The beneficial insect identification session, led by Jessa Kay-Cruz of the Xerces Society, consisted of two collection types–netting and the use of pitfall Traps. The netting was demonstrated by Jessa (above and right), and then nets were distributed for attendees to practice. The pitfall traps were installed in the field prior to the field day by digging small holes and inserting a plastic yogurt container that was flush with the soil. At night, nocturnal ground beetles walk along the ground and fall into these pitfall traps.
During the field day, the pitfall traps were examined (below) and the captured ground beetles were identified and discussed. Below are pictures and descriptions of the beneficial insects and pollinators caught during the field day in Emmett, Idaho.
These are nocturnal, predatory beetles that feed on snails, earthworms and caterpillars.
Solitary wasps can be good predators of pest insects, as the adult females hunt insect prey and bring it back to their nests to feed their young.
The Bombyliidae are a family of flies. Their common name is bee flies. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, sometimes contributing to pollination.