Insect counts

Is there anything like the "Audubon Bird Counts" for insects? I was thinking of one for all insects.

If not, would there be interest among entomologists in organizing such a count?

R.L. Bossard

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    projects to count insects.

  • Hello, student here.  I was wondering how insect counts work and what they really are.  This is the first of many questions I'm going to have around the ESA  networks because high schools (at least the ones I've been to) are frustratingly uninformative on the most abundant creatures on the planet.  I believe I have an Audubon guide for the insects of North America.  I didn't realize they had approximate counts for the species though.

    • The U.S. has annual counts for birds, but there are the few for insects mentioned previously in this discussion.
      By contrast, in the U.K., they have , as well as National Recorders for groups such as Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Odonata, Siphonaptera, and Acari. For example, , , and Biological Records Centre .
      The U.S. is not as organized yet. The "BioBlitz" involves a group surveying and tabulating all living things found in a given area and time. The records are then available publicly. Because changes in development and climate are affecting species distributions, the records are increasingly important for conservation.

      OPAL Bugs Count Survey | OPAL
      Data entry for the OPAL Bugs Count Survey is now closed.  However, survey resources and identification guides can still be downloaded for free below.…
  • There's also bumble bee watch:

    I certainly think it is a great idea but I don't know about the logistics...

    • Thank you for the information.

      In terms of logistics, there are several related websites I found:

      Projects such as "Notes from Nature":


      %20Home&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=Homepage%20Catalogue#/archives )

      allow volunteers to transcribe and annotate handwritten and typed collection records into

      machine-readable (digitized) form.

      Researchers anywhere in the world could access such

      data through internet databases such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility

      (GBIF) ( ), ( ), or the other websites we're discussing.

  • Thanks for the information on insect counts.

    It basically seems as if there is no insect count for all insects on a regularly scheduled basis across North America. That seems odd, considering how important insects are. With geotagging and picture phones (, identification of insects would be much easier in a survey.

  • There's also the Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz:


  • R. L. , 

    The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) has conducted annual Butterfly Counts in similar fashion to the Audubon Bird Counts. Monarch Watch also tags Monarch Butterflies during migration. 

  • The closest thing to it that I know of would be a BioBlitz. Google that word and you're likely to find some regional ones that occur each year.

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