Like bees round a honeypot?
A comparison of illuminated and unenlighened water traps for capturing Alpine, common and crested newt

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Full text of the article
Beckmann, C. und C. Göcking (2012): Wie die Motte zum Licht? Ein Vergleich der Fängigkeit von beleuchteten und unbeleuchteten Wasserfallen bei Kamm-, Berg- und Teichmolch. Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie 19: 67-78. (Link: Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie, Laurenti-Verlag, Bielefeld).

Zusammenfassung (Deutsche Fassung)


In spring of the year 2010 bottle funnel traps, common and illuminated bucket funnel traps were applied to twenty ponds around Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia) for capturing Alpine, common and crested newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris, Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus cristatus). The different types of traps are compared in terms of their catchability. The types of funnel traps to be compared have always been applied simultaneous and in the same ponds. The application of bottle and bucket funnel traps is one of the standard methods in herpetology. But up to now we are short of experience using illuminated funnel traps in this context. Our light traps are widely identical to the common unenlightened bucket traps, but with the difference of being equipped with a photovoltaic cell and a light emitting diode. They get positioned over night and are illuminated inside. Such an illumination is inexpensive and built easily. According to our results the catchability of the illuminated bucket traps is significantly higher than that of the unenlightened ones. This counts for all three newt species. The proportion is 2,5 : 1 in the case of the crested newt and with 1,5 : 1 a bit smaller in case of common and Alpine newt. The bottle traps capture twice as much individuals of Alpine newts per opening as unenlighted bucket traps do. The proportion is inverse in case of the common newt and approximately balanced in the case of the crested newt.

Key words

Amphibians, monitoring, survey methods, water traps, light trap, funnel traps, bucket/bottle funnel traps, newts, crested newt.