Autonomous Camera Traps for Insects / Feed

Camera trapping for insects is becoming a reality using advances in camera, AI, and autonomous systems technologies. This group discusses the latest advances, shares experiences, and offers a space for anyone interested in the technology, from beginners to experts.


Project introductions and updates

Tell us about your project!If you are just starting out with autonomous camera traps for insects, or if you are a seasoned expert, this is the place to share your...

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@jamiealison : OpenCV for image processing and PyTorch for classification

@tom_august : We'll work on accumulation curves this summer to compare different schedules/sampling approaches; we don't have enough data to answer your question yet. Regarding the camera we were using a RICOH WG-6 but the image quality is not good enough so we will replace it and are  looking for other options. Which one did you use? 

We have been using a 4k Logitek Biro web camera, which is in a housing with LEDs for illumination. We use this mainly out of legacy, and the image quality is good but we think we can do better. I have just bought pretty much the entire range of Raspberry Pi cameras to test out, I'll post the results here. I think we can have better control over the images with these cameras and they will be smaller too.
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Solar panels in the tropics

We are deploying automated systems in the topics and hope to use solar panels, but this closed canopy in most places I'm seeing this as a challenge.Past the obvious: 'find a...

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Hi Tom,

I'm with Akiba, you have to test.  A collaborator has deployed solar-augmented kit in secondary jungle and some of them got enough light, and others didn't, so it can work.  The open circuit voltage of solar panels doesn't change a whole lot in dim light, but the current drops drastically.  So you would choose an oversize panel of the same voltage (or a bit higher).


I've been intrigued by this topic. Thinking about ways you could use drones or some kind of launcher to deploy panels above the canopy. Sadly I live in the great white north so I have no way of testing any concepts. Maybe even some kind of solar balloon that could float above the canopy. Interesting design problem.

Hey Tom,
Since the output is dependent on a couple of factors such as the solar irradiance of the place, shading from the canopy, the type of solar panels (mono, poly or amorphous) and orientation of the panels, etc, I'd suggest you use a software to simulate the different parameters to get an almost accurate estimation of the output. You can try PVsyst- it has a free month trial (I haven't used it before but I hear it's great) or any other PV software :)

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What is the best light for attracting moths?

We want to upgrade the UV lights on our moth traps. We currently use a UV fluorescent tube...

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We are about to try that by modifying the new traps that we build. [email protected] will know more about what we have tried so far. One thing that I know he wants to try is to use glass tubes with good transmission properties

If people come to any findings about loght trap lights let us know!


Another question i had on this front is about how continuous do light sources need to be?


Since us and @Hubertszcz are controlling our lights anyway with an Automated relay, we can potentially reduce power consumption in a couple different ways. For instance (hypothetically) maybe insects wouldn't care if we turned the lights off every 5 seconds for 3 seconds . Maybe they would even prefer blinking lights? Maybe they would hate it even if the light took a 20 second break every 10 minutes?


I have no idea, but if anyone else has thoughts, let us know!

We have also thought about these sorts of things. We have chosen to keep the light on continuously for the night, but turn it off before dawn to allow the moths to fly away before predators arrive. 

We are going to be trying out the EntoLEDs and LepiLEDs in Panama in the last two weeks of January, I'll post here on my thoughts.

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Capture And Identify Flying Insects

Hello EveryoneI already found a lot of helpful information on this page though I am having a hard time finding a system which is confirmed to be able to identify insects that fly...

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This sounds like an interesting challenge. I think depth of focus and shutter speeds are going to be challenging. You'll need a fast shutter speed to be able to get shape images of insects in flight. Are you interested in species ID or are you more interested in abundance. having a backboard on the other side of the hotel would be a good idea to remove background clutter from your images.

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Cameras - pros and cons

So, what makes a good camera for an autonomous camera trap for insects?We use a web camera in our system, which seems to work well a lot of the time, it produces...

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Hi Liz, unfortunately you will still need a Raspberry Pi as host for the OAK-1 camera to reproduce our hardware setup. It's also possible to use another Linux-based system (e.g. Raspberry Pi alternatives), but I didn't test this myself and the setup process will be different to our documentation (and probably not so straightforward). I'm planning to publish the documentation website in the next weeks, but I can already send you detailed information about putting together the hardware if you are still interested.



I'm working on a light weight light trap based on Bjerge et al 2021, however I opted to use an ArduCam 64mp (9152 x 6944 resolution). Designed for the pi specifically and at $60 it checks many of your criteria. I haven't put everything together yet so I can't speak for white balance and power usage, but the autofocus appears to work well from initial tests, and it is tiny.




Awesome! it would be great to hear how you get on, maybe you can share your results here when you have them. Is the camera only for the Pi? That could be a problem for scaling as Pis are quite hard to come by at the moment.

