Vanessa here! Today Emily and I went out to change the bottle on the Malaise trap that we have set up in front of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO). We have had this trap out all summer and mainly use it for educational purposes, such as teaching school groups about insect trapping methods. The last time we changed the bottle was approximately two weeks ago and we were thrilled to see that the bottle was quite full!
Emily and I were quite curious about what we caught, so we decided to take a sneak peek. Peering into the bottle, we noticed an abundance of a large mosquito-like insect, commonly called a crane fly.
Crane flies come from the family Tipulidae and there are over 4,000 species found worldwide. Although they look like large mosquitoes, crane flies will not bite animals or humans. Crane flies will feed on nectar, or they will not eat at all; most adult crane flies will only mate then die. Because many species of crane flies are quite large and very abundant, they are easily preyed upon by birds, mammals, fishes, and other vertebrates, as well as by spiders and predacious insects.
We are excited to hear about what you caught in your traps!