30 Days Wild – Day 24 – The pitfalls of trapping

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_24Yesterday I decided to setup a pitfall trap in the flowerbeds.

The idea of a pitfall trap is simple, you bury something with one open end, like a jamjar.

You put a little bait in the bottom, though this isn’t vital. I used some jam.

You then cover the top with a flat rock, propped on smaller rocks. This creates space that invertebrates can crawl under for shelter, or because they sense the food.

Because the sides are steep and slippy, the animals are trapped, and the next day you can see what’s been scurrying about. You always check and release the next day, even if you want to reuse the following night.

Sadly, this wasn’t a great success. In the past I’ve managed to get some unusual beetles this way, but this time there was little to see.

IMG_0983The slug above. A couple of ants. A money spider.

The only noteworthy thing was eight specimens of the same arachnid, which I’ve not had chance to ID yet. So if you know, feel free to tell me via the comments!

IMG_0984 IMG_0988

In unrelated news, we’ve come home to a deserted blackbird nest. No sign of trauma, no dead baby birds, no angry parents. But no fledglings, and no parents tracking them in hidey-holes unlike the first brood. Not a positive sign.

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This entry was posted in 30 Days Wild, Birds, Invertebrates. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 30 Days Wild – Day 24 – The pitfalls of trapping

  1. Hi, I was fascinated with the arachnid you found and gave it a go on to find its name. I came across this website: http://bugs.adrianthysse.com/2013/10/daddy-shortlegs/ Is it this one, you think? It does resemble it, I think.

    • David says:

      I forgot about that! Yes, I’d decided it was an Opilionid, a harvestman, but hadn’t got to species level. But that’s a good shout.

I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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