- The survey branch should typically have leaves at least 5 cm (2 inches) long on average.
- Survey the same section of leaves every time you monitor your survey branches. An easy way to keep track of this is to survey the leaves closest to the survey tag.
- The leaves you survey should be no more than 6 feet off of the ground, although the plant you survey may be much taller.
- Count each individual leaflet within a compound leaf (e.g. hickory, buckeye, ash, etc.) as one leaf for the purposes of this project.
- Note that we have a special protocol for surveying coniferous branches described here.
- Make sure you are comfortable estimating lengths in millimeters.
- Familiarize yourself with basic reference points, like the length of your pinky fingernail, length to first or second knuckle, etc.
- Arthropod length is from the head to the abdomen - we don't count the length of legs, wings, or antennae.
- Only report arthropods 2 mm long or longer. Don't spend time sweating the small stuff!
- It's okay to call something 'UNIDENTIFIED'! Better to record it as unidentified than to not record it at all!
- Taking photos of the arthropods you find is optional, but we strongly encourage photos of caterpillars!