June 13, 2012
If you've driven past the research center in the past week, you've probably noticed a strange looking contraption erected near the fence. No, it's not a rocket, nor is it a giant potato gun. It is actually a suction trap used to monitor apid populations as they fluctuate throughout the summer. The suction trap had been a fixture at the Center for a number of years, but blew down and was damaged during a storm more than a year ago. With a new upper tube and a little help from our loader tractor, it is now up and functioning again.
The eight aphid suction traps in the Illinois network are maintained and monitored by Dr. David Voegtlin, Emeritus Professor with the Illinois Natural History Survey's, Section for Ecological Entomology. Throughout the growing season, the weekly captures of approximately 30 different aphid species, including soybean aphid, will be monitored and reported. As these reports come in, they will be posted on the Center's web page.