Entomological research initially concentrated on building-up a comprehensive reference collection of major pest groups. This is essential for the early detection and identification of potentially dangerous pests of forest plantations and forest products.
Other projects currently implemented include studies on termites, ants, butterflies and stick insects, bee-keeping and the insect complex in agroforestry sites at Sabal Forest Reserve. The latter involves the inventory of insect pests associated with the cash crops and the insect population dynamics. Pest surveillance is also conducted in forest plantations and forest nurseries, with control measures taken whenever necessary to reduce the pest incidence.
Collaborative research is undertaken with the Centre for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Japan under the Canopy Biology Programme at Lambir Hills National Park.
Insect Reference Collection
The collected specimens from the various projects amounted to more than 500,000 of which 1,726 specimens have been identified to species level. The main groups in the collection are:
Coleoptera - beetles
Hymenoptera - ants, bees, wasps
Isoptera - termites
Homoptera - cicadas
Phasmida - stick insects
Lepidoptera - butterflies, moths
Hemiptera - bugs