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Database of Insects and their Food Plants
This database is primarily a collation of published interactions between Great Britain
's invertebrate herbivores (insects and mites) and their host plants. There are
also some interactions for the invertebrates closely associated with herbivores,
such as predators, parasitoids, cleptoparasites and mutualists. DBIF contains about
47,000 interactions for roughly 9,300 invertebrate taxa (species, sub-species and
forms) and 5,700 plant taxa (species, genera and broader groupings).
DBIF aims to help researchers access the accumulated knowledge of British plant-herbivore
interactions, which is otherwise scattered throughout a vast published literature.
The database complements the more specialised internet resources that focus on particular
groups (see Links). We hope that the database is of use to professional researchers
in the environmental sciences and expert amateurs alike.
DBIF is derived from the Phytophagous Insect Data Bank (see PIDB), which was the
brainchild of Dr Lena Ward. Many people have contributed to the version of the database
presented here; we would like to thank them all for their varied and skilled support
To ensure that the information held in the database is used appropriately, please
take time to read about what the database contains (see Description of the database
), and what caveats or limitations may apply (see Interpreting foodplant records
and Limitations ).
Lastly, DBIF is a work in progress and this website is still under development in
some areas. We would be very surprised if you did not find some omissions, or nomenclature
that did not need updating. Please alert us (see Contact us) of any necessary changes
or of the presence of new sources. They will be incorporated in future updates.
A companion piece in the naturalists' magazine British Wildlife (Smith & Roy,
2008) serves as an introduction to invertebrate herbivory and DBIF.