Arachnophobes beware! From 8-24 December, kids and nature enthusiasts around the world will be competing to photograph and identify as many different spider species as they can.
The first ever global Arachnid Adventure will see competitors use a popular nature exploration gaming app called QuestaGame. As players send in spider sightings, they learn about what they’ve found, with the help of other players and a network of online experts. Competitors score points for what they find and/or identify, with top-scorers winning outdoor adventure gear such as binoculars, and head lamps.
“Spiders are often misunderstood, sometimes feared, yet inspiringly beautiful creatures” says Robert Whyte, co-author of A Field Guide to Australian Spiders. “Getting people outdoors, exploring, and mapping spiders is really helpful for science. Gorgeous new species, like colourful peacock spiders, are being discovered every year by amateur explorers. I bet people would be surprised at what they find, as soon as they start looking.”
The BioQuest offers families a fun, educational outdoor activity that helps contribute to scientific discovery and conservation research. Many sightings collected during the event are shared with leading biodiversity databases to help researchers better understand, manage and make decisions about the environment.
“We’ve had QuestaGame players with little or no expertise discover undescribed spider species - even new genera,” says Andrew Robinson, CEO and co-founder of QuestaGame. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a new species is found during this Arachnid Adventure. It would be great if a new spider species was named after a QuestaGame player.”
The ‘Arachnid Adventure - December BioQuest’ starts, December 8th, and runs until December 24th. Entry is $10 (USD), or free for QuestaGame members. Prizes sponsored by Australian Entomological Supplies, and Biome.
For more information, or to sign up, visit questagame.com/bioquest-dec2017
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