How to collect insects – University of Copenhagen

English > How to collect insects

How to collect insects

The insects are collected along predetermined routes, covering five different habitats and land uses in Denmark: forest, wetland, pasture, city and agricultural fields. When you volunteer as an Insectmobile pilot, you must drive four trips, which will cover 1-2 types of habitats. The four trips are divided into two different routes, each of which must be driven at two different times: between 12-15h and 16-19h. Each route is 10 km long and it takes about 10 minutes per trip with a maximum speed limit of 50 km/h with the net mounted.

While you drive a route, insects are captured in the custom designed roof net on your car. In the net, insects gather in the net end (collecting bag), which adheres to the larger net by Velcro tape. Once you have driven a route, the collecting bag is closed by pulling the string on the collecting bag so the insects cannot get out. The collecting bag can now be removed from the net. To conserve the insects the collecting bag is transferred to a bag where ethanol is poured over. Before the next route, a new collecting bag is attached to the net.

When you volunteer to catch insects for the Insectmobile, you will receive a package with everything you need to collect the insects. There will also be information and instructions, and on our website, we will add “how to” videoes.

When must the insects be collected?

Like humans and other animals, insects are less active when the weather is bad. Therefore, it is important that you only collect insects on days when:

  • It does not rain
  • The wind speed is maximum 5 m/s
  • The temperature is above 15 ˚C

To ensure as many insects as possible stay in the collecting bag, the maximum driving speed is 50 km/h when driving with the net mounted. Remember to be aware of other cars on the road and make room for them to overtake.