Catches of numerous insect species in Rothamsted 160W light trap at Devonport, Tasmania, 1992-2019
CitationHill L, Hobern D (2021). Catches of numerous insect species in Rothamsted 160W light trap at Devonport, Tasmania, 1992-2019. Version 1.0. Atlas of Living Australia. Sampling event dataset https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6820319 accessed via GBIF.org on 2023-05-29.
These data derive from decades of near-continuous (1992 - 2019, apart from 2008 and 2009) operation of a 160W Rothamsted-design light trap at Stony Rise Centre, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Stony Rise was the last of several long term, continuous trapping sites operated over this period by the Tasmanian state agricultural agency, currently known as the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania.
The light was normally operated every night, with all individuals of selected taxa counted. There were 5433 trapping events covering 7897 nights including 4167 single-night events, 502 two-night events, 516 three-night events and 165 four-night events. The remaining 83 events were variously 5-14 nights duration. There were 194 sporadic nights when the trap malfunctioned, which is about 2.5% of 7897 nights in the main trapping periods. The trap did not operate for extended periods (3-6 months) in early 1996, early 1998, all of 2007, all of 2008, all of 2009, early 2010 and late 2015. Enumeration of catches ceased on 6 February 2019. A total of 222,146 specimens were identified and enumerated for the data set.
The initial focus of the trapping was on Noctuidae and insect species of economic importance for Tasmanian agriculture. The selected taxa grew from 104 taxa in 1992 to 273 taxa in 2019. Consequently, absence of some species from early samples should not be considered to indicate absence of these species. During periods in which any species was included in counts, a record is always included for the species in question, with a count of zero if no individuals were detected. During periods in which the species was not included in counts, no record is included for the species and period in question. Hence zero counts can always be considered to represent true absence within the sample of identified insects.
An explanation of the survey work leading to this dataset and an overview of species included was published in Hill, L., 2013b, Long-term light trap data from Tasmania, Australia, Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.28(1) (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700470_Long-term_light_trap_data_from_Tasmania_Australia).
The bibliography lists publications derived from analysis of these data.
PurposeThe focus was on prognosis of Persectania ewingii Westwood, southern armyworm and several other noctuid pests such as Helicoverpa punctigera (Wallengren), native budworm and Agrotis species, true cutworms, which were all subsequently shown to undertake substantial annual immigration from mainland Australia to Tasmania across Bass Strait (Drake et al. 1981, Hill 1993, Hill 2007a). The reliability of using light trap catches to forecast larval outbreaks of southern armyworm was determined empirically since 1953 (Hill, L. 2013c). A history of forecasting outbreaks of the southern armyworm, Persectania ewingii (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Tasmania. Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.28(1), 15-21. Many frequent or infrequent vagrant Lepidoptera and other taxa were detected and the status of some of these was asserted in scientific publications (Hill 2011a, 2012a, 2013d, 2014, 2015, 2016a, 2016b, 2017). Sex ratio data for 38 species of Noctuidae was collected but is not provided in this dataset. Data from similar traps at other Tasmanian sites, back to 1953 for a few species, as described by Hill (2013c) is held variously in hardcopy format by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. It is available on request.
Study ExtentThe light trap was installed at Stony Rise Centre (government offices), 1 Rundle Street, Devonport, Tasmania.
SamplingThe trap was similar to the Rothamsted-design traps operated in the United Kingdom, consisting of a clear glass or Perspex, truncated pyramid of 52 cm square base, 22 cm height and 12 cm top aperture surrounding a square, glass funnel of slightly lesser height with 20 cm top aperture and 4 cm bottom aperture. This was mounted on a wooden base-board about 1.3 m above ground under a ridged, steel roof. A 160 W mercury vapour bulb was suspended within the funnel from the ceiling of the roof cavity, in which a clock switch was fitted. Clearance between the top aperture of the funnel and the ceiling of the roof was about 4 cm. The catch was collected into a single 10 cm square glass jar with a plaster of Paris floor bearing tetrachlorethane killing fluid and with a 9 cm orifice screwed to the underside of the baseboard. This jar contained a piece of crumpled paper towel to reduce rubbing of specimens. In December 2015 the trap was rebuilt in stainless steel to the same dimensions and using the original collection pyramid and funnel. The clock switch was replaced by a light sensitive switch.
Quality ControlOnly selected insect species were sorted and identified, counted and written into a data file. Some insects were only sorted and counted using supraspecific ranks. The range of included species grew over the period. Records for each interval exclude taxa which were not sorted or identified during the period in question. Hence zero counts indicate absence of the insects concerned during a trapping period.
