FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I use the images and sounds I find on SINA in my own material?

When I notice errors or omissions in SINA, how should I report them?

How can I contribute new information, images, or sounds to SINA?

How should I cite SINA in the "References Cited" section of a paper?

What is the relation between SINA and Orthoptera Species File Online?

How can I speed the downloading of calling songs and original literature?

Why doesn't SINA use MP3 compression to allow songs to be downloaded more quickly?

How were the distribution maps for crickets and katydids made?

Why won't my computer play the calling songs of crickets and katydids that are posted on SINA?


Can I use the images and sounds I find on SINA in my own material?
Most material on SINA is copyrighted, and in many cases you must receive permission from the copyright holder to use it. When permission is not required you should still acknowledge the source of material you use. For details, see Copyrights (ours and others).

When I notice errors or omissions in SINA, how should I report them?
For crickets and katydids, send the information to tjw@ufl.edu. For cicadas, send it to temoore@umich.edu. Please help us by doing this, but please note that sections under construction will be incomplete and may not have been proofed. (For construction information, see Construction Progress and the tables that show stage of completion for subfamilies of crickets and katydids.)

How can I contribute new information, images, or sounds to SINA?
See Contributing to SINA.

How should I cite SINA in the "References Cited" section of a paper?
The examples below illustrate what information should be included when citing SINA. Teachers and journal editors have widely divergent templates for how this information should be arranged and punctuated within a citation.

To cite the entire web site, use--
Walker, T. J., and T. E. Moore. 2010. Singing insects of North America. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/Buzz/
[The year should be the year in which the information was taken from the site. (Some editors may require that a more exact date-of-access be given elsewhere in the citation.)]

For items in the cricket portion of SINA, use--
Walker, T. J. 2010. Crickets. in Singing insects of North America. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/Buzz/crickets.htm
[The year should be the year in which the information was taken from the site.]

For items in the katydid portion SINA, use--
Walker, T. J. 2010. Crickets. in Singing insects of North America. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/Buzz/katydids.htm
[The year should be the year in which the information was taken from the site.]

For items in the cicada portion of SINA, use--
Moore, T. E. 2010. Cicadas. in Singing insects of North America. http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/Buzz/c700home.htm
[The year should be the year in which the information was taken from the site.]

What is the relation between SINA and Orthoptera Species File Online?
Orthoptera Species File Online (http://osf2.orthoptera.org/basic/HomePage.asp) is worldwide in its coverage of crickets and katydids. Although it has many images and sounds, it is only moderately useful in identifying species. On the other hand, it is the most complete and up-to-date source of information on the scientific names of crickets and katydids. For example, it lists all synonyms for each species, including the type locality and the depository of the type specimen. Some of the images in SINA are from OSFO and some of the songs on OSFO are from SINA. On each species page in SINA, under Nomenclature is a link to that species in OSFO, and on each corresponding page in OSFO is a link to the species page in SINA.

How can I speed the downloading of calling songs and original literature?
The WAV files of songs and the PDF files of literature are often so large that downloading via a modem connection to the Internet takes many minutes. Short of using a computer with a bigger pipe to the Internet or upgrading your own computer's connection, there is little you can do to speed the process. In the future, we may offer CD-ROM "snapshots" of SINA. The CD-ROMs will have all the files that made up SINA on the date of the snapshot and will give the user rapid access to all components of SINA other than its links to other web sites.

Why doesn't SINA use MP3 compression to allow songs to be downloaded more quickly?
In MP3 compression, acoustical information deemed unimportant to human listening is discarded. On the other hand, WAV files retain all the information that was captured from the original analog signal when it was digitized. Some of the information discarded in MP3 compression may be important to insect listening or to human interpretation of the physical nature of the songs.

MP3 versions of WAV files already on line may be added to SINA in the future, but adding the means to identify species by their morphology, ecology, and season is of higher priority. Please note that SINA provides truncated or truncated-and-downsampled versions of larger WAV files to give some relief to those who lack broadband connections to the Internet.

