A monthly survey insects and spiders in California. The overarching purpose of this effort is to sample arthropods from across the state and more broadly the region for the purpose of taxonomic and ecological studies. Samples are combined with the historical collection data in the Essig Museum of Entomology (see figure below) and the California State Arthropod Collection to provide a greater understanding of the native and non-native insects of California in relationship to natural and altered habitats, life histories and evolutionary history.
Highlights include: • We have sampled each month since July 2014. • Nearly 200 species of moths have been found and of these 25 species were not previously recorded for Contra Costa Co. • 80 species of beetles representing over 30 families have been recorded -Major range extension have been established for a number of rare beetle species. • The pattern for terrestrial beetles so far suggests greater insect activity in burned sites and a strong correlation of activity coincident with rainfall levels. • 8 undergraduate students have each been involved in some aspect of the project.