There is an increasing need to monitor activity and population growth of arthropods; however, this is a time-consuming and financially demanding process. Using sensors to detect arthropods in the field can help to follow their dynamics in time. Improving our earlier device, we developed a new camera-supported probe to detect soil microarthropods. An opto-electronic sensor ring detects the caught microarthropod individuals what activates a camera. The camera takes pictures of a specimen when it arrives in the camera chamber. A vacuum device was built into the probe which pumps up the specimen from the probe to a sample container. Here, we describe the construction and operation of the probe. We investigated the precision of the process in a laboratory experiment using living microarthropods and evaluated the accuracy of the probes in a semi-natural investigation when environmental noise was present. Under semi-natural conditions, the percentages of success, i.e., the photographed specimens compared to the caught ones, were between 60% and 70% at the investigated taxa. The automatic camera shooting helped in distinguishing insects from irrelevant detections while collecting the trapped insects allowed species-level determination. This information together serves as a basis for the automatic visual recognition of microarthropod species.
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