Anyone can win prizes finding buzzing insects for science

Image: An Australian native bee, ‘ Megachile abdominale ’, from QuestaGamer Ben Revell   (  CC BY-NC 2.0  )

Image: An Australian native bee, ‘Megachile abdominale’, from QuestaGamer Ben Revell (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Gamers of all ages will be on the lookout for interesting flies, ants, bees and wasps as they compete for prizes and support scientific research. The Buzzing Bonanza BioQuest, a ‘Pokemon Go’ style real-life adventure, will see competitors submit sightings using their mobile phones. The competition runs from 9th-25th February and is open to anyone, anywhere.

“There are amazing treasures hidden in plain sight in the insect world. Bold black and blue bees, brilliantly coloured metallic wasps, and flies of all shapes and sizes.” said Dr David Yeates, Director of CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection. “There are just so many species out there, that we really do value the efforts of ‘citizen scientists’ sending in photos of what they find in the wild. It’s an exhilarating feeling to find something unusual - hopefully there is lots of that excitement with this BioQuest.”

February’s competition is part of a monthly series of ‘BioQuests’ through the popular Australian mobile app QuestaGame. As players submit sightings of wildlife, experts help the players learn about what they’ve found, and the observations support environmental research and conservation. In December and January, BioQuesters helped map hundreds of unique species of spiders, butterflies and moths. Some of which experts believe to be new species. Could there be more new species found this month?

“It’s always exciting when the experts are interested in what the players find.” says David Haynes, co-founder of QuestaGame. “Many players love that their efforts contribute to real research through the CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. But for many players BioQuesting is also about getting outdoors, having a fun adventure, learning about nature and seeing the world in a new way.”

The Buzzing Bonanza BioQuest runs from the 9th to 25th of February. Players are encouraged to submit sightings of Flies (Diptera) as well as Bees, Ants and Wasps (Hymenoptera). Funky science T-shirt prizes from Shirty Science and online voucher to be won for Biome Eco Stores. Entry is $10 (USD), or free for QuestaGame members.

For more information, or to sign up, visit

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