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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376180

Research Project: Systematics of Parasitic and Herbivorous Wasps of Agricultural Importance

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Pan trap color preference across Hymenoptera in a forest clearing

item Buffington, Matthew
item GARRETSON, A. - George Mason University
item Kula, Robert
item Gates, Michael
item CARPENTER, RYAN - New York University
item SMITH, D.R. - Retired ARS Employee
item KULA, ABIGAIL A.R. - St Mary'S University

Submitted to: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/2020
Publication Date: 12/28/2020
Citation: Buffington, M.L., Garretson, A., Kula, R.R., Gates, M.W., Carpenter, R., Smith, D., Kula, A. 2020. Pan trap color preference across Hymenoptera in a forest clearing. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 169(3):298-311.

Interpretive Summary: Measuring insect diversity (number of species) and abundance (how many individuals) is essential for effective agroecosystem and natural ecosystem management. To record these data from a field system, some sort of reliable and consistent trapping method is required. Here we studied the pan trap system for catching bees and wasps, and we compared different colors of pan traps for collection bias. We found that yellow was more attractive to some wasps and that bees had no preference as long as the pan was not clear or red. These data, and our analyses, will be essential for extension agents, insect pest managers, land managers, and scientists for measuring insect diversity in a variety of ecosystems.

Technical Abstract: Insect biodiversity reveals much about ecosystem health and function, however, field studies of insect community composition and diversity are often unintentionally biased by the sampling methods deployed in the study area. Pan traps, particularly yellow pan traps, are a common method for passive community assessment across at a variety of taxonomic levels. Our study finds that the diversity, richness, and abundance of Hymenoptera families in pan trapping projects are significantly impacted by the color of the pan trap deployed. Additionally, we find that individual species display significant preferences for not only yellow pan traps but also for white, fluorescent yellow, blue, and fluorescent blue pans. Our data support recent studies that suggest deploying only yellow traps may be insufficient for sampling the true diversity of specific families of insects in a region.