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
This website is designed to bring you up-to-date news on the distribution and abundance of pest aphids at a regional scale. The information is based on data from a network of sixteen suction traps. The archive contains bulletins dating back to 2001.
We monitor aphids in the growing season. This tool will allow you to select an aphid species or crop to display graphs of the counts of aphids.
Graphs can also be filtered by selecting individual or multiple trapping locations
This resource contains research relating to Rothamsted Insect Survey from 1964 to the present day. This is not a definitive list; instead it is a list of the most important papers that have either used Insect Survey data in their analyses or is led by an acting or former head of the RIS.
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 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.
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.