Recent explorations

News picture What can pollinators tell us about climate change? We initiated a volunteer-based pilot bee monitoring project in the Boston Harbor Islands national park area... More

Bug of the month

bug of the month pictureCommon scorpionfly



Featured student project

Plant - pollinator networks



About: the ATBI & Science

Goal: Catalog the diversity of insects and other arthropods in Boston Harbor Islands national park area.

Twelve of the 34 islands within the park have been intensively surveyed for arthropods using a variety of trapping methods.

leaf litter extractionMalaise trap on a Boston Harbor IslandBeating sheet being used

[left to right: Leaf litter extraction, Malaise trap, Beating sheet]

A student at work in the labOver 30 students and interns have assisted both in the field and in the lab at the MCZ to sort, curate, catalog, and photograph specimens. Many taxonomists from around the world have volunteered their time and expertise to identify specimens in different taxonomic groups. (students, taxonomists)


Specimen trayTo date, almost 1500 species have been identified, and over 50,000 specimens have been entered into a publicly accessible database. Location, collection method, date, and habitat are associated with each specimen. High resolution images are also included for each species.

Undergraduate students are undertaking their own research in conjunction with the project.


ATBI database main page/entry fieldsATBI database specimen page