Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


Date of this Version



Insecta Mundi 0261: 1–31


Published in 2012 by Center for Systematic Entomology, Inc. P. O. Box 141874 Gainesville, FL 32614-1874 USA

Copyright held by the author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License.


Collection methods and/or habitats sampled influence how many and which species are captured during entomological surveys. Here we compare Coleoptera catches among three survey activities, each using a single collection method, at the same study sites in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. Activities included: short-term flight intercept trapping (FITs); sifting/Berlese funneling of leaf litter and extremely decayed downed coarse woody debris; and using emergence chambers containing coarse woody debris of various decay classes. In total, 2472 adult beetle specimens, representing 217 lowest identifiable taxa within 164 genera and 42 families, were collected during the FIT survey. Each survey activity yielded more than 2000 specimens, and a combined total of 413 species was collected. A combination of all surveys yielded the highest species richness when normalized for number of specimens indicating that variation of habitat and/or collection method significantly increases species richness. Of single surveys the FIT survey had the highest absolute species richness (217) and the highest richness when normalized for number of specimens. Species overlap among survey activities was low (Sorensen’s quotient of similarity was 0.20–0.27), which showed that each was about equally dissimilar from all others. Overlap of catch between FITs and emergence chambers was too low to justify substitution of emergence surveys with the FIT survey protocol used when attempting to collect saproxylic Coleoptera.

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