Thread subject: :: Collecting Tachinidae

Posted by Samuel Perry on 07-06-2013 23:44

I've read of a method of collecting involving spraying sunward facing leaves with a mixture of honey, cola, and water. I'm wondering if anyone has tried this, and what mixture they use. Also, what would be a good device to actually do the spraying with? A normal spray bottle with the nozzle bore enlarged with an insect pin? Some sort of fertilizer applicator?

Posted by ChrisR on 08-06-2013 13:26

I've never tried it myself but Monty Wood is a big fan of this method. The mixture should be made up freshly each day and sprayed or painted onto leaves - preferably after a rain shower has washed any natural honey-dew off the leaves.

Monty can be difficult to get hold of but I'm sure Jim O'Hara in Canada would know the technique :)

Edited by ChrisR on 08-06-2013 13:27

Posted by sd on 10-06-2013 18:48

I have used the method and it can work not just for Tachinidae but for other families and other orders. Try not to make surfaces too wet or you are more likely to attract bees and wasps. Use a misting bottle which gardeners use for a fine spray. Experiment with the ingredients to see what works best in your local conditions. Straight cola is the simplest (not Diet!) and will not need to be made up each day. Large leaves in dappled shade are often the best spot, but again experiment.
Its also a great method for close- up photography as the insects are too busy feeding to notice the camera.