Efficiency of malaise traps and colored pan traps for collecting flower visiting insects from three forested ecosystems

  • Authors: Campbell, Joshua W.; Hanula, J.L.
  • Publication Year: 2007
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: J. Insect Conserv., Vol. 11: 399-408


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.

  • Citation: Campbell, Joshua W.; Hanula, J.L. 2007. Efficiency of malaise traps and colored pan traps for collecting flower visiting insects from three forested ecosystems. J. Insect Conserv., Vol. 11: 399-408
  • Keywords: Pan trap, malaise trap, pollinator, insect vision
  • Posted Date: December 1, 2008
  • Modified Date: December 22, 2008
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.