21 Jul 2011

Insect Collecting on Raoul Island

From Our Changing World, 9:34 pm on 21 July 2011

By Alison Ballance

Warren Chinn and a malaise trap, and insects caught in trap

Warren Chinn standing next to his portable malaise trap (above left), the insects collected in the trap (above right), and various Kermadec Islands moth specimens (below left) (images: A. Ballance)

Kermadec Islands mothsIn another story from the Kermadecs Biodiscovery expedition, Alison Ballance joins Department of Conservation entomologist Warren Chinn as he collects terrestrial invertebrates on Raoul Island. The invertebrates of the island group are poorly studied, and although he could make only brief visits ashore on most islands, Warren used as many methods as he could to collect the widest possible range of species. Back on the boat Braveheart, Warren sorted specimens into RTUs (Recognisable Taxonomic Units) which would later be sent to the relevant experts to describe. Ants, jumping spiders and geometrid moths were among the more common creatures collected. You can read Warren’s impression of the expedition here.

Warren Chinn and various insect collecting methods

Warren Chinn collecting insects from yellow pan traps (left), and sweep netting in long grass on Raoul Island (images: A. Ballance)