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Metadata standards for Automated Insect Camera Traps

Have others watched this webinar from GBIF introducing the data model for camera trap data. I wonder if this is something we can easily adopt/adapt for our sorts of camera traps?

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I did attend the webinar and had a strong feeling that this standard will be well supported and taken up in the camera trapping community! I would also love to hear if someone has tried to use it.

I've added this to the main camera trap thread as it would be good to get thoughts from those folk too.

Yes. I think this is really the way to go!

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Easy-RIDER project Workshop IV: Pollinator monitoring recording

In case you missed our webinar on Pollinator monitoring, here is the recording.

We had presentations from three teams who will be presenting their work in designing automated monitoring tools for flower-visiting insects, different ways for creating datasets for training machine learning algorithms for insect identification and how these new technologies can be integrated in traditional monitoring schemes. The talks were followed with a discussion session.


Implementation of video surveillance to quantify the predation rate

Hello everyone,First of all, thank you for all the information on your great website. My name is Julien Péters and I am a PhD student at the University of Liège (Belgium). For my...

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We are having this problem too and it might be worthy of its own thread! The lack of RaspberryPis is a big problem and we are currently looking into alternatives. We haven't found one yet, but if we do I will let you know. @Max_Sitt might have some suggested alternatives for his system?

Hi Julien,


we are working with the Luxonis OAK-1 which can run lightweight detection models (e.g. YOLOv5n/s) directly on-device. However you will still need a host, for outdoor deployment Raspberry Pi (e.g. Zero 2 W) is perfect. But for testing you could also use another Linux-based system as host device or just connect it to e.g. your notebook. You can find more info in the Luxonis Docs.


Regarding the Raspberry Pi availability, this blog post from Jeff Geerling probably sums up the current situation pretty well. I hope in Q1 2023 the situation will get better, but at the moment nobody really knows for sure.

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Welcome to the Autonomous camera traps for insects group!

Hello and welcome to the Autonomous Camera Traps for Insects group :).In this group we will be discussing the use of autonomous camera traps as a tool for long-term remote...

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Hi folks! Great to have this group online! I actually am a marine ecologist specializing in bioacoustics but recently joined a Pollinator Monitoring group a Cal-State San Marcos and am helping with an automated camera aspect of the project. We are using the PICT guide and recently migrated to use of VIAME for insect track detection (well, we are just trying it out now). Very exciting work, look forward to learning from you all! Has anyone worked work PICTS? 

- Liz Ferguson

Hi Tom

I am a farmer in Devon researching silvopasture with several research organisations. I have just landed a farmer lead grant to research dung beetles using camera traps and AI. I am collaborating with Rothamsted. 


Do you have any tips on sourcing the right camera trap please?



Hi there!

I am a field biologist and research technician working with ecosystem monitoring at the research station Zackenberg in Northeast Greenland. For the last couple of years we have been cooperating with Toke Høye and have deployed his timelapse cameras on Dryas flowers to monitor polinator activity but also to compare to our nearby flower phenology monitoring plots. We have also done yellow pit fall trap monitoring in plots and have a long time series of 25 years. We are considering testing camera based methods for this though and I am happy to see many folks working along those lines. Hopefully I can get some inspiration here and we can start testing it out.

Cheers, Lars




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Workshop IV: Pollinator monitoring

This workshop is part of a series of online meetings to share experiences around the globe using automated technology (Cameras + AI) to monitor moths and other nocturnal insects.

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This sounds amazing and I advertised it among my colleagues. Unfortunately, most probably I will not be able to attend, however, would be nice if you can provide the recording...
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Most interesting images / sightings 'caught on camera'

A thread for people to upload the most interesting or unusual sightings recorded by their traps. To get the ball rolling here's a coy looking crow..

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No - the trap was in their path and they just walked through it. I've now moved it to a place they can't go. The biggest threat to the moths is from pied currawongs. I schedule the trap so it shuts off at least two before sunrise to try to avoid them feasting on the larger insects.

At first I was finding wings below the screen in the morning when I put our units out. So I put a game camera on the units to see what was feeding and when. I found three bird species, likely 3 individuals, quickly found it to be a good bird feeder- Song Sparrow (most frequent), House Wren, and this Tufted Titmouse. I changed my units to turn off about 1.5 hours before dawn and that worked! Nearly all the moths left the scene before the birds came to visit. 

My most prized camera trap image - a hummingbird caught on camera!


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Identify animal from Image

I am thankful to the members of Wildlabs net for giving us the right information to enable us to plan Bioacoustics solution implementation. It seems to be on track as of now....

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Hi Jitendra.

If they are still images, many people are using Megadetector to analyze their images. I'm not sure how it will do in species classification, but it can tell you if there are images of interest in the shots. Others here can probably give you more detailed instructions on how to use it to batch process camera trap images.


Have you considered creating a Kaggle competition? If you already have lots of images, and some that have been labelled, then this could be a good way to get people working on a solution

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