Temperature influences many different aspects of invertebrate life cycles and reproduction. A low cost and easy to use tool to measure temperature are data-loggers known as iButtons. These buttons register temperature and time as frequently as once a minute and with temperature resolution up to 0.06 °C.
iButtons have been used for a variety of scientific applications. For example, Libsch et al. 2008, used this method with birds to document the timing of nest predation events during the egg stage for several species. They counted the arrivals and departures of adults to and from nests by counting abrupt temperature changes revealed on graphs recorded by iButtons.
They are not resistant to seawater, so we protect them in sealed plastic pouches before we put them in the field.
To avoid damage to the plastic due to waves, fish, rocks, etc. we cover them with a strong plastic mesh. This way the button is inside a “bag”, tied together with small cable ties. After all this our iButtons are ready for field work.
The pouches can be easily attached to different surfaces depending of the project’s requirements. The ibuttons can be placed on roots, branches, and settlement plates. Their small size means they are unobtrusive and they can give you a large amount of data. Be careful attaching them properly to the substrate, as they can easily get washed away if they get loose.
Finally, you can download the temperature data using the provided software, and visualize and save your data.
Libsch, Michael M.; C. Batista; D. Buehler; I. Ochoa; J. Brawn and R.E. Ricklefs. 2008. Nest predation in a Neotropical forest occurs during daytime. The Condor 110(1):166–170