Pan trap color preference across Hymenoptera in a forest clearing


Insect biodiversity reveals much about ecosystem health and function; however, field studies of insect community composition and diversity are often unintentionally biased by the sampling methods deployed in the study area. Pan traps, particularly yellow pan traps, are a common method for passive community assessment across a variety of taxonomic levels. Our study finds that the diversity, richness, and abundance of hymenopterans in pan trapping projects are significantly impacted by the color of the pan trap deployed. Additionally, we find that individual species display significant preferences for not only yellow pan traps but also for white, fluorescent yellow, blue, and fluorescent blue pans. Our data support recent studies that suggest yellow traps alone may be insufficient for sampling the true diversity of certain hymenopteran groups in a region.

Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata