Friday, July 5, 2013

Tracking Insects

By Anne Burgess, used under Creative Commons license
We follow bird tracks, squirrel tracks, deer tracks.... why not bug tracks? Granted, they are small - and what do beetle and cricket tracks look like, anyway?

One way to fine out is to collect insect tracks. You need some black construction paper, fine chalk dust, and a few different insects. Spread the chalk dust on the sheet of paper. Then place an insect down and watch what sort of tracks it leaves.

Ant tracks tend to be complicated patterns, whereas beetles leave a series of wavy parallel lines behind. But what about millipedes? Crickets?

Take photos of your tracks and label them to create a field guide to bug tracks in your back yard. Then, after the next rain, head outside to see who has left their footprints in the mud.

Believe it or not, there is a field guide to insect tracks & signs! Check out more STEM Friday resources here.


  1. Sue,

    This is a wonderful idea! We saw some fossils of spider tracks at a local gem and mineral show once, but never thought to look for fresh ones. Definitely will be sharing and trying this one.

  2. This sounds like a fun idea. I notice tracks in the sand sometimes but I don't usually think much about them. I'm more interested in the lizard tracks.

  3. Wow, what a great idea. I'm going to give it a try this weekend.