11 de diciembre de 2019

Today, American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) Webinar

Hi mosquito catchers,

We have garnered national attention at conferences and as a result, I was invited to give an online webinar featuring the Mosquitoes in Hawai`i project.

I covered the project focusing in on how mosquito vector professionals can use iNaturalist to collaborate with their communities and scale expertise with the social and machine learning aspects of the platform.

So let's welcome any new participants collecting mosquito observations anywhere as they make new records and to help with IDs!

Thanks to your hard work!

All the best,


Anotado en diciembre 11, miércoles 22:51 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de agosto de 2019

Project update: Lanai and Dr. Matthew Mederios

Hi all mosquito catchers!

For the fall of 2019 we will be introducing a few NEW project objectives. The first is from my good friend and colleague Matthew Mederios, an assistant professor from the University of Hawai`i Manoa. Matt is focused on mosquitoes and their microbes/pathogens focusing on Lanai and surrounding islands. This work will complement the work you have done that has been focused on the Big Island, Oahu and somewhat on Maui. Dr. Mederios will directly engage partners in Lanai and other islands and will be promoting engagement including documentation using the Mosquitoes in Hawai`i platform where he is known as @ikaikasci. See the brief project description below and stay tuned!

All the best,

Durrell (@cydno)

From @ikaikasci

"An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Hawai‘i and California Academy of Sciences are initiating a project to study mosquitoes on Lāna‘i and surrounding islands of Maui, Moloka‘i, and Kaho‘olawe. A critical aspect of this project focuses on understanding where mosquitoes occur, how persistent are their populations at different locations, and how do mosquitoes move within and among islands. This information will be invaluable to develop strategies to control mosquitoes and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission. In the coming months, our team will be seeking the engagement of citizen scientists to augment sampling and mosquito detection on Lāna‘i, Maui, and Moloka‘i. We plan to coordinate these activities through the “Mosquitoes of Hawai‘i” project on the iNaturalist platform. Stay tuned for more information on this new mosquito project in Hawai‘i nei."

Anotado en agosto 13, martes 00:49 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de marzo de 2019

NEWS: > 1000 records! Mosquito Conference and RISE of the MACHINES

Hi iNat Mosquito people!

I am at the American Mosquito Control Assocation annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. I just finished talking about the mosquitoes in Hawai`i project and all your great work!

My presentation entitled: "Engaging citizen scientists in mosquito response using the iNaturalist social network, app and machine learning tools" got a lot of interest at this conference.

My talk introduced your amazing work and showed off how iNaturalist now has operational Computer Vision--otherwise known as machine learning or sometimes referred to as artificial intelligence. The Computer Vision algorithm can now successfully identify several species of mosquitoes that you have documented including Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinqefasciatus.

The vision algorithm does not in any way replace the role of identifiers in iNaturalist. In fact the 'social' aspect of identification builds up the database of research grade records allowing a 'deep learning' algorithm to figure out how to recognize a species in the database.

For more information see this iNat blog post: iNaturalist Computer Vision Explorations page

ONE MORE THING: YOU'VE done it, collected >1000 mosquitoes, over >800 research grade! This is fantastic!

Over 400 Aedes albopictus almost 250 Culex quinquefasciatus and > 100 Aedes aegypti! See this link for the project observations breakdown

This is critical because once we have > 20 research grade records of a single species the algorithm starts to train, and once there are >100 it starts to work really well. So YOUR WORK is why people around the world are getting positive computer identifications of both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus! THIS IS THE FIRST OPERATIONAL SYSTEM OF THIS TYPE THAT IDs THESE TWO VECTOR SPECIES, YOU SHOULD BE PROUD!

One goal of the conference is to recruit MORE people to help build the OBSERVATIONS and IDENTIFICATIONS of new species to continue training the machine learning algorithm to keep virtuous cycle going!

So thanks again for continuing to OBSERVE and also IDENTIFY mosquitoes in Hawai`i BEYOND.

All the best,


Orlando, FL

Anotado en marzo 01, viernes 19:24 por cydno cydno | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario

11 de mayo de 2018

Trip to Kauai & how to in videos!

Aloha Mosquitoes in Hawai‘i volunteers,

I just returned from Kauai where I shared our findings with the Hawaii Department of Health's Vector Control staff.  The state has a really dedicated vector control team. Thanks HDOH Vector Control, keep up the great work!

As promised, here is a quick summary of how to get started with iNaturalist specifically to document mosquitoes or other small insects. 

First: Sign Up for iNaturalist (web).

This information pulls together links to web pages (e.g. the useful Getting started with iNaturalist) & videos that you can find on video tutorial pages on iNaturalist and previous posts on the iNaturalist Mosquitoes in Hawaii project.  Click on the boldfaced links below to go right to the videos.  Explore the details under that.

