upload observations” at

Select “Organism” as “Moth” (Currently this appears as "Butterfly" on a temporary basis). 

Choose “Life stage” from drop down menu, such as Adult, Caterpillar, etc. 

1/Moth taxon already existing on the Moths of India website
Conduct a “Search” to ascertain whether this species has already been uploaded on to the website. If yes, then, select the taxon from the drop down menu. 

Upload your image. 
Unlimited number of image files may be uploaded to this field, but we recommend 1-5 images per observation. 
A limit of 10 MB per file is applicable. Allowed file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif. We prefer that you submit images in 1,500 x 1,000 pixel dimensions, although other dimensions above a min. of 1,000 pixels is acceptable. 
Images will be resized to 1,500 x 1,000 pixels on the website, including the black border and text fields in the prescribed format.

Select the date, month and year from the drop-down menu. 

Select the Gender, if known. If not known, leave the default selection as “None”. 

Select your location from the drop-down menu. If your location is not in the data base, you can add the location using the instructions. If you are doing this, you are also encouraged to add altitude, latitude and longitude. 

Save your submission. 

2/ Moth taxon not existing on the Moths of India website

If the taxon search does not reveal the taxon you would like to upload, then leave the taxon blank. Upload image, add date and location as above. Add your species ID and provide sufficient references for your identification in the “Notes” section. We encourage you to also add the Similar species in the notes that you make. 

There are many moth species that cannot be identified to species level without examining specimens, genitalia or using phylogeny. Hence, for species whose identities cannot be confirmed by photographs alone, you can upload provisional identities with appropriate notes in the “Similar species” section. An example of this can be seen at “Odontocraptis hasora” which has been provisionally identified as Odontocraptis cf. hasora

3. Please make sure your images do not have logos, borders, watermarks, copyrights or anything else that is not part of the original image file. Information about the images, including your copyright, gets automatically added to the images as they are published on the website. Images with text or borders added by you cannot be used on this website.

5. Each media file will be assigned a unique media code by the website. In case a user wants to refer to a specific media file, the unique media code will be used as the digital object identifier. We will maintain a database of the media files to keep track of the contributors and their contributions.

6. At a minimum, we request the following information: (a) Precise locality where the picture was taken. If the picture was taken in a wildlife sanctuary or national park, mention that information specifically. If the picture was taken in a place without a specific name, mention the general locality, nearest town, and state. (b) Date on which the picture was taken. (c) Name of the copyright holder for individual media files. It is all right if you are submitting files on behalf of someone else, provided that the original copyright holders are aware that you are submitting the files for this website and they have explicitly granted you permission to submit the images on their behalf. This will ensure that we will not use someone's copyrighted material without their knowledge and express permission. Generally, we encourage people to submit only their own copyrighted material.

When known, please add gender and seasonal form of the individual. If known, also choose whether the female was laying eggs. There are separate fields where you can enter this type of information. This adds valuable information for the users, which gets data based, and improves search results.

When an image is auto-formatted and published online, this information is displayed in the manner shown in this sample media guide:

7. All the information and images contributed and subsequently displayed on the website are automatically databased. The database is the backbone of all our searches and maps, and it is centred on spot records. A spot record is a record of an individual butterfly/mating pair/egg(clutch)/caterpillar/pupa. One spot record may be represented by multiple images (e.g., upper and underside of an individual, a full view and a close-up, or a pupation sequence). So, if you are contributing multiple images of the same individual taken at the same time, then those images should be uploaded at the same time as a single spot record, i.e., an "observation" (select the entire set of images for the same spot record when you upload images for that observation). Then those images will be given separate media codes but in the database they will represent the same individual/spot record/observation. If you photograph multiple individuals of a species at the same time and place, they should be uploaded separately as they represent distinct spot records. If you document the lifecycle of a butterfly from a single caterpillar, each image should be uploaded separately since, e.g., the early instar, the late instar and the pupa would have been photographed on different days.

8. We require the image quality to be good. Images that do not meet quality standards will be rejected. However, images of very rare species may be accepted even if they are not so good because those species are not well-represented on the website, anyway. Please do not upload multiple images of the same individual recorded at the same location and date, unless they are showing different features of the same moth. 

9. After submission, each and every media file will be checked for accuracy of identification and associated data by members of the website team. This applies to all the media files, even those contributed by the most reliable moth biologists in India. Such peer review is critical in maintaining high standards of information on the website. Please check your contributions once they appear online. If you disagree with species determination by the website team or spot any other issues, write to us to discuss the reasons.

10. The copyright of individual images remains with the contributors. We ensure that the individual copyright is mentioned in every place where the images appear to give the photographers fair credit for their valuable work. However, please note that the Indian Foundation for Butterflies holds the copyright on compiled information, including the images, that is on the Moths of India website. Therefore, even if photographers hold copyright for the individual images, once contributed to the website, images cannot be retracted by the photographers because they form the copyrighted compilation on the website. Also, please read our authorship policy. Contributors implicitly agree to these guidelines and policies when they contribute their photographs and other media files to the Moths of India website.

Please send your feedback, comments and notes about bugs to the editors by email (Sanjay Sondhi [] or Rachit Singh [], Yash Sondhi [], Jonathan D’silva []) or by using the Contact form at

We look forward to your contributions to this free, citizen-contributed, peer-reviewed, reference website on Indian moths. We are all working to build this website on a voluntary basis but, as a team, we are working almost round the clock to peer-review and process your images and put them online. So please be patient if your images do not appear online immediately. Peer review sometimes takes time, but it is an important step.

Thank you in advance for your contributions to the website, and welcome to the group of contributors who make this public web-resource on Indian biodiversity so valuable for all.
Best regards

The Moths of India team

Page citation

Singh, R. and Sondhi, S. 2022 2023. CONTRIBUTING MEDIA FILES (PHOTOS) TO MOTHS OF INDIA . In Sondhi, S., Y. Sondhi, R.P. Singh, P. Roy and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 3.60. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.