Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Failed Attempts at Entomology

Over this past year I was hoping to enthrall readers with a how to in regard to black lighting for insects. My target audience though was going to be ants so I never got around to posting the info. Well after I'd made the thing I found that I wasn't getting any ants, where as in years past doing this in small scale I'd been able to get lots of ants, so clearly I must have been doing something wrong and that's why I never got around to posting this. Well it turns out there are two kinds of black lights and my larger setup used a weaker of the two despite being several feet longer. Hopefully I'll be able to fix this next year.

So here is my setup, illuminated with a spot light for photo reasons. Black lights don't illuminate well.

I experimented some with fabrics. All of these are white! But some don't illuminate well to a black light. However! Even the one that barely illuminated at all in the middle attracted insects. It has nothing to do weather or not the fabric glows, just so long as the light hits it. I was attracting the same general types of insects with everything.

As a side note I was completely disgusted to find my black light was illuminating "stains" on the sheets despite having never been used and coming from right out of the bag! I bought these at K-Mart and am hoping that's just a symptom of factory chemicals.

Insects showed up best on the whiter ones so I mostly used those. 

No idea which moth this is but I really like how smooth looking the wings are.



White Moth

Crain Fly. Might be a Giant Crain Fly. Not sure what the criteria is. 


Chinavia sp.

Soldier Beetle of some kind.

Ground nesting cockroach?

Lightning Bug in the spot light. Actually I think this mimicking a lightning bug.

Looks like a click bug.

Not sure what this is.

So those were the highlights of one year of doing this. I had it set up more than 6 times over the summer, always a day or two after it had just rained. Considering the high humidity I should have gotten more. And that's why this is a failure at Entomology. So at some point this year I'll hopefully buy a better light and have more to report back with.