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Beetlebee

Pitfall traps

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Hello!!

 

I tried out some pitfall traps to catch and see some bugs for the first time today. I just set them out a little while ago and was curious if anyone else ever tried this method and if so what were your results? I'm still here in florida, hoping to catch some critters and I'm having very bad luck! Flying things are so hard to catch! I'm a bit discouraged and have no idea how people catch butterflies and dragonflies! I've caught one good sized butterfly, one biggish dragonfly and one little dragonfly, but I saw tons of each! Just couldn't catch any!!!! Butterflies were the hardest as they never sat still, at least with the dragonflies they take a lot of little flying breaks.

 

Anywho, hoping these pitfalls catch some cool little critters!

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Dragonflies do not do well in captivity as adults, though.

 

 

I have planted a pitfall in the forest once. Didn’t catch an ant.

 

Some people have luck with just putting oats on the ground and picking up beetles as they arrive

 

Pitfalls containing carabids or spiders can get other insects inside eaten though

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If you have a specific insect in mind which you can not locate, do research its habitat and biology carefully using research papers. Many species are common in preferred habitats and extremely rare elsewhere

 

I like Researchgate, it gives out many papers for free

 

Cheers and good luck. I remember when I first started out - I felt just like you. Later, I realized that using the right methods is extremely important for success :)

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Thank for the encouragement and advice! Unfortunately I'm not trying to raise all the bugs I find. I'm trying to collect, so one day I can donate specimens to the museums around me! Though I do love raising bugs as well! I must be in a bad area cause pitfalls and black lights brought me nothing!

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I've got some pretty good catches from these pitfalls before, and they should work for some Rhinoceros Beetles like Xyloryctes sp.

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Collecting has a lot do with timing and thus a little luck helps as well. Many species are only out in number for a few weeks and they they are gone. I am not a Lep guy but I have friends that catch leps by setting traps with bait, fermented fruit, etc. This helps a lot with those species that fly fast and you chase them like mad as they laugh at you. Maybe check out the insect forum, there are mainly lep guys there and they seem to know all the tricks for catching butterflies and moths. But remember that the location and time of year is critical for many species.

Each year my friends and I go to a location in So Calif in the spring to collect a small scarab called Paracotalpa deserta. It flys for about one week in good numbers. One year we went and we saw hundreds. I went back one week later and I saw 2. Collecting can be difficult. So just be patient and try different places at different times and try to gather as much information as possible on location, date, and how to collect them. That is really the key.

For example, let's say you want Dynastes granti. You must know where to go, how to collect them, and what is the date range. If you go a few weeks early or late, you likely get nothing. You go at the peak time and the exact location, you may see 50 at the store lights.

The more you go out collecting, the more you will learn, where, when and how. You have to enjoy the journey and the learning process. Any true collector will tell you that they have been skunked many, many times.

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That was really uplifting to here! Haha! I was a bit disappointed to have not found much, but that won't keep me from trying! I'm hoping to go on a vacation or two this summer to visit family and while I'm out I'll see what I spot and do some research on what's in the area at the time as well!

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