Our scientists can collect beetles from several natural populations, but there are too few of us to sample them from enough places. This is why we need your help. You can find bean beetles in infested common beans from your garden or just ask your grandparents, neighbors and friends if they can help you in your beetle quest. Send us your sample via regular mail and save yourself a spot on our Collector’s Map! Our project gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in a real population genetics research of insects.
The citizen science project Obtectus Finders aims to capture seed beetles, which go by the scientific name Acanthoscelides obtectus, from various locations in order to detect the distribution of this pest insect and analyze the genetic diversity of their populations. Bean weevil is an economically important pest of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). The larvae spend most of their development time inside the bean seeds. Their presence is almost imperceptible except for circular emergence holes created by the last instar larvae in preparation for their exit as adults. Your participation in this project will directly contribute to population-genetic study of this pest insect in Europe. Additionally, results of this project will contribute to development of new biocontrol techniques (e.g. Trojan Female Technique), which will improve the field of agriculture.
How to participate
1. Find bean beetles
You can find bean beetles in infested common beans from your garden or market place. You can also ask your grandparents, neighbors and friends if they can help you in your beetle quest.
2. Contact us
Inform us that you have captured the beetles and send us your address on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you the collection kit which includes a 1.5ml plastic tube filled with 96% ethanol and some promotional material. You should transfer dead beetles with tweezers directly from the freezer into the plastic tube with alcohol.
3. Send us the material
Place the plastic tube with insects into the envelope and send us back to:
Department of Evolutionary Biology
Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”
Bulevar despota Stefana 142
We will send you all the equipment for sample collection.