Sunday, September 14, 2008


Sifters are used to collect insects and mites that live in ground litter, leaf mold, rotting wood, mammal and bird nests, fungi, shore detritus, lichens, mosses, and similar material. Sifters are especially useful for winter collecting to pick up hibernating specimens. Almost any container with a wire-mesh screen bottom will serve as a sifter. The size of the mesh depends on the size of the specimens sought.

For general purposes, screening with 2.5-3 meshes per centimeter is satisfactory. To use the sifter, place the material to be sifted into the container and shake it gently over a white pan or piece of white cloth. As the insects and mites fall onto the cloth, they may be collected with forceps, a brush, or an aspirator

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