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Black Lights and UV Lights Attract Insects
Category: Birding at the Chico

 Chico's first ever Moth Night was held on July 22 at the Bell Grove.  Four setups including this one by Tim Leppec were erected in various parts of the grove including on top of the platform where bands play.  Tim's setup used an incandescent light source, while others used ultraviolet light and black lights to pull in insects from far away. Studies have shown that black light and UV wave lengths attract more insects than incandescent lights do. The UV light seemed to attract the most insects but hundreds to thousands of insects came to investigate each white sheet where the lights were aimed. It was easy to see that participants wearing white T-shirts made a mistake with their color choice. Moths were not the most common insect studied, but the moth diversity was evident.  All thirteen participants tried their luck at night photography some successful, newbies not so much.

Common Nighthawk which breeds on the Chico and hunts in the early evening and early morning (crepuscular) don't need lights to attract insects, their night vision allows them to successfully see and catch insects flying in the low light levels. 

Posted by Bill M. on 07/25/2017
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