Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baiting With Feces

Animal and human feces attract many insects. A simple but effective method of collecting such insects is to place fresh feces on a piece of paper on the ground and wait a few minutes. When a sufficient number of insects have arrived, a net with its bag held upward can be brought carefully over the bait about 1 meter above it. This will not disturb the insects, nor will they be greatly disturbed when the net is lowered gently about two- thirds of the distance to the bait. At this point, the net should be quickly lowered until its rim strikes the paper. The insects, mostly flies, will rise into the net, which may then be lifted a short distance above the bait and quickly swung sideways, capturing the insects in the bottom of the bag. In about half an hour, many flies can be caught, virtually all that have come to the bait. Because of this, the ‘baiting with feces’ method may be used for quantitative studies .

Feces are most attractive to insects during the first hour after deposition, but insects coming for a more extended period may be captured by placing a canopy trap over the feces or by using the feces with the cereal dish trap . Emergence traps placed over old feces will capture adult insects emerging from immature forms feeding there. The same methods also may be used with other baits, such as decaying fruit, small carcasses, and a wide variety of other substances.

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