Second: use iNaturalist with your smartphone: see video below

Adding an Observation on a Mobile Device

How to Make an Observation on iNaturalist using our Mobile App from iNaturalist on Vimeo.

Pro tips: using native camera app, macro tips and more:

Using the smartphone follow the link to the video above 'Adding an Observation on a Mobile Device' at about 0:26 in the video instead of using the iNat camera (green button) I recommend that you take your photos using your native camera app then ‘choose’ a photo from your camera roll instead of using the iNat app to take the photo: 

After you have a photograph on you phone you can follow the rest of the video

Note, the machine learning algorithm starts the identification process right when you click on the 'What did you see' box.  See the video!

Third: use iNaturalist from your computer: see video below:

Adding on Observation via the Web

How to Use iNaturalist's Photo Uploader from iNaturalist on Vimeo.

© California Academy of Sciences.Pro tips: using native camera app, macro tips and more:

Pro tips: DSLR or Compact camera

  • If you prefer, use your compact or digital SLR camera with macro capabilities to take your mosquito photo.  Follow these general tips (video)!
  • Note, a quick way to get the georeference of your position is to use your phone to take a picture or two of where you caught the mosquito: a trap, a larval habitat, or a habitat picture.
  • Once you have your macro photograph + your smartphone habitat photograph

  • Login to iNaturalist on the Web

  • Click on the photo upload button (green)

  • Drag & drop the dslr photos and also your smartphone photo of the habitat for the georeference

  • check that the appropriate location was imported from your smartphone photograph

  • change privacy, etc.

  • click the Submit observation button then you are done!

  • Please use the comments if you have questions or suggestions of your own.

    Keep on catching and stay safe out there!

    All the best,


    Durrell Kapan

    Anotado en mayo 11, viernes 19:51 por cydno cydno | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario

    27 de abril de 2018

    Help Argon Steel and Dennis LaPointe trap mosquitoes on the Big Island!

    Dear Mosquito in Hawai'i participants,

    Following up on my last post, I have some great news! I am happy to introduce two more mosquito expert collaborators who could use your help!

    First is Dr. Dennis LaPointe, a research ecologist from the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Dennis is a highly experienced vector ecologist who has worked with Carter Atkinson and others on the S. House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus) that transmits avian malaria in Hawai'i. Dennis has new funding to do quantitative sampling of Aedes mosquitoes on the leeward Big Island.

    In order to facilitate this intensive fieldwork, Dennis has hired Dr. Argon Steel (iNaturalist profile @argonsteel), who recently received his PhD from the University of Hawai'i-Kaka’ako under the supervision of Dr. Shannon Bennett. Argon has experience studying dengue virus and the mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus including lots of experience in SE Asia.

    Argon and Dennis are looking for locations to conduct ovitrapping across leeward Big Island to answer the question of how Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus respond to altitude, rainfall and other factors that vary across the area. Argon will seek to deploy traps at four altitudes in six transects from S. Point all the way to Kawaihae.

    Their basic study can build upon the great set of distributional records you have collected and the range maps derived from our preliminary work (Kapan et al. 2016, see link below). Dennis and Argon need hosted study sites: locations that Argon can access where he can place two (or more) ovitraps and return to check the traps on a weekly basis for 6-12 months.

    In addition to potentially providing locations to host the traps, it would be great if we could put out the word to help Argon seek more hosted sites for the study. In addition to finding contacts of your own, perhaps one of you can introduce Argon to the Dengue / Zika awareness group.

    Dennis and Argon’s work will add quantitative regular sampling to the mosquito knowledge that you have helped build. In exchange for this work Argon and Dennis will work with volunteer hosts to share what they are finding and help build the iNaturalist mosquitoes in Hawai'i database in the process. This will be a great way to return relevant information back to the community as the study progresses.

    To volunteer to host traps or suggest others to get in touch with send Argon an e-mail to argon@hawaii.edu or message him on iNaturalist.

    Thanks for helping build our knowledge of the distribution and abundance of mosquitoes in Hawai'i!

    All the best,

    Durrell (@cydno)

    Durrell D. Kapan, Ph.D.
    Senior Research Fellow
    Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability
    California Academy of Sciences

    Kapan, D. D., Lindberg, K., Henderson, J., & Winchester, J. C. (2016). The distribution of Aedes aegypti and albopictus in Hawaii. Proceedings and Papers of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, 84, 100–103. (search PDF for Kapan).

    Anotado en abril 27, viernes 19:55 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

    20 de abril de 2018

    National Volunteer Week -- THANK YOU!

