BugsCEP Home

System Requirements at bottom of page. For QBIB - The Quaternary Bibliography of Entomology, look here.

Quick installation instructions for BugsCEP
  1. Download the full BugsCEP installation files from here
  2. Close any programs running or open files (the installation will probably reboot your computer without warning)
  3. Run the Setup file and install BugsCEP in C:\BugsCEP (or any other top level folder - rather than the default folder which will not work in newer version of Windows). See below for more detailed instructions for this step.
    • When it asks, keep the newer versions of any system files the installation offers to replace (click YES)
    • When your computer has rebooted, wait a bit to see if it continues the installation (up to 30 seconds). If not, run the setup file again.
  4. Download the latest version of the program from here, extract the BugsCEP.mdb file and copy it over the one you just installed (e.g. in C:\Bugscep).
  5. Download the latest version of the database from here, extract the bugsdata.mdb file and copy it over the one you just installed (e.g. in C:\Bugscep).
  6. Run BugsCEP from the Start menu.

More detailed, and admittedly confusing, instructions can be found below.

If you have problems getting BugsCEP running then please see the support page. It is an aging piece of software and Windows updates frequently kill it.

Download BugsCEP and/or the bugsdata data file

Note: If you have trouble downloading, please see the Support page. See also the important information regarding recent Microsoft updates which may, if you are unlucky, kill some of BugsCEP's functionality.

Latest data file update: 14 December 2023 (15.6 Mb zipped, 68.5 Mb unpacked, 444510 records, bugsdata version 12.6) Includes major update to dating evidence, taxonomic updates and new sites.

Please download and install the appropriate version of the BugsCEP software package for your operating system below. Then replace the bugsdata.mdb file in the installation folder (usually C:\BugsCEP\, C:\program files\BugsCEP or C:\program files (x86)\BugsCEP) with the file contained in the following zip file:

Bugs data update file (bugsdata.zip) (please see the note below about exporting your existing data BEFORE updating)

There is now an experimental climate envelope explorer module built in to BugsMCR. Click on the SCR Explorer button to activate it after downloading the following version of the BugsCEP frontend.

BugsSCR Explorer button location

Experimental BugsCEP program file with Species Climate Range (SCR) Explorer (place in folder with installed BugsCEP and bugsdata file). It should be self explanatory, but contact Phil for help as needed.

If you have problems getting BugsCEP installed or running please make sure you install it in C:\BugsCEP\ (see installation instructions below).

BugsCEP software for Windows XP, Vista & 7
(and possibly 8 & 10... see note here)

Click on a beetle to download (ca. 52Mb):


Software last updated: 25th January 2010 (please use the update file above to make the database current)

BugsCEP software for Windows 2000
(ca. 53Mb) - Sorry, this version is no longer actively supported, but should still work with the bugsdata file above.


Software last updated: 30th October 2007 (please use the update file above to make the database current)

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Please remember to export any countsheets that you have created before installing a newer version, otherwise they will be lost. Export the spreadsheets using the [Export] button on the Countsheet Manager or Countsheet Editor, you can then import them as instructed here. At the moment site and sample meta data will have to be re-entered manually, but a full export/import/update routine will be added later.

Please report any problems to phil.buckland (at) arke.umu.se

Alternative downloads and related databases

BugsCEP is also available through the NOAA Palaeoclimatology Branch (insects section), as are a number of related palaeoenvironmental datasets. The version of Bugs on bugscep.com is always the most recent version.

BugsCEP for earlier versions of Windows

The Windows 2000 version is most likely to run on Windows NT4, but hasn't been tested recently. Windows 98 is unsupported, but if it still runs then please let us know!


Phil Buckland's thesis, which documents the development, testing and implementation of BugsCEP is now available for download from Umeå University Library. Chapter 3 provides a description of the data included in BugsCEP and instructions.

Please see the Support page for known bugs in BugsCEP.

Installation instructions (updated 13th June 2012)

Note: On some systems, the setup will restart your computer without warning! Please really make sure you close all other programs and documents before installing.

  1. Unzip the appropriate downloaded file(s) to a temporary folder.
    e.g. create a folder called TEMP on your desktop, and copy the contents of the downloaded zip file into it.
  2. Make sure you are logged on with Administer level rights.
  3. Run the Setup.exe file (double click on it) from the temporary folder into which you just copied files.
    Please note that you must copy the files out of the zip-file, otherwise the installation will fail.
  4. (If you already have Access 2000/2003 then skip steps 4 & 5)
    If necessary, allow setup to install the MS Access 2000 runtime library. Answer the questions that pop up about overwriting files so that the setup routine DOES NOT replace any files on your computer that are newer than the ones being installed.
    (This may be "Yes", "No" or "OK" depending on Windows version).
  5. Once MS Access runtime is installed and the computer has (sometimes) rebooted then run Setup.exe again (if the Bugs installation does not automatically continue after rebooting).
  6. Updated: When the Bugs Setup message appears, click on the "Change Directory" button. Enter the directory "C:\BugsCEP\" (without quotes) into the "Path:" text box and click OK.
  7. Allow the directory to be created if asked.
  8. Click the large square button to begin installation and follow the instructions to create a Start Menu item, and install any support files needed.
  9. When the installation routine asks whether you want to overwrite any files, chose to keep the newest version.
  10. BugsCEP will be available on your Start Menu and can be started from there.
    Please note that on some systems you must start MS Access and open the BugsCEP file from within it, rather than using the Start Menu item.
Running BugsCEP for the first time

The first time you run BugsCEP you will be asked to complete two tasks:

  1. Accept the End User Licence Agreement in a popup window. This will pop up when you run the program, and must be accepted in order to continue.
  2. When you click the [Enter BugsCEP...] button on the start up screen you will be asked to point the BugsCEP program to its data file. This is installed in the same folder that you installed BugsCEP, and will be selectable in a standard MS Windows file chooser window.

The data retrieval screen will then open. See the Online Help for further instructions, or use the application help built into BugsCEP.

Please let us know if you have any problems or questions.

System Requirements

BugsCEP will technically run on pretty much any MS Windows PC capable of running at least MS Windows 2000 (antique machines with less than 256Mb RAM or slower than 900MHz may have trouble).

BugsCEP requires between 60-150Mb of harddrive space to install, and should be given at least 20Mb of extra space to run.

MS Excel must be installed in order to use to climate and environmental reconstruction modules (BugsMCR and BugStats), but the rest of the database will still be accessible even without it.

Windows 8, 8.1 & 10

BugsCEP appears to be more sensitive to the version of Office installed than version of Windows. It will work on these versions of Windows, although whether you can get it to do so is a combination of luck and computing skills. Usually, you will be able to browse, query and enter data without any problems once it is installed. Windows 10 does not create a Start Menu item, and BugsCEP must be started by double clicking the file in the installation directory from Windows Explorer or a file manager.

There are problems when creating environmental reconstruction (Ecofigs) and climate change (MCR) diagrams to work with versions of Office (specifically Excel) newer than 2013. Unfortunately there is no immediate solution to this and we need hackers to help us!


Last edited: 14 December 2023