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Blacklighting to attract bugs


Beetlebee
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You want a black light that produces maximum UV. Bioquip makes several models with various AC/DC adapters so you can run them right from your cars cigarette lighter.

 

I personally use their 250 watt mercury vapor light running on a portable generator with one of their specially designed UV reflective collecting sheets. I prefer the mercury vapor to the standard black light since it produces a much larger light spectrum. There are many species that aren't attracted to UV, so if you're employing a black light they won't come check it out, but the mercury vapor produces the same UV spectrum, as well as a huge amount of other lighting spectrums. In short, if there's an insect attracted to ANY form of light, it'll come to the mercury vapor, a luxury the black light alone doesn't provide.

 

Here's some links to the products I mentioned.

 

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2816

 

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2805

 

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2810

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You want a black light that produces maximum UV. Bioquip makes several models with various AC/DC adapters so you can run them right from your cars cigarette lighter.

 

I personally use their 250 watt mercury vapor light running on a portable generator with one of their specially designed UV reflective collecting sheets. I prefer the mercury vapor to the standard black light since it produces a much larger light spectrum. There are many species that aren't attracted to UV, so if you're employing a black light they won't come check it out, but the mercury vapor produces the same UV spectrum, as well as a huge amount of other lighting spectrums. In short, if there's an insect attracted to ANY form of light, it'll come to the mercury vapor, a luxury the black light alone doesn't provide.

 

Here's some links to the products I mentioned.

 

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2816

 

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2805

 

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2810

 

 

GREAT links! I must get these!!!

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Bioquip can be a bit pricey, but their stuff is always of really high quality. I used to live by their warehouse so I could go and pick it up without shipping charges. Also if Anyone is in the area near them (They're in Compton so the LA area is good) they host the Lorquin Entomolgical Society at the Bioquip warehouse every month. Great guest speakers, lots of knowledge, and a really great society that's existed for over 100 years. I was a member for a while until I had to move out of state.

 

For Blacklighting, It's a good idea to find the edge of an old growth forest and set up facing towards it, a good few dozen feet away (maybe even 100-200) since the insects will come out of the forest and it gives you the most area of forest to cover with the blacklight. If you set up in the forest the light doesnt usually go as far due to the density of plants, unless the forest doesn't have too much shrubbery and understory.

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Mercury vapor has always been my preference as well. I've never used the Bioquip blacklight sheet before, but if you bring out an old white sheet that works really well too. Whether you blacklight or mercury light, it's a lot of fun going out and doing that during the spring/summer/fall!

 

Another option would be to set it up near water. Not only will you get neat aquatic beetles, you'll also get a whole host of aquatic inverts as well (belostomatids, nepids, etc.). I always try to mercury light on the edge of the woods, especially if there's some nice prairie right next to it. You don't necessarily get more beetles, but you can get a wide variety of other things too.

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I always try to "mix it up" and use MV, BL and BLB lights at the same time. I have even tried both incandescent lights and "grow lights".

 

Also, try to be setup with your light on before the sun goes down, and you might stay late too - this should give you a wide range of things to collect.

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