A practical emergence chamber for collecting Coleoptera from rotting wood, with a review of emergence chamber designs to collect saproxylic insects

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A detailed and accurate survey of the insect fauna of rotting wood can be difficult due to the physical and mechanical properties of the habitat. Quarantining pieces or parts of dead wood in emergence chambers and collecting the insects that emerge is an effective survey method. Here we describe an inexpensive emergence chamber made from an 18-gallon (ca. 68-L) Sterilite ® plastic tote box that was modified by adding a removable bottom collection jar and ventilation to the top and side. Ninety of these emergence chambers were three-fourths filled with dead wood (2.5-20 cm diameter) of various decay classes, and run for 24 months in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A total of 5,692 adult Coleoptera specimens representing 50 families, 226 genera, and 275+ species were collected. Selected results are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the design. Five fundamental axes of emergence chamber design are identified and discussed. We also compare this design to other published emergence chamber designs.

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Coleopterists Bulletin

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