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Pitfall traps containing baits and alcoholic preservatives were investigated, in the Solomon Islands and in South Australia, as methods for sampling ants and members of other groups that are active on the ground surface. Observations by previous workers that there may be attraction to preservatives used in traps were extended and a method of testing for it is suggested. Ants were not attracted to the preservatives used and when dealing with diverse ant faunas simple pitfalls appear to be preferable to baited traps.