Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Slightly over three decades have elapsed since Malaise (1937) first published plans for the insect trap now bearing his name a stationary mesh tent with open sides, a central baffle, and a top-mounted collecting apparatus (Fig. 1). A non-attractant device, the Malaise trap is based upon the observation that most flying insects hitting an obstacle respond by flying (or crawling) upward (and thus into captivity).

In recent years, the Malaise trap has become increasingly popular among insect taxonomists and collectors as a means of augmenting catch and collecting rare or ephemeral representatives. Many variations have been developed (e.g., Townes, 1962; Gressitt and Gressitt, 1962; Marston, 1965; Chanter, 1965; Butler, 1965), most aimed at making the trap more portable and/or efficient for collecting a particular insect group. To date, however, the Malaise trap has received little notice among other biologists, although it would appear to have considerable potential in almost any field study involving flying insects, and particularly in ecological investigations.

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