Berlese funnels and Winker selectors are effective tools for separating leaf litter and humus from photophobic insects and arachnids, which generally favor humid environments. The traditional style of these extraction devices is often heavy (made of metal or thick canvas), bulky (unfoldable), inconvenient (use afftected by accessibility to electricity), and time-consuming (when extracting specimens from a thick layer of sample). These disadvantages become even more of a problem when conducting experiments in difficult terrain and remote areas.
Our pop-up Berlese funnel is designed to let moisture evaporate naturally through the netting in the top compartment. It can rapidly extract soil-dwelling arthropods without requiring a heat source, especially when only a thin layer of leaf litter or humus is placed on the gauze. This makes the pop-up Berlese funnel a very efficient tool for locations where there is no electricity. Because it is lightweight (310 grams) and really small when folded (16 cm diameter by 8 cm thick), many can be packed for field trips, expediting experiments. Use of a light bulb (NOT included) as a heat source is also possible: simply clinch top opening around lamp socket base or place the heat source to shine into the funnel.
Each pop-up Berlese funnel consists of five parts: top, gauze, funnel, connector, and collecting tube. The top compartment is of white Nylon netting (104 x 94 mesh/square inch) to permit light to enter and moisture to quickly evaporate. The gauze is of black Polyester netting (mesh aperture about 6 mm) sewn to foldable metal ring that holds Berlese funnel open. The bottom funnel is of black, smooth Nylon cloth. The tube connector is of PE plastic and connects the funnel to a collecting tube.
Each pop-up Berlese funnel comes with one Eppendorf tube (50 ml) for collection container. When expected extraction amount is large, other containers (e.g. Whirl-Pak® sampling bag, NOT sold at the BugDorm Store) may be tied onto the connector. The fast-release design of the tube connector permits cleaning of overlooked specimens from bottom opening.