Insects represent an abundant and diverse group of community members throughout terrestrial ecosystems. Because of their abundance and diversity, insects can be useful for monitoring and assessing change and disturbance within ecosystems. However, to utilize insects as indicators of change, the individual insect components present within ecosystems must be identified. We compared the use of several passive (non-baited) trap types on two sagebrush steppe sites in southern Idaho. Species of insects in 12 orders were captured at the two sites, with the most abundant numbers captured in the orders Microcoryphia, Hemiptera, Diptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. A combined total of 23,579 insects were captured during the 3, 5-day sample periods, of which 3342 were beetles (Coleoptera). Pitfall traps and Japanese beetle traps provided the most information on abundance and richness of both the overall insect and beetle communities present on the sites. Blue Japanese beetle traps proved very effective at capturing beetles, especially members of the Melyridae. Monthly comparisons indicated that different taxa may be best sampled during different months, but more individuals were captured in June versus May at both sites and June captures provide the highest numbers for ordinal and beetle family richness at both sites.
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