Efficiency of malaise traps and colored pan traps for collecting flower visiting insects from three forested ecosystems
Pan and Malaise traps have been used widely to sample insect abundance and diversity, but no studies have compared their performance for sampling pollinators in forested ecosystems. Malaise trap design and color of pan traps are important parameters that influence insect pollinator catches. We compared pan trap (blue, yellow, white, and red) and Malaise trap catches from forests in three physiographic provinces (Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Blue Ridge) of the southeastern United States. Similarities in trap performance between sites were observed with blue pan traps being most effective overall. Our results showed that various pollinator groups preferred certain pan trap colors and that adding color to Malaise traps influenced insect pollinator catches. However, pan traps generally caught more pollinators than Malaise traps. Because of their low cost and simplicity, using several colors of pan traps is an effective way to sample relative abun4ance and species richness of flower-visiting insects.