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Using Malaise traps to sample ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2012

Michael D. Ulyshen*
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 320 Green Street, Athens, Georgia 30602-2044, United States of America
James L. Hanula
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 320 Green Street, Athens, Georgia 30602-2044, United States of America
Scott Horn
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 320 Green Street, Athens, Georgia 30602-2044, United States of America
1Corresponding author (e-mail:


Pitfall traps provide an easy and inexpensive way to sample ground-dwelling arthropods (Spence and Niemela 1994; Spence et al. 1997; Abildsnes and Tommeras 2000) and have been used exclusively in many studies of the abundance and diversity of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Despite the popularity of this trapping technique, pitfall traps have many disadvantages. For example, they often fail to collect both small (Spence and Niemela 1994) and “trap-shy” species (Benest 1989), eventually deplete the local carabid population (Digweed et al. 1995), require a species to be ground-dwelling in order to be captured (Liebherr and Mahar 1979), and produce different results depending on trap diameter and material, type of preservative used, and trap placement (Greenslade 1964; Luff 1975; Work et al. 2002).

Copyright © Entomological Society of Canada 2005

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