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Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Autokatcher rides again

I stumbled across this photo on a German beetling website about 9 years ago and thought it would be brilliant to give it a go. It’s taken me a while but I’m nearly there. Here’s my brand new custom-built Autokatcher frame, bolted to a roof-bar. Brian and Shirley Nelson (B&S Entomological Services) are going to run up a net bag for me and then the Autokatcher will be ready to hit the road!

Autokatcher frame

As far as I know, only two people have ever used a vehicle-mounted Autokatcher in Britain, though honorary mention must go to B.S. Williams who used a bicycle-mounted version in the 1930s! Alex Williams used an Autokatcher in the lanes of Kent in the early 1970s and found quite a few rare and unexpected species – there is a great photo of it in the Coleopterist’s Handbook. And Richard Lyszkowski told me he’d once spent an evening using an Autokatcher which generated an immense haul of mostly tiny beetles that he has never managed to identify!

There’s a great article about using Autokatchers, including the occasional misadventures, on Andreas Herrmann’s website here.