Building a better sticky trap: description of an easy-to-use trap and pole mount for quantifying the abundance of adult aquatic insects

Freshwater Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

Insect emergence is a fundamental process in freshwaters. It is a critical life-history stage for aquatic insects and provides an important prey resource for terrestrial and aquatic consumers. Sticky traps are increasingly being used to sample these insects. The most common design consists of an acetate sheet coated with a nondrying adhesive that is attached to a wire frame or cylinder. These traps must be prepared at the deployment site, a process that can be time consuming and difficult given the vagaries of field conditions. Our goals were to develop a sturdy, low-cost sticky trap that could be prepared in advance, rapidly deployed and recovered in the field, and used to estimate the flight direction of insects. We used 150-mm Petri dishes with lids. The dishes can be coated cleanly and consistently with Tangle-Trap® adhesive. Deploying traps is simple and requires only a pole set near the body of water being sampled. Four dishes can be attached to the pole using Velcro and aligned in 4 different directions to enable quantification of insect flight direction. After sampling, Petri dishes can be taped closed, packed in boxes, and stored indefinitely. Petri traps are comparable in price to standard acetate sheet traps at ∼US$0.50/directional deployment, but they require more space for storage than acetate sheet traps. However, a major benefit of Petri traps is that field deployment times are ⅓ those of acetate traps. Our study demonstrated that large Petri dishes are an ideal platform for sampling postemergent adult aquatic insects, particularly when the study design involves estimating flight direction and when rapid deployment and recovery of traps is critical.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Building a better sticky trap: description of an easy-to-use trap and pole mount for quantifying the abundance of adult aquatic insects
Series title Freshwater Science
DOI 10.1086/676998
Volume 33
Issue 3
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Society for Freshwater Science
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Freshwater Science
First page 972
Last page 977