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Sweep Netting

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Time: One Class Period Setting: Schoolyard Guiding Questions: Which insects live on grasses and bushes in fields and lawns?
Overview Type of Organism: invertebrates Habitat: Grassland

Rather than going after butterflies or dragonflies with sweep nets, students can randomly sweep butterfly nets through vegetation. This is optimal in late spring, summer and early fall when tall grasses are in flower and/or at optimal height

Materials:
  1. Choose an area to sample, this could be along a transect in the field or within a given plot. Along the transect, students can collect insects at random places. Comparison among transects in different sections or habitats in the schoolyard.
  2.  Drag net through cut grass, tall grass and /or wildflowers for a predetermined amount of time.
  3.  Empty nets on white sheet, or turn net inside-out in the terrarium. Your goal could be to identify as many species as possible, so that you can get an idea about the total number of species present (i.e., species richness or diversity) and what the major species are (i.e the species composition).
  4.  Identify insects