    Dear Mosquito in Hawai`i Volunteers:

    This being National Volunteer Week (April 15-21) I am taking a moment to recognize all of your efforts to advance the goals of this project! Thank you for all your volunteerism! 

    Thanks to @lynnbeittel for tirelessly promoting the project, identifying over 400 records, and continuing to collect data and thanks go equally to @waimeamiddleschool for continuing to engage so many students leading to our second highest number of records! Thanks also go to this power couple (257 records total and growing) for keeping the N. end of the Big Island in data--including moving downhill to a house in the Aedes aegypti zone! Also on the Big Island, thanks to @vaneden who so creativly worked on combating the last dengue outbreak, collecting data from Kalapana to Kapoho and beyond, and got many people activated to combat mosquitoes as well as to join this project. 

    Thanks to our teachers who are moving the project forward including @ychan from Iolani school in Oahu who has engaged so many students with this project and has also engaged teachers at not only her own school but promoted the project to teachers statewide! From the Big Island thanks to @bensonreading who has joined @waimeamiddleschool to keep students engaged and learning about their islands' unique ecology!! Back on Oahu, thanks to teacher @tullybio  (Kamehamea schools) who has built a curriculum around mosquito larval collection and is launching an renewed effort to collect more data with her students, keep your eyes out for her student's data soon!

    Thanks to the stand-out students involved including @annafreitas, @katherine_hui and many many more who have participated from Oahu to Big Island!

    Thanks to all old and new volunteers including our overall record leader (@mauiphp),  our new colleague (@ikaikasci) and keen observers such as @donkephart who located the only location on the Big Island where you can regularly find Aedes aegypti without Aedes albopictus!

    Sorry if I missed you, there are so many more people involved it is hard to thank them all. For more information, check out their observations, and their identifications!   2018 is shaping up to be a transformative year for the project with more opportunities to get involved and more people contributing to the vision for the project! So as always "keep on catching" and stay safe out there!

    Thank you all!

    All the best,

    Durrell (@cydno

    Anotado en abril 20, viernes 18:58 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

    18 de abril de 2018

    Mosquito project update

    Hi all,

    We have been buzzily (pun intended) working with on mosquitoes in our lab but we are about to come up for air. We have some great Mosquitoes in Hawai`i project news!

    First, we are very excited not only have we gotten a new species record for the project, it came from our great new collaborator Dr. Matthew Medeiros from UH Manoa. Matthew recently started as an assistant professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at UH. Matt got his undergraduate at UH and his PhD at the University of Missouri-St. Louis studying avian malaria under Robert Ricklefs. Now that Matthew is back in Hawaii he has begun to work on Hawai`i's invasive mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit. 

    Matt has been actively adding records to and identifying mosquitoes on our project. This attention paid off on March 16th, Matthew made the first project observation of an Inland Floodwater Mosquito Aedes vexans on Oahu! Here is his photo:

    Inland Floodwater Mosquito
    To identify this species, look for the combination of the a 'fuzzy brown back' (the scutum covered with short brown scales lacking any particular pattern) coupled with obvious 'B' shaped markings that run sideways on the dorsal surface of the abdomen (or 'tergites' see here for photos and more information).

    Second, we are ALMOST at 1000 records, thank you so much! As of today we have:

    983 OBSERVATIONS of 7 SPECIES made by 135 OBSERVERS and determined by 63 IDENTIFIERS!!! Here is the species breakdown!

    With 798 of these observations classified at research grade. Let's try to get to push this to 1000 research grade records!

    I have some more news from the lab and new collaborators to introduce in my next message so STAY tuned! 

    All the best,

    Durrell (@cydno)

    Anotado en abril 18, miércoles 22:28 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

    05 de septiembre de 2017

    Help identify mosquitoes in Hawai`i!

    Dear mosquito catchers and identifiers,

    We are nearing 900 records, thanks to all of your hard efforts!

    It is a good time to take stock and see what records we have and if there are any that need identification or other attention to details including the georeference or other meta-data details.

    For all the records we haven't yet identified see here:

    IDENTIFY ME (if you can!)

    (note some of these might not be easily identified).

    Also, map the records by species or island and see if something looks out of place.

    Remember, we all collected this data so let's 'curate' it!

    All the best,


    PS More on the GLOBAL EXPERIMENT Soon, here's what we know so far:


    Anotado en septiembre 05, martes 21:52 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

    11 de agosto de 2017

    Mosquito Global Experiment November 10th, 2017 ISCSM Day

    Aloha all mosquito catchers!

    I am writing to encourage all of us to participate in the ‘Global Experiment’ -- a global citizen science effort to document mosquitoes and their habitats on the International Science Center and Science Museum Day on November 10th, 2017.

