The European ladybird App: a new tool for Citizen Science

Jiri Skuhrovec, Helen E. Roy, Peter MJ Brown, Alberto F Inghilesi, Antonio O Soares, Tim Adriaens, Sandra Viglašová

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Abstract

The citizen science initiatives have rapidly increased in popularity in the last years. The involvement of volunteers could be an effective solution to ensure the realization of the enormous potential of Citizen Science for biodiversity surveys, or early detection of new invasions. Ladybirds are well known beneficial predators, which are very often used as biological control agents. On the other hand, among ladybirds, we observed one textbook case with „invasive“ species, Harmonia axyridis Pallas. Seminal national citizen science projects were successful tools to follow the dispersal of the invader. However, the establishment of a trans-national project for Europe would be essential to coordinate efforts for the study of ladybird diversity as well as for the early detection of new invaders. Ladybirds are very popular and charismatic insects, which can be relatively easily recognized via photos. In this case, they are the perfect target group for citizen science projects. On the strengths of the citizen science survey on ladybirds in the UK, we have developed a smartphone Application for European ladybird recording and identification. We prepared a detailed database of appropriate ladybird species from the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Belgium and Portugal. Then we chose some specific morphological features (e.g. main color, size, pronotum pattern) and country-based ranking of the probability of occurrence were provided as app filters to enable the users to reduce the number of likely species in the process of recording. This project is the first collaborative approach involving the recording of ladybirds through citizen science across Europe. The success of the app will depend on the engagement of the general public though we anticipate excellent participation because of both the popularity of ladybirds and the usability of the app.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 15-Sep-2020

Thematic List 2020

  • Invasive species

Thematic list

  • Insects

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology
  • B005-zoology

Taxonomic list

  • ladybirds (Coccinellidae)

Policy

  • species directed nature management

Geographic list

  • World

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