How were the distribution maps for crickets and katydids made?
Short answer: Mostly from records originally entered manually in twelve notebooks.

More detailed answer:
From 1958 until 1998, TJW and helpers entered data on geographical and seasonal distribution onto sheets in twelve 2-inch looseleaf notebooks. For each species separate sheets were used to enter records based on Specimens Examined [in museums or in the field], Song Records [tape recording or listening], and Notes and Literature [records from personal communications or the published literature].

Each record on these sheets occupied one line, with fields for Specimens [number, sex(es), stage(s)], State, County, Locality, Date [with TJW's field-notes number, if any, added in parentheses], and Source [collection, person, or author/year/page].

The records for each species were analyzed to give, for each county in which the species occurred, a rank in this hierarchy: Specimen and Associated Song [specimen tape recorded or heard, and collected], Specimen and Song but not Associated, Specimen Only, Tape Recording of Song Only, Heard Only, Literature or Personal Communication.

For each species, county records were entered onto a base map of the United States that showed the outlines of all counties. Each county for which there was one or more records received a mark to indicate the record of highest rank.

These 10x16-inch, manually made maps became the basis of simplified distribution maps that showed county records as black dots and had shaded areas to show the likely general distribution. Such "dot distribution maps" were made in CorelDraw onto templates that had the outlines of the states of the United States and the provinces of Canada. Most were originally made as constituents of plates of maps in a Handbook of Crickets and Katydids (an inactive project). Consequently they were made with a standard vertical dimension and with minimal, modular horizontal dimensions. Although these maps were made on a computer, the dots indicating county records had to be manually placed. Dots were omitted when the density of records was excessive, and Florida's Monroe County was allowed up to three dots (mainland, Upper Keys, and Lower Keys). Canadian records were added to the maps directly from the maps in The Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Related Insects of Canada and Adjacent Regions (Vickery & Kevan 1985). A dot distribution map is now at upper left in the array of thumbnail images on each species page of SINA.

In 1998 TJW began a project to transfer the notebook records to an Access database and to automate the production of county-level distribution maps by exporting records to SAS/Graph. The transfer of the notebook records to the database has been completed as has a program for automated map making. The final step, begun in September 2003, is to verify the records in the Access database by comparing the computer-made maps with the original, manually made ones. Once the database records for a species are verified in this manner, the computer-made map is posted on SINA and made accessible via a link from the page that displays the dot distribution map for the species.

Sample computer-made map
Details of the "GrylTett" database and how maps are made from it.


Why won't my computer play the calling songs of crickets and katydids that are posted on SINA?

There are many possible answers to your question. Below is a troubleshooting procedure that may help.

(1) Will your computer play local .wav files? [Calling songs on SINA are posted as .wav files.]

How to find out: Find a .wav file by using the Search or Find function of your operating system (search for *.wav) and double-click on it. If your computer does not produce an audible sound, go to (2). If it does produce one, go to (3).

(2) Some possible reasons that your computer will not play a .wav file even when local and accessed directly:

No sound board [sound boards can be separate cards or integrated into the computer's mother board].

Speakers not connected to sound board.

Speakers not connected to power source.

Volume control on the speaker is set to "off" or very low.

Volume control of computer's sound board set to "Mute" or very low.

(3) Will your computer play a brief, low-pitched call posted on the SINA site?
How to find out: click here for a link to a 1.5 s wav file of a song of the sand field cricket. If you hear three chirps (but did not hear the song that sent you to this FAQ), go to (4). If you hear nothing, go to (5).

(4) Some reasons that your browser will play a brief, low-pitched call but not the one that sent you here:

Your connection to the Internet is slow and the .wav file than your computer failed to play took longer to download than you or your browser were willing to wait.

The song you didn't hear played but it was too high in pitch for you to hear.

(5) Some possible reasons that your computer plays local .wav files but not those on SINA (even when brief and low-pitched):

Your browser lacks a plugin needed to play sounds from the Internet.

Your browser hasn't the driver required to play .wav files.