ARPHA Conference Abstracts : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
A standardized European trapping protocol – perspectives for long-term studies
expand article infoThorsten Assmann, Estève Boutaud, Claudia Drees§, Pascale Zumstein
‡ Leuphana University Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany
§ Institute of Zoology, Hamburg, Germany
Open Access


Pitfall traps have a long tradition in carabidology and have been used for more than a century (e.g. over a century ago by Reitter). However, different trap designs were and are often used (e.g. preservative liquids, trap diameters, with or without roof). The resulting lack of comparability undermines the suitability of the catches, as for many modern ecological and conservation biological questions, the compilation of data across large geographical scales is important. This applies in particular to long-term studies, which are currently debated in Central Europe to mitigate insect decline. Therefore, standardization of the trapping protocol is urgently needed.

Here we propose a trapping method protocol based on the protocols for long-term research in North America and Great Britain. In an open discussion the design and further research approaches have been debated with the participants of the 19th ECM in Rennes. A pilot study using two trap diameters and two preservation fluids allowed us to test the suitability of the new trap design.

The aim of this contribution is the standardization of the trapping protocol and to stimulate discussions about joint projects which help us to understand and conserve the structure and function of ground beetle communities in Europe.


Carabidae, pitfall trapping, insect decline, standardization

Presenting author

Thorsten Assmann

Presented at

19th European Carabidologists Meeting, 16-20 September 2019, Primiero San Martino di Castrozza, Trento, Italy

Conflicts of interest

No conflict of interest.