Out and about or staying at home this summer? Become a citizen scientist and help Aussie invertebrates.

Take a look out your window, what do you see? Maybe a magpie, some eucalypts or a wattle tree? Look a little closer and help us identify the overlooked animals through invertebrate citizen science projects.

Often big things get recorded in species sightings, more than small things, through something called observation bias. This can lead to an overrepresentation of some groups of plants, animals and fungi than others.

This summer we’re challenging you to help us uncover more invertebrates (animals without a backbone) – a group typically underrepresented in species records.

Drawings of different invertebrates around text that reads: Aussie invertebrates need you
Record your sightings of invertebrates in the Atlas of Living Australia and contribute to important research.

Supporting our invertebrates

More than 90 per cent of all living animals are invertebrates. However, many of these species are yet to be described, let alone understood, from a conservation perspective. Currently only 0.6 per cent of listed threatened species in Australia are invertebrates. It’s likely there are more invertebrates requiring conservation interventions, but we just don’t have enough data about them!

What are we looking for?

Invertebrates exist in every ecosystem across Australia. Whether you’re travelling over summer or staying at home, we’d love you to help us capture information about these lesser-known species.

We’ve compiled a list of some invertebrate groups you might encounter. You can also use the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) Explore Your Area tool to find out more about species known to occur near you.

  1. Coleoptera: beetles like Christmas beetles. Make sure you check out the iNaturalist Christmas Beetle Count project
  2. Hymenoptera: bees and wasps
  3. Diptera: flies
  4. Orthoptera: grasshoppers and crickets
  5. Crustacea: crabs, barnacles and prawns
  6. Mollusca: octopuses, snails and oysters
  7. Porifera: sponges
  8. Arachnida: spiders and scorpions
  9. Lepidoptera: moths and butterflies
  10. Cnidaria: corals, anemones and jellyfish.
An iridescent purple, yellow and green beetle on a leaf.
Join a citizen science project and you might just spot a Golden Stag Beetle (Lamprima aurata). Credit: Simon Grove

Citizen science to the rescue

Here is where you come in! Become a citizen scientist and submit species occurrence records of invertebrates to an ALA data partner.

The more data we have, the better we can track, monitor and understand invertebrate species across Australia. Over time, these occurrence records help us understand how different groups respond to pressures like climate change. Ultimately, this knowledge allows researchers, government and policymakers to make better decisions for invertebrate conservation.

You can contribute to invertebrate research across Australia by following these simple steps:

  1. Find an invertebrate in your area
  2. Record the invertebrate’s location and snap a clear photo (one species per photo)
  3. Upload your species record to an ALA data partner – don’t know how? We have all the information to help you record a sighting.
  4. Contribute to the community. Many citizen science data platforms like iNaturalist use the community to identify and verify species records.
  5. Alternatively you can get involved in existing invertebrate citizen science projects such as Insect Investigators, Mozzie Monitors, Waterbug Blitz, Waterwatch NSW, B&B Highway and Northern Beaches Invertebrates.


  1. Well written article with predictable bias toward the I-Nat program. Get out there folk into the world of invertebrates, you’ll never be bored again!

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