The effect of the colour and location of water pan traps on the abundance and diversity of insects collected from the research and experiments station of the Faculty of Agriculture - University of Tripoli

Hamida Mirwan (1) , Eman Jomhour (2) , Sara Shawani (3)
(1) Department of Plant protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tripoli, Libya ,
(2) Department of Plant protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tripoli, Libya ,
(3) Department of Plant protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tripoli, Libya


Water pan traps, or what is known as Moericke traps, are pans coloured in order to attract many insects to them. They are one of the most important successful techniques used to collect insects in various ecosystems. This research was conducted to study the effect of the colour and location of water pan traps on the abundance and diversity of insects collected from the Research and Experiment Stations of the Faculty of Agriculture - University of Tripoli, during February and March, 2016. Water pan traps of yellow, orange and blue colour in the form of a flower bowel were used. These pans were placed at ground level on a wooden board, and in ten different vegetation locations at the Research Stations, each board was containing six plastic bowels, (two/colour), and a salt solution was placed in each pans. Samples were collected weekly, sorted and labeled in the laboratory. The results showed that the number of insects collected during the month of March higher than month of February (9000:5197). The collected insects are represented in 12 orders (Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Neuroptera, Lepidoptera, Thysanoptera, Hemiptera, Homoptera, Orthoptera and Colembolla)،from all locations. Insects from the order of Psocoptera collected one time from location (2). Also, the number of insects from the order of Diptera was more in February than in March, whereas insects from the order of Orthoptera were collected in the month of March. The results also showed that the yellow traps were more attractive to insects especially order Diptera, followed by the blue especially order Hymenoptera and then the orange which collected order Homoptera.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


McCravy, K. W. 2018. A Review of Sampling and Monitoring Methods for Beneficial Arthropods in Agroecosystems. insects. 9( 170):1-27. DOI:

Cane, J. H., Minclkey, R. L. and Kervin, L. J. (2000). Sampling bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) for pollinator community studies: pitfalls of pan-trapping. Journal of Kansas Entomology Society. 73: 225-231.

Khan, A.R., Ramzan. M., Mukhtar, M.K. and Khan, A.A. (2016). A comparative analysis of efficacy of hand nets and bowl traps (bluish and yellowish) in collection of hymenopteran pollinators (Phylum: Arthropoda) from different cash crops of irrigated areas of district Bhakkar and Layyah, Punjab, Pakistan. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. 4(6): 316-321.

Buffington, M. L., Garretson, A., Kula, R.R. Gates, M.W., Carpenter, R., Smith, D. R. and Abigail A.R. Kula. 2020. Pan trap color preference across Hymenoptera in a forest clearing. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 169:298–31. 1DOI: 10.1111/eea.13008. DOI:

Campbell, J. W. and Hanula, J. L. (2007). Efficiency of Malaise traps and colored pan traps for collecting flower visiting insects from three forested ecosystems. Journal of Insect Conservative. 11: 399-408. DOI:

Mukundan, S. And Rajmohana, K. 2016. A comparison of efficiencies of sweep net, yellow pan trap and malaise trap in sampling platygastridae (Hymenoptera: Insecta). Journal of Experimental Zoology, India. 19(1): 393-396.

Castro, J., Tortosa, F. S., Jimenez, J. and Carpio, A. J. (2017). Spring evaluation of three sampling methods to estimate family richness and abundance of arthropods in olive groves. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. 40(2): 193-210 DOI:

Roulston,T.H., Smith, S.A. and Brewster, A.L. (2007). A Comparison of pan trap andintensive net sampling techniques fordocumenting a bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) fauna. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 80: 179-181. DOI:[179:ACOPTA]2.0.CO;2

Popic,T. J., Davila,Y. C. and Wardle, G. M. (2013). Evaluation of common methods for sampling invertebrate pollinator assemblages: net sampling out-perform pan traps. Plos one. 8(6): e66665. DOI:

Moericke, V. (1951). Eine Farbafalle zur Kontrolle des Fluges von Blattlausen, insbesondere der Pfirsichblattlaus, Myzodes Persicae (Sulz.). Nachrichtenblatt des Deutschen Pflanzenschutzdiensten, 3: 23-24.

