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  1. Hello Forest Avenue Public School,

    What a great question! The Malaise trap is specially designed to capture flying insects, particularly Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and Diptera (true flies). The insects will fly into the mesh panel at the centre of the trap and because they no longer can keep going forward, their instinct is to fly upwards. When they reach the peak of the trap they will be funnelled through a hole which leads into an ethanol bottle. Because it is such a long way up to the opening at the top of the trap, most ground insects who are not very good fliers (such as beetles), will fall while hitting/climbing on the mesh. Ground insects can also be a lot heavier than flying insects so this is another reason that they may fall while climbing on the trap.

    All this mentioned, we do get a few ground insects and arthropods that make it all the way up into the trap, such as some clever spiders who will accidentally fall into the bottle after building a web at the entrance to the ethanol bottle. Last spring we found a few grove snails in one of the bottles! It must have taken them quite a bit of time to crawl all the way to the top!

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