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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 13-20 November 2020

As with recent weeks, a relatively low number and diversity of insects (particularly when compared with the five-day test of a SLAM trap around 10 m away.

Over the next week, I will compare the current Malaise trap location with another Malaise trap located near the position used for the SLAM trap.

The collecting medium was 95% isopropyl alcohol.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan SLAM comparison 15-19 November 2020

SLAM trap
SLAM trap positioned for comparison with Malaise trap in the period 15-19 November 2020

There has been a noticeable imbalance in the insects collected in the Araba Bioscan Malaise trap to date. The vast majority of larger insects have been moths, with rather few flies or wasps. This week, I chose to add a second trap (a SLAM trap which operates like a small Malaise trap with four access quadrants instead of two sides) positioned around 10 m away in slightly more exposed spot. This page provides an overview of the material caught in this trap. The balance was very different with many more beetles, including three Euomma lateralis Boheman, 1858 (Tenebrionidae: Alleculinae) and one Pterohelaeus striatopunctatus Boisduval 1835 (Tenebrionidae: Tenebrioninae), and cockroaches, including one Robshelfordia circumducta (Walker, 1869) and seven Johnrehnia concisa (Walker, 1871) (both Ectobiidae: Blatellinae), and a larger number of insects overall. This was despite this trap only being deployed for less than five complete days.

This has encouraged me to set up a second Malaise trap in the position used for the SLAM trap and to compare this in the coming week with the original trap. Assuming a greater diversity of insects also occurs in the new Malaise trap, I will decommission the first one and effectively restart the clock on the project.

The collecting medium was 95% isopropyl alcohol.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 6-13 November 2020

It was much warmer than last week and this was reflected in a greatly increased number of insects in the Malaise trap, particularly gelechioid moths. Philobota cretacea Meyrick, 1884 was noted last week as recorded for the first time at the site despite years of recording moths at light. This week, two more were collected.

I have photographed a selection of flies, including three separate Muscoidea. These vary in size, wing markings and leg colouration. Images 3a, 3b, 3c and 4 illustrate two individuals of a larger species of Muscidae with wing spots. Images, 5, 6, and 7 show three individuals of a smaller species of Muscidae with plainer wings and yellow tarsi. Based on material in BOLD, this seems to be a common species widely collected and clustered as BIN BOLD:AAU5065. Images 8a and 8b illustrate an individual apparently of Anthomyiidae with plain wings and orange-brown front femurs. Thanks again to tony_d on iNaturalist for assistance with these flies.

The collecting medium was 95% isopropyl alcohol.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 30 October to 6 November 2020

This was a cold week and very wet. On 1 November, no point in the whole 24-hour period was as warm as midnight at the start.

The moths captured included several of the small oecophorid Hoplostega ochroma (Meyrick, 1886), as well as the first record for the site of Philobota cretacea Meyrick, 1884. This latter species had not been recorded from light trapping at the site.

Thanks to Frans Janssens@www.collembola.org for the springtail identification, Boris B├╝che on iNaturalist for the Aderidae identification, Nigel Main on iNaturalist for the ant genus identifications, and tonyd on iNaturalist for multiple fly identifications.

The collecting medium was 95% isopropyl alcohol.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 23-30 October 2020

This was the first week of sampling in the Araba Bioscan Project, using 95% isopropyl alcohol as the collecting medium. A sensor for temperature and humidity was attached to the Malaise trap part way through the week, along with a soil moisture sensor immediately under the trap. Barometric pressure is measured about 10 m away and other environmental measurements will be collected in subsequent weeks.

Spring has been wet here in Canberra, following a number of years of low rainfall. The surrounding woodland is currently full of flowers, including very large numbers of tiger orchids (Diuris sulphurea R.Br.).

The Malaise sample included a surprising number (to me, at least) of springtails (Collembola).

The only neuropteran species captured was the common brown lacewing (Hemerobiidae) Micromus tasmaniae (Walker, 1860). All four individuals of this species are illustrated below.

Thanks to tony_d on iNaturalist for the identification of Sphenella ruficeps (Macquart, 1851) and other flies.