Method II „Canopy"

Many species (most of the small, well-flying formtypes and e.g. Phyllium) live high up in the treetops, also termed canopee, of the tropical forest in heights of more than 20-50 metres. These regions of the world´s tropical rain forests are still very poorly studied. Whoever wants to collect these species is in the urgent need of a different collecting method.

ArmbrustThe following method is not recommended for unexpierienced collectors, as a lot of climbing-practice and plenty of money for the equipment are neede. In addition it is of course quite dangerous to climb into the canopee regions of the forest. Followingly, this method is here only briefly described.

Searching the canopee region for phasmids can be done as follows. At daytime or during the night (for the latter a very strong lamp is recommended, e.g. Surefire M3T) a tree is searched which undoubtly exhibits phasmids which can e.g. be seen by the leaves showing damage by phytophag insects. Doing this at night seems to be more sufficient, as phasmids are much easier located at night than during the day (see Method No. I). The tree is then marked, to ensure it is found the next day in order to be investigated with the necessary equipment.



Petzl Klettergurt
To reach the canopee a strong nylon-cord is shot over a suitable, strong branch with the help of a cross-bow or a strong sling. This nylon-cord is then used to fix a climbing-rope onto the branch. This is repeated until enough ropes are fixed to ensure a safe climbing. Afterwards the climbing-belt and other equipment are fixed to the main rope – the ascension can begin. One should take care of the used branches being strong enough to hold at least the collectors body weight and fractions of twigs and branches which might fall onto the collectors head. For this case, the use of a climbing-helmet is recommended. Once arrived in the canopee, further ropeways are prepared and the vegetation is carefully searched with a butterfly net. In addition it is of advantage to place white awnings below the investigated tree, in order to ensure insects which fall down to be easily located.
This collecting technique is perhaps not as sufficient as method No. I and much more costly but therefore many species may be collected which are not be found on low growing plants at night.
However, due to the high costs and large-scale of technical equipment, this technique is only worthwile for scientists searching for new and very rare species. Every year, in the tropics uncountable insects species are found, which are still new to science.


Recommended equipment:

A cross-bow or sling with a long (at least 50 metres) and stable nylon-cord; plenty of climbing equipment (ropes, a climbing-belt, glowes, a helmet and safety-glasses); white awnings, plenty of differently sized plasctic containers and a stable but lightweight butterfly net with a long extendible handle.