Looking ahead to the return of the Insects

Well it is a new year and I have been doing a little bit of birding and stuff but the insect drought that winter brings always drives me crazy. The insects are my life blood mainly and I have encountered only a handful of insect observations this winter. However I have been thinking toward the future and I am going to get a mothing light setup soon. I have been wanting to get a mothing light set up for a while and have talked it over with my family and I have been given a green light. I did have a design in mind but after review I still want to save a little bit of money since my family is searching for a new house in Arlington. I have thought it over and the mothing light will just be a white sheet suspended in the air by a few strings. It will be lit up by a clamp light and a good bulb (@kimberlietx @sambiology @brentano any ideas on what kind of bulb to buy?). I thought about getting a Tripod too; my small red camera may be tough but like most of us mothing folks our cameras don't work in bad light. I figured that I could use a tripod and tape multiple flash lights on it or something and get the shots I need. This setup will come in handy as I will use it during the 2018 City Nature Challenge. I will try and use it every night of the event so that way I can get even more observations than last year; I will also use it on nights when we come home late and I am just sitting around doing nothing. I would also like to use it on nights when we have work days in the backyard and to relax and watch the insects in the summer. I am so ready to get that set up and start mothing when the time comes. I have been very eager to learn more about moths and to get more moth observations for National Moth Week. The Moths are one thing that I am looking forward to return to my backyard.

The Dragonflies are another insect I am looking forward to coming back. I have been birding at a few areas that I think will be great to look for dragonflies this coming spring and summer. I am looking forward to netting them for further observation. I have my eye set on catching a Common Green Darner Male. That is one I have been wanting to catch. I attempted it last year but the silly sucker used evasive action every time I would swing. I have grown very fond of Moths and Dragonflies during the course of my life. Last year was the time I observed the most of the two groups. In the meantime I have been studying up on the two groups of insects I have also been planning on planting more native plants for the other insects including the Monarch Butterfly. I have been wanting to get a lot of Native Seeds and plant them at the new house if we get one. I could start with this house and get it looking good. I have been wanting to plant more native flowers for the birds and the bugs that frequent my yard. I also want to attract new species. I did have some Turkscap and I am hoping it survived the winter. It was starting to spread but who knows if it is dead or not. I also have some Cherry Laurel and some Yarrow and other plants that grow here. I am trying my best not to get anything that is not a native since I am trying to mend my ways of getting none native plants. I for one am wanting to get a nice native garden full of cool prairie plants and other things. I have a plan in mind and I am hoping it sticks. I am focusing my mind on a lot of things and a great precentage of that mind power this year will focus on my Math class of course but also the insects that I love. This year is going to be a great year for insects I hope. I am sure that I will find more this year than I did last year. Here's too a good insect full year.

Publicado el 13 de enero de 2018 04:01 por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man


You know me... I always have suggestions! :)

For the bulb, this will depend greatly on your budget. The bulb we use most often is a Bioquip 15 Watt Black Light sold here here https://www.bioquip.com/Search/DispProduct.asp?itemnum=2807A But they aren't cheap. It looks like they just came out with a new compact bulb which fits any standard light socket and is much cheaper. https://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2807X I started out with a cheapo party UV light from WalMart which ran me around $15. It was very weak, but it still attracted moths better than a regular bulb.

As for the camera, you will probably still be able to use your camera, but you will need an additional light to be able to focus on the moth. I use a typical LED headlamp with the strap wrapped around my hand/wrist. Any light will take a little figuring out when it comes to handling it though. Others might have different suggestions. And this would be more flexible than a tripod.

So, my last suggestion, on the bugs. Even in the crazy cold weather, the bugs are still out there, just hiding. Find rocks and flip them over. Find rotting wood and lift it up. Pull loose bark off a tree trunk. Look in tall grass near water for resting flies. Gently move rotting leaves to get to the dirt underneath and look closely. I went out the other day with some folks and found centipedes, millipedes, scorpions, stink bugs, flies, springtails, and beatle :wink: larvae. You just have to think like the bugs. :)

Publicado por kimberlietx hace más de 5 años

Kim's right on -- those bioquip bulbs are mighty pricey, but they are quite good. @annikaml bought one and mothing was quite improved. So, it's an investment but if you're really into nocturnal bugs, it's worth it. :)

Publicado por sambiology hace más de 5 años

I'll keep that in mind; I am going to start off cheap but I will work my way up eventually.

Publicado por galactic_bug_man hace más de 5 años

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