I’ve been bragging about how great the fall fields are here at the Blair Outdoor Education Centre. But that sure isn’t evident by the low catch volume returned to SMTP today. While the fields were buzzing daily, not nearly as many insects as I expected were intercepted by the trap. I changed trap locations, but didn’t want to “manipulate” the outcome of the process – bad science!
Maybe in the end some tiny creature will end up being new to BOLD, or even to science, which would be pretty cool. And if not from my trap, maybe from one of the others, which makes the whole thing a worthwhile effort.
Thanks to the SMTP team for all your expertise and effort in managing this program, and for giving all of us the opportunity to participate in such an amazing science project.
Our research period has come to an end. The research team did a final meeting and dismantled the trap and then compared week 1 and week 2 catch. The weather is getting much cooler, therefore we are seeing fewer insects. Frost had spread on roofs Friday morning. We are so thankful that our school was chosen to participate in the School Malaise Trap Program and we cannot wait to see the results of our research!
It’s hard to believe that collection time is over! It has gone so quickly. We’ve had a second sunny and warm week for our final collection. Maybe it’s a good thing that the collection has ended though – the snow is supposed to fly tonight. Looks like we’ve collected some pretty interesting specimens – and some different ones compared to week 1.
Now we await results! Excited to see what species we trapped and if there are any unique species in our collection bottles.
This is the class 5/4D at Father Scollen reporting in. Our trap is up and running as planned and we wanted to share our experiences so far.
Last week, before we set up the trap, everyone in our class wrote down five insects that they thought we might catch in our trap. Mr. Drew (our teacher) made a Wordle out of it. The larger words are words that came up the most in our estimates. You can check out the wordle, as it is attached to this post!
On Monday, the students here in our district unfortunately had the day off, as it was a professional development day for teachers. Because of this, our students didn’t get to see Mr. Drew fumble with all the poles and stakes while erecting our Malaise trap. It was a two person job for us, as our grade 3 teacher assisted him (and probably did all the work).
On Tuesday, may of us noticed the trap was set up as we were walking to school. The trap is located near the corner of the school and is visible from the sidewalk many of us take when we are walking to school. It reminded a lot of us of a camping tent. We had an awesome field trip that day in which we got to go to a real life wetland located right here in Calgary. As a result of the field trip though, we didn’t really have the opportunity to go out and look at the trap closely during class hours. Many of us did check it out for a closer look after school though.
Today (Wednesday) we finally were able to go out as a class to examine the trap, see how it works, as well as witness how many bugs we’ve captured in our bottle so far. We were all pleased to see that there is already quite a few creepy crawlies in our collection bottle. We estimated that there may be around 50-100 in there, but it is very difficult to tell.
We will be sure to check out the trap tomorrow around the same time to see how many more specimens have been caught and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
A Malaise trap is a type of bug trap used by Entymologists For Research. They get bugs with it it is made up of black and white mesh bugs can’t see the black mesh but they fly to the white mesh into a hole in a canister of Ethanol the fumes of Ethanol puts the bugs to sleep and preserves their bodies.
For the last week our class has been going outside to set up a tent, check on it, and take it down. For the first day we set the tent, it was a sunny day and there were many bugs out that day. Putting up the tent was a challenge at first, but the people who had practiced how to set up the tent came and helped. For the next few days we have been going out to the tent to check the levels of bugs, on the first day that we checked it, it was at 0.5. The second day it was at 1, the third time it was at 2. It was also at two on the fourth day.
We found that on the more rainy days we found that the bottle appeared to have more bugs in it, we think this because on the third day there where the most bugs in the bottle. When it was at level 2 it had roughly 25 to 50 bugs. And it stayed like that on day four. On the most recent day it was very wet, all of our feet got wet and it was raining a little bit but it wasn’t pouring.
We have the tent set up in between two poles and a tree, we have tape wrapped around the poles, this way kids from the school won’t go near it and possibly mess up the experiment. We usually do the tent during the morning hours, so that means that it’s never going to be the hottest hour of the day when we are outside. This shouldn’t have a big effect on the experiment because there usually aren’t any bugs around when we do it.
Most of the bugs that we are getting are either giant bugs that seem to look like mosquitoes, we are also getting smaller flies. On one of the days there was a wasp in the bottle. It showed up in the bottle on the hotter day of the week, that was day two.
Today we showed a class of grade sixes and Kindergartens our Malaise Trap. They thought it was really cool! Also while another class was out they noticed that a spider has been stealing our bugs! It built a web right under where the bugs would fall into the ethanol, so instead they would get trapped, then dinner would be served for the spider!