Doring, T., Archetti, M. and Hardie, J. (2009). Autumn leaves seen through herbivore eyes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.276: 121-127. DOI:

Kirk, W. D. J. (1984). Ecologically selective coloured traps. Ecological Entomology. l9: 35-41. DOI:

Cross, W. H., Mitchell, H. C. and Hardee, D. D. (1976). Boll weevils: response to light source and colours on traps. Environmental Entomology. 5: 565-571. DOI:

Hoback, W. W., Svatos, T. M., Spomer, S. M. and Higley, L. G. (1999). Trap colour and placement affects estimates of insects family-level abundance and diversity in a Nebraska Salt marsh. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 91: 393-402. DOI:

Capinera, J. L. and Walmsley, M. R. (1978). Visual responses of some sugar beet insects to stick traps and water pan traps of various colours. Journal of Economic Entomology. 71: 926-927. DOI:

Prokopy, R.J. and Owens, E.D. (1983). Visual detection of plants by herbivorous insects. Annual Review of Entomology. 28: 337-364. DOI:

Leong, J. M. and Thorp, R. W. (1999). Colour-coded sampling: the pan trap colour preferences of oligolectic and nonoligolectic bees associated with a vernal pool plant. Ecological Entomology. 24: 329-335. DOI:

Disney, R. H. L., Erzinclioglu, Y. Z., Henshaw, D. D. C., Howse, D., Unwin, D. M., Withers, P. and Woods, A. (1982). Collecting methods and theadequacy of attempted fauna surveys with reference to theDiptera. Field Studies. 5: 607-621.

Leksono, A. S., Takada. K., Koji, S., Nakagoshi, N., Anggaeni, T. and Nakamura, K. (2005). Vertical and seasonal distribution of flying beetles in a suburban temperate deciduous forest collected by water pan trap. Insect Science. 12: 199-206. DOI:

Eastop, V.F. (1955).Selection of aphid species by different kinds of insect traps. Nature 176: 936. DOI:

Gollan, J. R., Ashcroft, M. B. and Batley, M. (2011). Comparison of yellow andwhite pan traps in surveys of bee fauna in New South Wales,Australia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila). Australian Journal of Entomology. 50: 174-178. DOI:

Dirrigl, F.J. (2012). Effectiveness of pan trapping as a rapid bioinventory method of freshwater shoreline insects of subtropical Texas. Southwest Entomology. 37: 133-139. DOI:

Aguiar, A. P. and Sharkov, A. (1997). Blue pan traps as a potential method for collecting Stephanidae (Hymenoptera). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 6(2): 422-423.

Peitsch, D., Fietz, A., Hertel, H., de Souza, J., Ventura, D. F. and Menzel, R. (1992). The spectral input systems of hymenopteran insects and their receptor-based colour vision. Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 170: 23-40. DOI:

Thomas, D.B. 2008. Nontoxic antifreeze for insect traps. Entomol. News. 119: 361–365. DOI:

Droege, S., Tepedino, V.J., Lebuhn, G., Link, W., Minckley, R.L., Chen, Q. and Conrad, C. 2010, Spatial patterns of bee captures in North American bowl trapping surveys. Insect Conserv. Divers. 3:15–23. DOI:

Shapiro, L.H., Tepedino, V.J. and Minckley, R.L 2014. Bowling for bees: Optimal sample number for “bee bowl” sampling transects. J. Insect Conserv. 18, 1105–1113. DOI:

Vega, F. E.. Barbosa, P. and Pérez P. A. 1990. An Adjustable Water-Pan Trap for Simultaneous Sampling of Insects at Different Heights. The Florida Entomologist. 73(4): 656-660. DOI:

Taha, A.M., Homam, B.H., Afsah, A.F.E. and EL-Sharkawy, F.M. (2012). Effect of trap color on captures of Tuta absoluta moths (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).International Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering. 3: 43-48.

Macintyre-Allen, J.K., Scott-Dupree, C.D., Tolman, J.H. and Harris, C.R. (2005). Evaluation of sampling methodology for determining the population dynamics of onion thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in Ontario onion fields. Journal of Economic Entomology. 98(6): 2272-2281. DOI:

Westerberg, L. Berglund, H., Jonason, D. and | Milberg, P. 2021. Color pan traps often catch less when there are more flowers around. Ecology and Evolution. 11:3830–3840. DOI:

Martin, J.E.H. Collecting, Preparing, and Preserving Insects, Mites, and Spiders; Insects and arachnids of Canada Handbook Series, Part 1; Supply and Services Canada: Hull, QC, Canada, 1977.

Vrdoljak, S. M. and Samways, M. J. (2012). Optimising coloured pan traps to survey flower visiting insects. Journal of Insect Conservation. 16(3): 345-354. DOI:

Bauer L., Hansen J., and Gould J. (2016). Yellow Pan Traps: A Simple method for trapping parasitoids released for biological control of the Emerald Ash Borer. resources/downloads/YPT_Method20141210.pdf


Hamida Mirwan (Primary Contact)
Eman Jomhour
Sara Shawani
Mirwan ح., Jomhour ا., & Shawani س. (2024). The effect of the colour and location of water pan traps on the abundance and diversity of insects collected from the research and experiments station of the Faculty of Agriculture - University of Tripoli. Journal of Pure & Applied Sciences, 23(1), 72–77.

Article Details

No Related Submission Found