A comparison of pitfall traps with bait traps for sampling leaf litter ants was studied in oak-dominated mixed forests during 1995–1997. A total of 31,732 ants were collected from pitfall traps and 54,694 ants were collected from bait traps. They belonged to four subfamilies, 17 genera, and 32 species. Bait traps caught 29 species, whereas pitfall traps caught 31 species. Bait traps attracted one species not found in pitfall traps, but missed three of the species collected with pitfall traps. Collections from the two sampling methods showed differences in species richness, relative abundance, diversity, and species accumulation curves. Pitfall traps caught significantly more ant species per plot than did bait traps. The ant species diversity obtained from pitfall traps was higher than that from bait traps. Bait traps took a much longer time to complete an estimate of species richness than did pitfall traps. Little information was added to pitfall trapping results by the bait trapping method. The results suggested that the pitfall trapping method is superior to the bait trapping method for leaf litter ant studies. Species accumulation curves showed that sampling of 2,192 ± 532 ants from six plots by pitfall traps provided a good estimation of ant species richness under the conditions of this study.
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Vol. 94 • No. 3