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Insects Unlocked

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
213 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 16, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Thanks to your support, Insects Unlocked is over half-way funded!

March 23, 2015

On Friday- a mere two days after launching our public domain image campaign- Insects Unlocked passed the 50% funded mark. We are well ahead of schedule, and extremely grateful for both the breadth and depth of support. 

Given the unexpected level of enthusiasm for our project, we are already thinking about expanding our scope and setting a stretch goal beyond our original $8k target. Our next update will request your feedback about a larger project, perhaps including more video, more field work, a better online interface, scanning electron microscopy, and other possibilities.

To celebrate the unexpected avalanche of support, we have spent part of the weekend creating new public domain images, which can be downloaded from our flickr page:

For those of you who claimed the social media shout-out ($20) perk, you have the option of us including a link to your website. Email us by Thursday, March 26, with your preferred URL, sent to alex.wild (at) utexas (dot) edu with "insects perk" in the subject line.

And again, thanks for supporting free, open, high-quality entomological media.

Alex Wild

Insects Unlocked


We did it! Insects Unlocked meets its goal and aims for $14000

March 30, 2015

One week after launching, your donations carried Insects Unlocked soaring past our $8k goal! Thanks, everyone! We are grateful for your enthusiasm and humbled by your support.

Our original project was modest. We envisioned students using the University of Texas insect imaging rig to work with preserved museum specimens and to conduct occasional field photography of live subjects at the adjoining Brackenridge Field Lab. Given your unexpected support for our project, and especially given your enthusiasm for public domain photos and videos of behavior, we would love to extend the field component to include more captures of active subjects like parasitic wasps subduing their hosts, jumping spiders courting mates, and yes, dung beetles rolling dung.

The trouble for our field plan, though, is that Insects Unlocked has just one camera. We can untether our 2009-vintage Canon 7D from the lab rig for limited outdoor work, but if we are to go into the field as a team, we will require a team's worth of cameras, as well as accessories like tripods and memory cards. 

With a stretch goal of $14000, we will add two more basic SLR camera/lens/flash systems for our students to use, and we will be able to travel to field sites in a diversity of Texas habitats. Your support of free, public science media can make this happen.

Thanks so much for your ongoing contributions, and for spreading the word.

Alex Wild

Insects Unlocked

Insects Unlocked

April 14, 2015

With two days remaining in the Insects Unlocked crowdfunding compaign, we are surprised and humbled that over 150 people have given more than $11,000 for free, open, public domain science images, well beyond our initial goal. We are now able to add a second camera, lens, and flash rig for field work, so our production of live behavior and ecology will be more ambitious than we originally envisioned. 

We aren't done yet, though. In the final 36 hours of our campaign, we would like to expand our capacity for field video by adding a compact video camera and set of field lights and microphones. If you'd like to help, consider chipping in just a little bit more, or even easier-  just share our links and photos on social media. Thanks to your support, we will have a better, bigger, and richer public domain!

Thanks so much,

Alex Wild Insects Unlocked

ps- If you've not see it yet, check out our sample set of new public domain images on our flickr page:

pps- I will be contacting those of you who selected print and commission perks after the campaign ends.

ppps- If UT/Austin is sending you emails you do not want, click on the unsubscribe link in their emails to remove yourself from the list.



Thanks to your support, Insects Unlocked is funded and moving forward!

April 17, 2015

Our month-long crowdfunded campaign closed yesterday with $12,653 contributed by more than 200 donors. Your enthusiasm carried our public domain image project well passed the initial $8k budget, and we are now adding field gear for a stronger live component. We cannot express enough how grateful we are for your generosity!

What happens now? Over the summer, the Insects Unlocked team of students and curators will train on the system and begin producing what you asked for: informative, beautiful, high quality entomological media, free for anyone to use. Our output will be posted to a dedicated website, with associated discussions on an upcoming Insects Unlocked blog.

For those of you claiming print and commission perks (Muse, Longhorn, and Blue Morpho), we will be in touch with you to arrange the details of your perk.

Thanks again for your generosity!

Alex Wild and the Insects Unlocked Team
Insects Unlocked - The Sample Set


Our way
of Thanking You


The Mighty Mite

A personalized shout-out on social media from the Insects Unlocked account. Can include a link to your website or portfolio.

98 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2015


The Longhorn Beetle

Take home an 8x12" archival print of your choice from the Insects Unlocked portfolio, signed by the photographer.

40 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2015


The Blue Morpho

Take home a 16x24" archival print of your choice from the Insects Unlocked portfolio, signed by the photographer.

9 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2015


The Muse

The Insects Unlocked team will work with you remotely to create custom public domain images on a subject of your choice.

4 of 15 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2015


The Co-Pilot

Enjoy a full-day personalized session on the Insects Unlocked imaging rig. Learn how it works, and take home a pile of astonishing images you create yourself. In this case, the copyright stays with you.

0 of 5 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2015
Our Crowdfunding Groups