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Season is about to start down here in southern states, and I went out to see what's out right now.

This picture illustrates the light trap set up I have done with a colleague couple nights ago. These are actually a combination of two set ups:
1. one 1000 watts metal halide with ballast and one 250 watts metal halide with ballast and one 15 watts blacklight operated by 2000 watts generator 
2. one 400 watts metal halide with ballast and one 15 watts blacklight operated by 1000 watts generator

There was three sided standing sheets inside a triangle of three lights with blacklights here and there.

Many different species of Scarabaeidae (Melolonthinae + Dynastinae), Saturniidae, Erebidae, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Orthorptera, Hemiptera, Megaloptera, Neuroptera, etc. etc... are observed. No larger sized scarabs yet, but found couple of interesting, rather uncommonly seen species of Melolonthines.

I'm excited for this season!! Any heavy (actual) collectors in this forum? (not collectors as "buyers")

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I just took down my light trap sheet for the night. I am too close to the city to get anything good, but I did it for the City Nature Challenge on iNaturalist. 

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Man that's a heck of a setup!  I'm no collector, but I do plan on doing some light trapping this summer to collect some neat natives for the Insect Zoo.  It's been a lonnngggg time since I've done any collecting (college entomology class I believe) but am pretty excited to get back into it.  

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If i could afford buying that type of setup I'd definitely be out, so unfortunately any super serious collections will have to wait till after college...:(

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That looks like an intense set up! A triad of sheets seems like a great way of maximizing visibility from any direction. 

My employer just switched out many mercury vapor lamps for high efficiency LEDs, so I’m angling to Macgyver together my first light trap in the next few weeks. I’d like a battery driven system rather than a generator, so if anyone has any advice about that I’m all ears. 

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On 4/28/2019 at 2:58 PM, Ratmosphere said:

Awesome setup Mr. Kim! 

Thanks!

 

On 4/29/2019 at 3:12 AM, The Mantis Menagerie said:

I just took down my light trap sheet for the night. I am too close to the city to get anything good, but I did it for the City Nature Challenge on iNaturalist. 

Since your location in member information section does not show where you are from, hard to guess where exactly you lighted up. One of the important factors to consider are: preemptive and bright and long lasting lights, especially if you are doing it near many other light sources. Insects tend to fly to the very first lights they see, and then they just won't fly to the other lights. So lighting up starting early evening is highly necessary. I light up an hour or even two hours ahead of sun goes down completely. Also, if you are light up near the gas station, you just have to have something so much brighter than gas station lights. That's kind of obvious, right? Long lasting is important because each species are time-specific. I'm sure you are aware of it, if you have been light trapping all night long. :)

Insects collected near city are completely different from insects collected in woods because people these days plant non-native plants here and there, you can actually (and potentially) find many different kinds of species compares to deep forested area where there is primary species of wood (like pine) occupies majorly. (may vary per location, of course)

 

On 4/29/2019 at 11:01 AM, MasterOogway said:

Man that's a heck of a setup!  I'm no collector, but I do plan on doing some light trapping this summer to collect some neat natives for the Insect Zoo.  It's been a lonnngggg time since I've done any collecting (college entomology class I believe) but am pretty excited to get back into it.  

Thanks! Haha I've been collecting since I was in elementary. It has just gotten more hard-cored, especially when I started light trapping. I don't do any live insect donations to insect zoos, because it seems they can only "buy" from a person with tax ID number as a business owner here in Louisiana, which is weird... There is no "professional seller" of live insects anyway in the United States other than maybe someone like Peter Clausen who regularly carries insects and beetles as items.

 

On 4/29/2019 at 11:06 AM, Alex Shaffer said:

If i could afford buying that type of setup I'd definitely be out, so unfortunately any super serious collections will have to wait till after college...:(

Yes, this set up is not very affordable kinds. But if you are highly interested in collecting, this thing can pay you off with experience, knowledge, and research materials, and maybe some extra stuffs you can sell to others who are interested. Anything that I'm not interested, I donate them to my colleagues over the world. I donate some to institutions as well. And only portion are being sold over eBay, InsectNet, and some others.

 

On 4/30/2019 at 8:31 PM, davehuth said:

That looks like an intense set up! A triad of sheets seems like a great way of maximizing visibility from any direction. 

My employer just switched out many mercury vapor lamps for high efficiency LEDs, so I’m angling to Macgyver together my first light trap in the next few weeks. I’d like a battery driven system rather than a generator, so if anyone has any advice about that I’m all ears. 

