These traps are rather like an open-sided tent with a central vertical panel which reaches down to the ground. Fast-flying insects, such as flies and wasps, hit the central panel and fly upwards towards a sloping roof that directs them towards a collecting chamber at the high end of the trap. Propylene glycol can be used as a preservative in the collecting chamber if the traps are operating for several days or weeks. Ethanol can also be used for shorter trapping periods as it evaporates. Malaise traps are particularly good at catching flies, wasps and bees.
Commercial Malaise traps are available from
Malaise trap set up Head of the malaise trap with preservative
Queensland Museum's Find out about... is proudly supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.