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COLLECTING METHODS


To ensure successful collecting in the tropics, the methods and condition should be different from those in the western hemisphere. It is with hope that the following personal experiences will be of help. Do remember never to overcollect and to release all damaged females and specimens which you do not need.

EQUIPMENT
Butterfly net
Containers/plastic bags for phasmids and beetles/mantids
Torch lights/spare battery for night phasmids collecting
Long stick for beating bushes
Leech spray, mosquitoe repellant
Used serviceable car battery ( with connecting light bulb ) as cheap source for light trapping ( obtainable locally )
Water
 

 

COLLECTING BUTTERFLY
The most common method of collecting butterfly is of course chasing after them with a net. Or, loitering near flowering bushes or trees. The most efficient method is by using baits. The following are the concoction for:

FRUIT BAIT
Over-ripe bananas or pineapples, Chinese rice wine or beer, brown or raw sugar. Soak fruit in wine or beer, add brown sugar. Keep overnight or longer.

BAITING METHOD
Remove prepared fruit from container. Keep wine concoction and fill in spray container. Put fruit into netting and hang around areas heavily wooded or near jungle stream. Spray occasionally with the wine concoction to ensure it stays moist and fragrant. Check bait in the day time and early evening and early morning.

URINE BAIT
Spray fresh urine on moist sandy patch along jungle stream. After a while it will attract males of the families of: Nymphalidae, Papilionidae and some Satyridae and Hesperidae and Lycanidae and of course bees and wasps, moths and ants.

PRAWN BAIT
Put fresh prawns or shrimps into old tin container like MILO/Ovaltine tin. Add a little water and seal overnight. BE WARNED! The smell is out of this world! Place prepared concoction on flat rock or sandy patch along shady jungle stream. Will attract only males.

Instant Bait
Purchase a bar of Belachan (Bar-la-chan)from any sundry shop at around RM2.50 (large).Place the whole bar or slice them into pieces and place them on flat rock along jungle stream.Add a little water or spray urine on it. It will attract many fast flying butterflies. Keeps well and unused portion can still be used over a long period.

 
 

PHASMIDS NIGHT COLLECTING
The most successful method of collecting stick is using a torch light walking up and down any jungle path or even any trunk road leading up hill stations at night. Be sure you have a companion for safety. Shine torch on short grass or bushes at ground level and overhanging branches. Take a little time to adjust the eyes to detect them. Use plastic bags or plastic containers to store them to prevent death or damages.

 
 
DAYTIME COLLECTING
Day collecting depends on a pair of keen eyes and knowledge of the right foodplant which one will learn to recognize in times. However, the best method is, if you lack the above qualifications, by using a long stick to beat around and winged species will come out gliding and fall on the ground or on some branches. Keep an eye on the when you beat the bushes. For species without wings, learn to differentiate between the falling branches and sticks and determine which is the real one.
 
 
BEETLES AND MOTHS COLLECTING
I do not have much experience or expertise in this area as most were collected with light traps. The used car battery comes in handy as it is easier to carry and cheaper to obtain and can last the whole night. Any high ground is a good spot particularly on hill stations. Everybody knows that a white cloth behind the light source is essential. Moths will be one of the visitors. Freshly felled and rotting trees should be examined. Beating bushes and tree branches with a stick with a cloth bag underneath bring results. Rotting meat attract certain beetles. Some do fly in the daytime, a net is essential. In all, it is a difficult task to collect beetles.
 
 
COLLECTING MANTIDS
A net and plastic bag to contain them is all you need. A long stick comes in useful. Sweep along ground level bushland and some common mantids can be detected. Use stick to beat along jungle bushes and some come out flying. Examine tree trunks for possible bark mantids. They will circle the trunk and you will have a hard time netting them. Keep your eyes on the ground as most good species of mantids live on ground, among leaf debris. Keen observation on branches and leaves will bring result. Night collecting with a torch possible.
 

 



"THE LARGEST BUTTERFLY IN THE WORLD IS THE QUEEN ALEXANDRA BUTTERFLY (ORNITHOPTERA ALEXANDRAE) OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA; THE FEMALES REACH A WINGSPAN OF UP TO 11 INCHES"

Pest Control Australia Termites
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