    The effort is being promoted by the Association of Science Technology Centers and is part of a large push to test out new citizen science efforts to combat mosquitoes and mosquito borne diseases at the international level.

    The experiment is part of the Nasa sponsored Globe program and makes use of their Globe Observer App (on the web or the app for iTunes and Android).

    The app focus is to locate larval habitats and document them then clean up the habitat, or dump it out to remove the larvae!

    Larval identification to genus (or beyond) is also reported, but we can go further since we know how to rear-out larvae and can document our identifications with iNaturalist.

    This is an opportunity to renew our efforts to document and deal with mosquitoes in our neighborhoods and communities! I would love it if several of you could join me to coordinate the effort, try out the Globe Observer App and see how the platform works and decide how we can connect it to our iNaturalist efforts. Please let me know in the comments below!

    Here are all the relevant links to get ready for November 10th, 2017:

    Global Experiment
    International Science Center and Science Museum Day
    Nasa sponsored Globe program

    --or skip the introduction and just download the app and try it:

    Globe Observer App Apple
    Globe Observer App Android

    or use the Globe Observer Web portal

    and of course, let's post all observations that we can ID to species in the Mosquitoes in Hawai`i" Project!

    Meanwhile, let's keep the momentum going by showing interest in the comments below and keep on catching mosquitoes!

    Stay safe out there!

    All the best,

    Durrell (@cydno)

    PS. For more on the trend of citizen science and mosquitoes, see my last post Citizen Science and Mosquitoes a new trend!

    Anotado en agosto 11, viernes 18:21 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

    22 de julio de 2017

    Citizen Science and Mosquitoes--a new trend

    Hi all,

    There is a lot of interest in Citizen Science and mosquitoes! Since the inception of the Mosquitoes in Hawai`i" Project in May 2015, there have been several programs started across the world aimed at engaging people to seek out and help control mosquitoes in their own communities. Great ideas!

    Below is a list of a few of these which share some similarities to the our project here:

    The first, "the Invasive Mosquito Project is aimed at monitoring invasive container-inhabiting mosquito species across the United States" by following an egg collection protocol for students at a variety of grade levels. I know the PI on this project, their model focuses on egg collection, identifications are by experts so should be of high quality, geo-referencing is at the school level, and some participants send samples in the mail back to the principal investigator.

    The second effort I will mention is a program started in Spain that has an app for mosquito surveys that includes photo documentation of mosquitoes focused also in invasive Aedes species (sounds familiar!). Here an app Mosquito Alert assists data collection that includes photos of adults and identification is by experts that review the records. This latter app is being developed for worldwide deployment (see “Global Mosquito Alert” below).

    The third I will mention is Nasa sponsored Globe program with their Globe Observer app that allows citizen scientists to collect data on mosquito habitat and larvae. The work-flow is managed by the app, and there are detailed training materials on the web to help teachers, students and community members to use the web or the app (for iTunes and Android) to collect data. The data are freely shared worldwide at a Nasa portal. And impressively, having only been released for a few months there are already data from the Mideast and beyond. Although identification of larvae is somewhat more difficult than adults, necessitating the use of microscopes, the project video shows people using relatively inexpensive microscopes lenses that you can attach to your smartphone. In common with folks using larval surveys to collect information for the “Mosquitoes in Hawai`i" project one of the main benefits of the protocol is that it helps people focus on the source of mosquitoes (watery container habitats) that they can clean out, treat or dump out in order to help reduce mosquitoes in their communities without necessarily needing to identify them. For more information on the project see Globe observer mosquitoes.

    Use of this app to study mosquitoes in their larval habitats is being promoted by the Association of Science Technology Centers for a ‘Global Experiment’ for the 2017 International Science Center and Science Museum Day on November 10th, 2017 and continuing throughout the year (for more information on participating see Global Experiment). Let’s check out the app and make a concerted effort to contribute to the efforts that kick-off November 10th!

    In addition to our project, these are but three of the efforts that are underway, there are several more, and indeed these efforts are being integrated into a “Global Mosquito Alert” that is taking shape at the highest levels (see https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/press-release-global-mosquito-alert).

    As I learn more I hope to report back on how we can contribute to this effort through our unique experience both crowd-sourcing mosquito data collection and mosquito identification to raise awareness about how these invasive species affect the health and well-being of people and wildlife in Hawai`i and what we might do about them!

    That's a lot to check out, if you do have a chance to try out these apps and/or contribute to these projects, please leave any comments below (and don't forget to add any photo data you get to our project as well)!

    All the best,

    Durrell (@cydno)

    Anotado en julio 22, sábado 02:56 por cydno cydno | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario