As we get ready to set up our Malaise trap tomorrow morning, our 6th grade students are anxious to see what kind of creatures we will catch over the next two weeks. Here are some thoughts from a few of our students:
My thinking for this project is that we’re going to have a lot of fun but it will be weird at the same time. I hope we catch a lot of bugs and maybe even some rare ones! I’m really excited for this project. Here in Winnipeg, it’s pretty warm and I guess we’re gonna get a lot of creepy crawlies!
-Saeed Saeed, 6M
Hey! We’re from Manitoba and we want to say hello and wish you good luck. We are so glad to be having this experience with a bunch of schools across the country. What if we find some poisonous spiders or scorpions? The experience seems fun and we hope we will do well!
-Gabriel Laplante, 6M
I think there will be a lot of flies – but they might be ones that aren’t discovered yet!. We are all excited about this activity because we want to know if there will be cool insects in the trap.
-Zacharie Bouchard, 6S
I can’t wait to get started on this project! I think it’s going to be really fun because we get to catch insects we might have never seen before. I wonder what kind of insects we’re going to find – probably a lot of flies and common flying bugs. I don’t think we will get a grasshopper – it’s not the right time of the year for them.
We have been participating in the School Malaise Trap Program.
On Monday, September 22, we put the ethanol on the trap. (Don’t play with ethanol. It is very poisonous and flammable). We use ethanol because it preserves the bugs after they die in it. They die in the ethanol because it is poison. Again, ethanol is very poisonous.
The trap worked very well and we caught hundreds of tiny little insects. In our second week, we hope to catch more insects than before.
We decided to set up the trap at our teacher’s house so that it would not be disturbed. If it was disturbed, the specimens might fall out, the ethanol would spill, and some kids would get very sick from the ethanol on the ground, maybe even the fumes of ethanol could make them sick.
We really enjoyed this program. We especially enjoyed our second week. During the second week the sky was overcast and it rained periodically. During the second week we caught almost 3 times as much as during the first week. During the first week we only approached the first line of the bottle but during the second week we made it up to almost the third line. That helped us construct our own hypothesis about how the weather affects insect collection. We hope you enjoy our selfies and we look forward to the results!
We saw a wasp on Monday, September 22, when we first went there, but the bottle wasn’t in the Malaise Trap yet. Then, on Friday when we had the bottle on, we caught some insects like a wasp and lots of flies.
We love the program and this Malaise Trap Program is fun because we are learning about insects. Flying insects go in the trap then die. We caught lots of them last week and we might catch more insects this week.
We put our Malaise trap up on Monday, September 22. The insects will fly right up to the top of the trap and there is a hole at the top and the bottle is attached to the hole.
There is ethanol in this bottle so the insects get trapped in the bottle and die.
On Friday, September 26, we took it down to see how many insects we have caught.
The ethanol in the bottle, believe it or not, actually changed colours!!! It was sort of a brownish colour instead of being clear. Most of the bugs were dead at the bottom of the bottle along with some floating insects. The floating insects looked like they were swimming. I think it’s because they just got in the bottle over night so they are probably just making their way down.
Today, September 29, we went back to the location where we have set up the Malaise Trap. Because the cloud coverage was only about 3%, I thought we wouldn’t catch many bugs. Usually there are insects flying in my face every day. But today there were no insects in the air. That’s why I predicted we wouldn’t catch lots of insects today! We found 2 ladybugs around the tent though, so maybe we will catch some crawling critters, such as: ladybugs, spiders, or maybe even beetles. Because those bugs can crawl up the net right into the bottle, as they look for shelter when the weather is rainy.
On September 22 we went to Miss Manacom’s back yard to see our Malaise Trap. We recorded the daily high temperature, cloud cover and catch volume.
These records are important because then it will give us better understandings of how the weather affects the insects. For example: if it was snowing then not many bugs would be out. In that case, if it is super sunny it will be good bug catching weather.
There are two bottles of ethanol; the first one is for week one and the second one is for week two so we can see if there is a difference of the bugs.
When we set up our Malaise trap I was really excited. I want to see what bugs live here. I think it would be good to see what bugs live here because we can see if any bugs help make medicine. We set it up in front of our school garden because bugs go near gardens. I think we will attract a lot of bees because bees collect pollen. I think we will get flies and gnats too. We might get a dragonfly because I have seen some dragonflies at recess. I wonder if temperature changes if any bugs come. I think we would have a lot of bugs but we have a lot of small bugs. – J. (gr4)
Our bottle has filled up quite a bit since yesterday. It’s now up to the first mark! Most other schools have a more buggy area. Our school is close to Lake Ontario. Maybe our school will have different results than Erin Mills (also in Mississauga). What do you think? Maybe tomorrow will be very buggy. It might even raise another line! – M. (gr4)