Nasty Reader Award #13: A General Rude Comment

Subject:  Why???
Date: 12/28/2018
Time: 08:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Why in the hell do you have a site called What’s That Bug when you don’t want to answer people asking exactly that? Pointless, flippant and plain rude. There’s nothing humorous about people suffering. I see you aren’t shy asking for donations. How about you educate yourself and actually answer people asking,  “What’s that bug?” Before asking for money.
Your Name:  Mason
Your Email:  [email protected]

Dear Mason,
It has been nearly two years since we have felt compelled to post a Nasty Reader Award, so you will probably be thrilled to learn that you are lucky #13.  We had a challenging December, with some technical difficulties occurring that prevented us from doing any posting for more than an entire week, and we can honestly say that we don’t believe we have gone that long without posting in many years.  Most days we try to make at least a few new posts, and we averaged more than three per day for 2018, though that average is considerably lower than our average of more than six new posts per day in 2010.  That said, we do answer letters, but our tiny staff is not able to answer every request we receive.  We offer a free service on the internet, which is not that common, and we make no apologies for accepting donations from grateful readers.  As of now, we have 26,519 unique postings on our site, most of which represent our tiny editorial staff answering the question “What’s That Bug?”  To you we say “Bug Off.”

6 thoughts on “Nasty Reader Award #13: A General Rude Comment”

  1. I want to thank you for your dedication and effort all these years. I love the site and I learn something new from nearly every single one of your posts.
    You provide a service that very few other websites do and you are more than entitled to collect donations for your time and effort.
    Wishing you continued success in the New Year and beyond!

    • Thanks for your kind words Vanessa. We have always come clean with our readership. We have no formal entomological training, just a love of the natural world, so we frequently make errors in our identification efforts, and we often depend upon the opinions of experts and from our general readership to correct those errors. We have never really liked the idea of having to run ads on our site, but that is a necessity to prevent us from losing money running a website that takes so much band width, which is why we provided a donation link several years ago. We still offer a free service, and as with all free services, there are drawbacks, like our inability to respond to every request we receive. At least those who do not get a response did not have to pay anything to get nothing, which is considerably better than paying for something and getting nothing. Have a wonderful New Year.

  2. I found this site in 2012 when I was in an entomology class and was IDing my insect collection. It was insanely helpful and now I follow it for fun! The book was awesome. One of your experts is in my area and I got to meet him (Eric Eaton)…it was like meeting a celebrity! I got to help with an insect survey in September with him.

    I submitted a couple of ID requests a few years back knowing it might not get answered. You guys did and I was so excited! (One was a pretty little fruit fly…the picture is actually my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.) I’ve also submitted requests to Reddit because there are helpful places there as well. BugGuide can also help. iNaturalist is a fabulous app (I was just this last year able to start using it). You guys aren’t the only ones out there and if you don’t answer…someone else probably can!

    You guys are amazing and I love that you have this website. I tell lots of people about it. It’s also kid-friendly, so great for kids to explore. Thank you for all you do!

    • Thanks for your kind words Amy. We do try our best to run a family friendly site. We are so happy you got to meet Eric Eaton. He is awesome.


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