Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cootie Catcher

Hey ya'll 

So in case you missed it (and I think I mentioned this at the end of the Keric post), I set up a wood lice trap yesterday night in hopes of snaring more of those delightful little crustaceans for my culture. The trap is really quite a simple contraption and consists of nothing more than a plastic container that has been half-buried in a fairly deep hole that I have dug in the ground. Typically the rim of the container should be no taller than the level of the soil and around this I placed four small rocks to hold up an even bigger rock that would pretty much shelter the opening of the container from view.

Wood lice, you see, like dark and covered spaces (I'm sure they feel the most safe there) and so, when the sun rises and they are forced to retreat back to the covers of the undergrowth, I'm hoping they will take a look at my rock and scurry over for cover only to fall into the plastic holding chamber below!!! To entice some of them further, I even put in a slice of carrot.  They have small little feet which are terrible at climbing and could never possibly hope to scale the sides of the container in order to escape. As you can see, the trap is really quite ingenious in its simplicity and all I really need to do is leave the container overnight and return in the morning to find my little hordes of captured woodlice!

AND IT WORKED!!! I returned to the spot this morning (or rather, very early on in the afternoon) and overturned the rock to find my trap positively crawling with all sorts of small little creatures. Of course there were wood lice, but I could also detect various other animals as well. I decided to do a species count and found that in just one night I had managed to catch 
  • 20 wood lice (Armadillidiidae) 
  • 7 small unidentified beetles
  • 1 wolf spider
  • 5 small snails (possibly Achatinidae)
  • And one juvenile centipede that appeared to have only just molted in the trap
Of all the creatures, I only kept the wood lice and the centipede (I would like to see how large it can grow to be) and released the others which were of no use to me. I did set up the trap again though. I'm just abuzz with anticipation to check tomorrow, what might lumber in tonight!!!

Wood lice galore!!! The toadlets will feast tonight!!! 


Brittanie said...

I sooo want to try this. Trouble is my park Idk if they'll allow it. >_< They might mistake bug catching equipment for garbage. -_-

Cyren said...

Well. you could always put a sticker on top of the rock saying "Bug Catching Equipment! Kindly do not disturb :)" or something like that. Orrrr... you could always hide it so skillfully that they would never know :P