- In the study, all individual records of selected target insect species were collected, identified to species level and counted yielding qualitative (species) and quantitative (number of individuals within each species) data for the entire study period. The recorded taxa are listed in taxon.csv in this dataset, along with summary information on the first and last events during which the taxon was monitored, the number of events in which the taxon could have been detected, the actual number in which it was detected, the total number of individuals detected, and the number of individuals detected in each year from 1992 to 2019 and in each month of the year.
- All handling and identification of material was carried out consistently throughout the entire period by the same researcher.
- Over 9000 specimens in several hundred taxa from this light trap are preserved in the Tasmanian Agricultural Insect Collection, Hobart, Tasmania (https://collections.ala.org.au/public/show/co131). Note specimen records are not included in this dataset. Images of representative specimens of most recorded taxa are included in the image subfolder and listed in image.csv. For insects identified only to genus or higher, it should not be assumed that all records over the period matched the species illustrated.
- The data included in StonyRiseLightTrappingDataset-SourceData.xlsx were prepared for publication as a Darwin Core sampling event dataset via a series of transformations within Excel and comprises the following CSV files: event.csv (Darwin Core sampling event records) and occurrence.csv (Darwin Core occurrence records linked to event.csv by eventID). Two other CSV files are included but not mapped through the Darwin Core Archive meta.xml. First, image.csv lists images of example specimens of many of the taxa recorded in the dataset. These images are included in the image folder. Secondly, taxon.csv summarises the taxa referenced within occurrence.csv, cross-references the images as associatedMedia and provides summary counts for the number of individuals of each taxon recorded in each year of the study and in each calendar month through the period.
- Drake et al. 1981. Insect migration across Bass Strait during spring: a radar study. Bulletin of Entomological Research 71, 449-66. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007485300008476. -
- Hill 1993. Colour in adult Helicoverpa punctigera Wallengren (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) as an indicator of migratory origin. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 32, 145-51. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-6055.1993.tb00563.x. -
- Hill 2007a. Agrotis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) species in Tasmania including montane, summer aestivation of the bogong moth, Agrotis infusa (Boisduval, 1832). Victorian Entomologist 37(1), 3-9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700557. -
- Hill 2007b. The chevron cutworm, Diarsia intermixta in Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 37(5), 68-76. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700503. -
- Hill 2011a. The Pacific damsel bug, Nabis kinbergii in Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 41(5), 99-107. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700561. -
- Hill 2011b. The heliotrope moth, Utetheisa pulchelloides in Tasmania. Victoria Entomologist 41(4), 69-73. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700401. -
- Hill 2011c. Continual migration across Bass Strait? Victorian Entomologist 41(6), 117-22. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700626. -
- Hill 2012a. Cabbage-centre grub Hellula hydralis, not resident in Tasmania. Plant Protection Quarterly 27(3), 91-100. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700462. -
- Hill 2012b. The brown lacewing, Micromus tasmaniae in Tasmania: Part 1. Victorian Entomologist 42(5), 94-101. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700563. -
- Hill 2012c. The brown lacewing, Micromus tasmaniae in Tasmania: Part 2. Victorian Entomologist 42(6), 115-20. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700504. -
- Hill 2013a. A history of forecasting outbreaks of the southern armyworm, Persectania ewingii (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Tasmania. Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.28(1), 15-21. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700550. -
- Hill 2013b. Long-term light trap data from Tasmania, Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.28(1), 22-27. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700470. -
- Hill 2013c. The common armyworm, Mythimna convecta (Walker) (Noctuidae:Lepidoptera), a seasonal resident in Tasmania. Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.28(4), 114-119. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700391. -
- Hill 2013d. Earias moths, rare vagrants in Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 43(2), 40-43. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700577. -
- Hill 2013e. Australia painted lady butterflies light-trapped in Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 43(4), 76-81. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700637. -
- Hill 2013f. The satin moth, Thalaina selenaea in Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 43(5), 106-111. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700628. -
- Hill 2014. Lesser armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a vagrant moth in Tasmania. Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.29(4), 131-142. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274700387. -
- Hill 2015. Eggfruit caterpillar, Sceliodes cordalis (Doubleday) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), a vagrant moth and indicator for likelihood of Queensland fruit fly establishment in Tasmania? Plant Protection Quarterly Vol.30(1), 27-39. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311950878. -
- Hill 2016a. An extreme rain event brings two vagrant moths to Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 46(4), 88-89. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311951473. -
- Hill 2016b. Meyrickella ruptellus (Noctuidae: Hypeninae), a rare vagrant in Tasmania. Victorian Entomologist 46(3), 60-66. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311950973. -
- Hill 2017. Migration of green mirid, Creontiades dilutus (Stål) and residence of potato bug, Closterotomus norwegicus (Gmelin) in Tasmania (Hemiptera: Miridae: Mirinae: Mirini). Crop Protection 96(2017), 211-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2017.02.006. -
Biosecurity Tasmania, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania
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Biosecurity Tasmania, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania