After researching the natural history of individual insects, students will form hypotheses and design an experiment to answer the question "which colors are different insects attracted to?
Using sticky traps all of one color (perhaps the one determined to be the most popular in the above exercise), compare the variety of insects that are captured in different portions of the schoolyard and under different environmental conditions. E.g. Which sticky traps catch more insects, and why: Traps high on branches vs. traps on the ground? Traps in windy areas vs. traps in calm areas? Traps in thick vegetation vs. traps in open areas? Traps placed in different kinds of trees?
During what season or what weather conditions are the most insects captured on sticky traps, and why do you think so? At what time of day are most insects captured on sticky traps and why do you think so?
Select one insect species, research its natural history FIRST, and then try to predict what color sticky trap will attract the most individuals of that species.
Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray; Department of Biology; Hope College. For help in insect identification: Dr. Harvey Blankespoor and Dr. Allen Brady (Hope College Biology Department); Gordon VanWoerkem (Birder's World, Holland, MI).
Kathy Winnett-MurrayHope College, 1994Holland, Michigan
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