Collecting Coleoptera


Beetles, unlike birds or mammals, require the prudent collection of voucher specimens to aid in the determination of the taxonomic position within the order Coleoptera.  Many, virtually identical, specimens can only be separated to species by dissection and/or observation of taxonomic characters under magnification.  A few, rather conspicuous species, may be reliably determined in the field but this proves the exception rather than the rule.  Therefore, a proper sampling of any region or specific habitat for the presence of beetle species requires the securing of specimens and the formulation of a collection.

It has been well documented that collecting has no substantial effect on the Coleoptera populations, and that habitat destruction and predation by other animals impacts beetle populations more than anything else.  Of paramount importance is the accurate recording of what was collected as this establishes valuable data critical for conservation and biological studies and research.  This simple fact is what drives the Ohio Coleopterists main goal of establishing the Ohio Beetles Database.

What follows is a tutorial of sorts on collecting techniques and equipment established by many coleopterists over a long period of trial and error.  The following represents some bias by the author(s) and does not include all methods or equipment available.  Anyone wishing to contribute to this section is welcome to submit their ideas to:


Sweep Net               Beating Sheet                              Litter Reducer                Pooter/Aspirator


Aerial Net                Sifter and Tray/Sheet                   Extraction Funnel           Misc. Field Equipment


Aquatic Nets           UV/Mercury Vapor Lights            Litter Extractor


Lindgren Funnel Trap        Pitt-Fall Traps        Pan Traps

Flight Intercept Trap          Bait Traps            Rearing Coleoptera

UV Bucket Trap                 Bait Trails           

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