Kamloops, Okanagan 'citizen scientists' needed for Beetle Watch | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops, Okanagan 'citizen scientists' needed for Beetle Watch

Citizen scientists are needed to help track the range of this alien beetle.
Image Credit: douglascollege.ca
October 14, 2021 - 6:30 AM

A new and mysterious beetle is crawling around B.C. and the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology needs help studying it. 

Nebria brevicollis is a beetle from Europe that has found a new home for itself in B.C. The foreign beetle was first identified in Canada in 2015 near the UBC campus and it seems to be on the move.

The Institute is asking citizen scientists to participate in an initiative called Beetle Watch.

Citizen scientists can participate in the beetle watch by installing a pitfall trap to capture and photograph the alien beetle. Citizen scientists are then asked to submit their information to the Institute for analysis.

“Anywhere that you can install a cup into the ground will work. You can try installing a cup in your yard or anywhere else outdoors that may lead to trapping beetles. It’s that easy,” Dr. Robert McGregor, Executive Director of the Institute said on the institute's website.

READ MORE: 5 creepy crawlies you (probably) didn't know existed in the Thompson-Okanagan

This information will inform the Institute on the extent of the habitat of this new beetle and will help to provide information on how their arrival is impacting Canada’s native beetle species.

Nebria brevicollis is a species of predatory ground beetle. It preys on small creepy-crawlies like snails, worms and insects.

“This insect is not a potential pest species,” Dr. McGregor said. “It doesn’t feed on crop plants. It is a predator of small invertebrates and serves a beneficial function. However, it does have the potential to displace similar local native species.”

Citizen scientists who want more information about participating can join the Beetle Watch 2020 Facebook group, visit the Douglas College website or email iue@douglascollege.ca.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jacqueline Gelineau or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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