I low TO COLLECT INSECTS Since most insccts arc mobile, collecting them involves intercepting them with hand nets, sweep nets, pond nets, or pooters as they fly, swim, or crawl. Trapping insects by attracting them to some kind of bait is also a good technique. In tropical regions, rotting fruit will attract many insects including butterflies, and animal dung will draw hundreds of beetles. Wherever you are, a piece of rotting fish in a plastic bottle will collect flics and some parasitic wasps.

If you want to discover how abundant a species is in a specific area compared to another site, it is important to carry out identical tests in each area for an accurate comparison, lor example, make sure you cover the same surface area, use the same number of pitfall traps, or sieve the same volume of leaf litter. Remember to wash your hands after field work.

Beating Tray

A white tray or doth placed under a tree is a good way to catch insects; shake the branch to dislodge leaj-inhabiting species.

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These nets should be made of fine mesh and may be used to catch any flying insects. This one has an extendible handle.

Using a Pooter

W ith a pooter, you can collect small insects from a beating tray by sucking them up a tube and into a container.

Pitfall Trap

To catch ground-running insects and other arthropods, sink a plastic cup into the ground with its top flush with the surface.

Attracting Insects to Your Garden

A garden with overgrown patches will attract considerably more forms of wildlife than one that is highly manicured. Variety is another important feature of a good wildlife garden: a wide range of habitats and microhabitats will attract a diverse fauna of insects and other animals. Never use pesticides in the garden.

When tidying the garden, try not to clear too much away that could be appealing to insects. Leave wood to decay naturally, and make a compost heap with vegetable waste from your kitchen and garden. A huge number of species live in decaying plant matter, and your garden will benefit from the compost you produce. Nectar-rich flowers such as lavender attract butterflies, moths, hover flics, and bees.

Create a Wildlife Area

A pond surrounded by plants is ideal for luring wildlife to the garden and provides a home and shelter for a great range of arthropods. Dig a pond as large as you can; aquatic insects will colonize it immediately.

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