Swann Fountain at Sunset

The Philadelphia Fountain Insect Survey

From April to November of 2013 & 2014 and then again in 2017 & 2018, insect samples were collected every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Philadelphia's Swann Fountain via a fine woven fish net. 
- Why Swann Fountain? - 
• Location: Swann Fountain is in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia.
• The Fountain: The spray of the fountain creates a sort of flight intercept trap that catches unwary insects flying through the open corridor that the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Creates. 

There is still much work to be done regarding sample processing. Nevertheless, we have already found some somewhat surprising specimens in the samples. The list includes a pine barrens cicada (Neocicada hieroglyphica), phantom crane fly (Ptychopteridae), a strepsipteran, and a cuckoo wasp species that was not yet represented in the Academy of Natural Sciences' entomology collection.


This project was featured in Philadelphia's GRID Magazine:

Featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

CBS3 News

Example Sample

Example Sample

Strepsipteran found in an October sample

Strepsipteran found in an October sample

An innovative project studies urban insect biodiversity
— Grid Magazine
Me with the day's catch

Me with the day's catch

Insects collected from the fountain were part of a public display at the Academy of Natural Sciences