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A comparison of two common flight interception traps to survey tropical arthropods.

  • Author(s): Lamarre, Greg
  • Molto, Quentin
  • Fine, Paul
  • Baraloto, Christopher
  • et al.
Abstract

Tropical forests are predicted to harbor most of the insect diversity on earth, but few studies have been conducted to characterize insect communities in tropical forests. One major limitation is the lack of consensus on methods for insect collection. Deciding which insect trap to use is an important consideration for ecologists and entomologists, yet to date few study has presented a quantitative comparison of the results generated by standardized methods in tropical insect communities. Here, we investigate the relative performance of two flight interception traps, the windowpane trap, and the more widely used malaise trap, across a broad gradient of lowland forest types in French Guiana. The windowpane trap consistently collected significantly more Coleoptera and Blattaria than the malaise trap, which proved most effective for Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera. Orthoptera and Lepidoptera were not well represented using either trap, suggesting the need for additional methods such as bait traps and light traps. Our results of contrasting trap performance among insect orders underscore the need for complementary trapping strategies using multiple methods for community surveys in tropical forests.

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