Modification and application of a leaf blower-vac for field sampling of arthropods

Yi Zou*, Mario D. van Telgen, Junhui Chen, Haijun Xiao, Joop de Kraker, Felix J.J.A. Bianchi, Wopke van der Werf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Rice fields host a large diversity of arthropods, but investigating their population dynamics and interactions is challenging. Here we describe the modification and application of a leaf blower-vac for suction sampling of arthropod populations in rice. When used in combination with an enclosure, application of this sampling device provides absolute estimates of the populations of arthropods as numbers per standardized sampling area. The sampling efficiency depends critically on the sampling duration. In a mature rice crop, a two-minute sampling in an enclosure of 0.13 m2 yields more than 90% of the arthropod population. The device also allows sampling of arthropods dwelling on the water surface or the soil in rice paddies, but it is not suitable for sampling fast flying insects, such as predatory Odonata or larger hymenopterous parasitoids. The modified blower-vac is simple to construct, and cheaper and easier to handle than traditional suction sampling devices, such as D-vac. The low cost makes the modified blower-vac also accessible to researchers in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere54655
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number114
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Arthropod abundance
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Issue 114
  • Natural enemy
  • Pest management
  • Rice
  • Suction sampling

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