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Caterpillars Count!

Main Project Information
Goal Monitor the seasonality and abundance of foliage arthropods
Task Conduct surveys of arthropods on shrubs and trees
Where Caterpillars Count!
United States of America

Caterpillars Count! is a project that relies on citizen scientists (you!) to help understand some of the most important organisms in our ecosystems—caterpillars and other insects—by conducting surveys of the plants and trees around them. These insects are an important food source for birds and other wildlife, and they have economic and environmental impacts on our forests and crops. You can help us understand how the abundance of these bugs varies from rural countrysides to major urban areas, and from coast to coast.

Your observations can also help us track how the abundance of caterpillars and other insects varies over the seasons. The seasonal timing of caterpillar availability is especially important for birds which try to time their spring migration so that there will be lots of insect food around (caterpillars are an especially tasty treat!) to successfully raise their young.

Finally, you can visually explore the data collected by yourself or others to reveal patterns that scientists haven't even yet discovered!

Project Timing We are primarily interested in monitoring arthropod phenology from the time trees leaf out in spring through the summer.
Social Media
Ideal Age Group Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Per month
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium
Training Materials
Class Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags arthropods, biodiversity, caterpillars, phenology
Project Updated 05/21/2018