NATIONAL CAPABILITIES

THE INSECT SURVEY

The Insect Survey is a National Capability hosted by Rothamsted and funded by BBSCRC. The Insect survey is host to a nationwide network of suction and light traps that collect invaluable data on the migration of moths and aphids.

ABOUT THE INSECT SURVEY

The Rothamsted Insect Survey (RIS) has been running two trap networks since 1964. Its long-term data are unique providing information on aphids, larger moths and many other migrating insects to scientists, growers, conservation organisations, individuals and policy makers. As such, the networks represent the most comprehensive standardised long-term data on insects in the World and have a wide range of fundamental and applied uses.

Follow the links below to view data and research at the insect survey site

RESOURCE LINKS TOOLS AND DOWNLOADS

THE SUCTION-TRAP NETWORK

The suction-trap network currently comprises 16 traps (12 in England, 4 in Scotland), each 12.2 metres tall that continuously measure the aerial density of flying aphids and provide daily records during the main aphid flying season (April–November) and weekly records at other times. Just over 400 of the 600 aphid species on the British list aphid have been recorded to date. The network provides farmers with information on the timing and size of aphid migrations to prevent heavy prophylactic use of insecticides. Samples, both of aphids and ‘bycatch’, are stored and are available for further research. Samples are representative of the ‘landscape scale’. The four traps in Scotland are operated by our colleagues at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Edinburgh.

The suction trap network

THE LIGHT-TRAP NETWORK

The light-trap network currently comprises around 80 traps across the UK and Ireland with most traps run by volunteers who contribute data to the network. The Rothamsted traps use 200w clear tungsten-filament bulbs and most traps are emptied daily throughout the year. Over time, the trap network has caught over 1,500 species, primarily macromoths with a small number of micromoths. The samples generated are generally representative of the ‘field scale’. Daily records are available but samples are not stored.

FUNDING

The RIS is a BBSRC-supported National Capability and welcomes collaboration with those interested in using the datasets or specimen collections. Additional funding comes through projects funded by the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), NERC and Defra. The traps in Scotland are financed by the Scottish Government.