A berlese funnel is a device that is used to extract insects from soil and litter samples. It was invented by Antonio Berlese and later improved. by Tullgren. Basically, it uses a heat source (in this case a light bulb) to dry the sample, forcing the insects through a screen and into a jar of preserving fluid. It is a useful tool for attaining cryptic species that would otherwise evade even the most avid collector.
Step 1: Materials
-1 gallon tractor funnel; I ordered mine through ace hardware for about $16
-Reflector light fixture (That's the only thing I know to call it. I got mine at tractor supply for brooding chicks and quail.) It should have a diameter equal or greater than that of the funnel, but if you find one with equal diameter it looks cleaner. The funnel and light used here both measure about 10".
-cat litter bucket; The funnel sat well in this bucket, so I used it. Basically, you just need to suspend the funnel above the killing jar.
- 1/4" wire mesh cut to fit snugly into the funnel.
-Mid sized jar; Nothing Special.
-Some flexible wire; a few inches will suffice.
-light bulb; I'm not sure what the best wattage of bulb is best here, so experiment. Just don't leave it alone and accidentally catch your house on fire.