What is #InverteFest?
InverteFest is a periodic event on Twitter founded and run by Franz Anthony, Maureen Berg and Kelly Brenner to explore and discover the invertebrates where we live. The goal is to reveal the invertebrates we often overlook that live alongside us and highlight their lives. What may be an every day occurrence to you may be new to someone half the world away!
Who can participate?
Everyone who has a social media account (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), from anywhere in the world! Simply join us during the dates announced and share photos or videos of your local invertebrate discoveries using the hashtag #InverteFest.
How do I participate?
- Find invertebrates. This can be in your basement, your yard, the local park, the beach, an alley or anywhere near where you live.
- Share observations. Share photos, videos or art of your discoveries on Twitter using the hashtag #InverteFest.
- Interact. Search the #InverteFest hashtag for tweets and share, comment and learn.
- Bonus – citizen science. To contribute your observations for science, upload your photos to iNaturalist.
What counts as an invertebrate?
Any animal without a backbone! This includes insects, arachnids, slugs and snails, microscopic life like tardigrades or rotifers, marine life like clams, crabs, jellyfish and pond like life water boatmen, daphnia and water striders.
Where do I look?
Practically everywhere! Invertebrates can be found on your roof and in your basement, in your yard and at the park. Look under rocks and logs, in ponds and creeks, tidepools and on the bark of trees. Literally, leave no stone unturned. (Just be sure to put the stone back for the invertebrates!)
But the weather is bad!
No problem. There are still a lot of ways you can participate if it’s winter where you are or if the weather is not cooperating.
- Look for invertebrates indoors: check your basement, attic, garage, etc.
- Go to the beach for low tide
- Go pond dipping. Take a net and see what you can scoop out
- Search in moss and lichens for tardigrades and other microscopic life
- Visit an aquarium/zoo/museum
- Look in books and share information about invertebrates
- Share past photos of invertebrates you’ve found locally
Maybe you’re under quarantine or stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are still many ways you can participate in #InverteFest and even contribute to science. In addition to looking for invertebrates at home, see the section above, you can do activities on the computer as well.
- Add invertebrate observations to iNaturalist and license your images with Creative Commons so the photos can be used on invertebrate Wikipedia pages, many of which are lacking photos. Here is a page that details the instructions.
- Write or edit Wikipedia pages about invertebrates. Here are instructions how to contribute to Wikipedia.
- Add past observations and images to iNaturalist and contribute to citizen science.
- Record your bumble bee sightings to Bumble Bee Watch
- Add photos to BugGuide for the database, of if you’re an expert, help identify the ID requests