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National Insect Week 2020: Recording Insects in your Local Area

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The second blog in support of National Insect Week 2020 encourages you to look at the huge diversity of insects that live in your immediate surroundings. We’ve previously written about looking at local wildlife in our Nature at Home series of blogs. The Royal Entomological Society’s #NIW2020 homepage also gives tips and ideas of how to interact with insects around you, and tips on photographing insects.

The gallery below gives an idea of some of the huge variety of insects that can currently be seen. These were all photographed in the suburbs and countryside surrounding Brighton:

Meadow Bug, Woods Mill, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Crane fly, Woods Mill, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Bumblebee Hoverfly, Woods Mill, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Peacock butterfly caterpillars, Woods Mill, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Sailor Beetle, Woods Mill, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Planthopper adult, Southwick, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Ant farming aphids, Southwick, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Greenbottle fly, Southwick, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Azure damselfly, Southwick, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Thick legged flower beetle (female), Southwick, June 2020 © L. Ismail

Why not see what you can photograph, and submit your observations to iNaturalist to help scientists around the world get a better idea of what insects are around this year. By inputting the locality the photograph was taken, the iNaturalist site will even try and ID your organism for you, and the wider community will help too. The gallery below shows a step-by-step visual guide to signing up and adding observations:

Step 1: Hit the signup button here and follow the signup steps.

Step 2: Once you’ve created an account, you can submit your first observation by clicking the circled button in the top right corner.

Step 3: You can then add your photo, video or sound recording by clicking this button and choosing the file from your PC.

Step 4: On the blank observation, we recommend recording locality first. Click the blank locality field and a world map pops up. Choose where you made the observation by zooming in and clicking on the map. You can obscure your location (circled) if sensitive.

Step 5: By adding locality first, when you select the species name it gives suggestions based on both appearance and species seen nearby. Select what you think your observation is.

Step 6: When you’re happy with your record hit the submit observation button in the top right corner.

Step 7: Finished! Your observation front page shows all the things you’ve recorded and plots them on a world map.

And if you manage to take some photos you’re pleased with, why not submit them to The Royal Entomological Society’s insect photography competition

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For more tips, ideas and competitions please visit the Royal Entomological Society’s #NIW2020 home page

Read more in our Nature at Home series

Lee Ismail, Curator of Natural Sciences