Thanks! As long as the battery capacity is large enough to run for more than four to five hours, sure yea! It is good. I heard many stories from researchers and colleagues who went oversea to unoccupied location where you just can't buy or take generators with used car batteries to light trapping. It works, except high wattage like 1000 watts may not work because of the battery power, I'm guessing. It should work okay for anything not too high like 1000. 

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7 minutes ago, JKim said:

I'm sure you are aware of it, if you have been light trapping all night long.

I can go till about 4am, but then I am done. I also have school, so it limits when I can catch up on sleep. 

11 minutes ago, JKim said:

I don't do any live insect donations to insect zoos, because it seems they can only "buy" from a person with tax ID number as a business owner here in Louisiana, which is weird... 

I wonder if it is an AZA issue?

13 minutes ago, JKim said:

There is no "professional seller" of live insects anyway in the United States other than maybe someone like Peter Clausen who regularly carries insects and beetles as items.

Many institutions purchase from this company: LPS Imports

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Yeah, getting stuff to an AZA institution has a lot more hurdles than just dealing with private individuals.  Everyone who wants to vend to a zoo (insects are really the only animals that typically come into zoos from private persons in any numbers) has to at least fill out some preliminary paperwork and potentially agree to a site visit; and if you deal with permitted animals the private individual *must* have an APHIS permit which a surprising number of invert vendors simply don't have.  Native stuff doesn't need that, but again, a surprising number of people simply don't want to deal with it, and won't.  Even Peter (who is literally like 20 minutes south of me) hasn't done it yet for us, even though we've asked.  It's a tough problem.  Bugs of America and LPS are the 2 main zoo suppliers that I know about, and that we work with here too.  

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7 minutes ago, MasterOogway said:

Yeah, getting stuff to an AZA institution has a lot more hurdles than just dealing with private individuals.  Everyone who wants to vend to a zoo (insects are really the only animals that typically come into zoos from private persons in any numbers) has to at least fill out some preliminary paperwork and potentially agree to a site visit; and if you deal with permitted animals the private individual *must* have an APHIS permit which a surprising number of invert vendors simply don't have.  Native stuff doesn't need that, but again, a surprising number of people simply don't want to deal with it, and won't.  Even Peter (who is literally like 20 minutes south of me) hasn't done it yet for us, even though we've asked.  It's a tough problem.  Bugs of America and LPS are the 2 main zoo suppliers that I know about, and that we work with here too.  

As I said before, the USDA over-regulates. It seems to be impossible to get the permits to sell Dynastinae to non-permit-holders. Every person must have their own permits and then exchanges are allowed. I have the PPQ526 commercial biological supply permits for Blaptica dubia, Blatta lateralis, and Therea petiveriana. I also have a larger variety of roaches that I am allowed to purchase, but I cannot sell them to someone without permits. 

I would guess that Peter has chosen not to pursue permits because of a condition on any permit: the USDA is allowed to inspect. He would have to get rid of all the insects not on his permit or hide them. Plus, you cannot own the insects until the permit is granted, so he would have to find a “babysitter” for a few months. 

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7 hours ago, Ratmosphere said:

You really got a permit for dubia roaches? 

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It is technically illegal for anyone to sell them without permits. I have the permits to both acquire and sell Blaptica dubia

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I’m not trying to personally attack you just very curious. Don’t you think you’re taking it a little to far? I have many friends who sell bugs and not one of them have permits.

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If you can do it right, I think you should do so.   I'm with Mantis on this one.  

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29 minutes ago, Ratmosphere said:

I’m not trying to personally attack you just very curious. Don’t you think you’re taking it a little to far? I have many friends who sell bugs and not one of them have permits.

My ultimate goal is to obtain the permits for tropical beetles, lepidoptera, and phasmids. I am also trying to work with AZA institutions as it would give me a larger market to sell to (only a few private individuals have permits). Therefore, I have to comply with all the USDA regulations. 

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Also, I hope to devise some experiments to show the USDA that many of these insects are harmless to agriculture and work towards deregulation. 

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4 hours ago, The Mantis Menagerie said:

My ultimate goal is to obtain the permits for tropical beetles, lepidoptera, and phasmids. I am also trying to work with AZA institutions as it would give me a larger market to sell to (only a few private individuals have permits). Therefore, I have to comply with all the USDA regulations. 

That’s great! This kind of long term strategy will be good for the hobby. Regulations around bugs are arcane and nearly incomprehensible to me. Any fool can give away a box of kittens out of their trunk which decimates billions of native songbirds a year, but it’s unlawful to keep a tropical millipede in a sealed bin that would die in an hour if it escaped? I can’t keep track of that logic. Your approach is excellent and we’ll all benefit from it. Thanks for the hard work!

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