Some of you are lucky to be able to light trap in your back yard. I have to drive at least 40km to nearest forest and commit a half night to collect. That is why I don’t do it often.
Tonight I will be trying to find some at gas stations, store fronts at one of the village which is located near a good patch of forest. Although it will be tough as most lights are converted to LEDs.
Did any of you used power converter 12V to 110V 500W for MV 175W. Just wonder how that would work although I suppose the car would have to run all the time to prevent battery drainage. I don’t have generator and Don’t want to invest for now $1000 for good light weight Honda.
Post by exoticimports on May 27, 2020 6:09:22 GMT -8
I've never run the 175W off battery. I can tell you that mine (external ballast) won't start with the generator set at 250W, I have to start at 350W to get it started, then turn it down to 250W to save fuel.
Gasoline engines in cars don't like to idle a long time, they can overheat and it clogs the valves, sensors, and catalytic converter. Running a light off a car a long time isn't free- you'll pay for it.
If you do get a dedicated battery, get a deep cycle, they don't die if run down, whereas a standard battery is damaged below a certain charge. Of course, deep cycles cost more money.
:-) as you can see, having a forest in the back yard isn't doing me any good!
What's the chance you can find a friendly research station, friend, farmer, etc that will let you put your light out with a kill bucket? Put it on a timer, then go check it every day or so. That way you're not driving home tired in the middle of the night. After this weekend's cold front passes I'm going to set up a BL on timer at a friend's place.
BTW I now have a "pet" bluejay. He shows up every morning to eat the insects. This morning a pair of wrens and a chipmunk got into the smorgasbord as well.
I drove last night to look around gas stations. I found one which still uses MV bulbs and it is located near by forest but not directly attached to which would be ideal. No other lights in whole village there so no route to make, however I found also 4 very fresh S.abbottii, one S.jamaicensis and few small noctuids yet to id. Not too bad.
Well, this must be a good year for S. abbottii or else I found their peak flight time, I have seen them every night for the past several days. Last night there were at least five of them. I need to get my bait trap functioning and maybe I would get a female. I also got one D. inscriptum and saw a tattered D. myron, the first of the year. Also got a Furcula cinerea.
Yesterday I got a pretty nice luna as well as another Plusia contexta.
Fishflies and June beetles still dominate. Still no lucanids.
On a different note, my promethea cocoons began hatching out yesterday, rearing will ensue shortly.
Last Edit: May 28, 2020 8:03:46 GMT -8 by mothman27
I set two Light Traps in a heavely wooded area next to the Mantua Wetlands. Between the two traps I had about 400+ moths. I collect two Bellura vulnifica #9523.1. The larvae bore into Water Lilly's. I collect a second moth, another Bellura, I can find no image to match it to.
I set out two more traps in the same area tonight. Results tomorrow!!
Go to MPG (Moth Photographer Group) and check out #9523.
I went last night to search for moths around gas stations. The temp was around 12°C or 53.6°F and there was absolutely nothing No insects of any kind. Is this normal for low temp? I always thought that some species should be active?
Paul-In response to your question about running a 175 watt MV bulb off of a car battery with a converter, I have done it many times with no issues. I normally do it while on business trips to other parts of the country, which means I have been doing it with a rental car, so I can't speak to the issues on wear and tear on the car. I let the car idle the whole time I have the lights running and the gas used is quite minimal. All of the equipment I need to set up fits in a backpack, which makes it easy to travel with. I have had a few visits from police patrol cars, but after my explanation of what I am doing, they shake their head and continue on their way.
Most notable are the Plusia contexta which I have only once caught here previously, in 2017. Yet I got my second and third specimens in one night, crazy. The water beetle is the largest I have found, measuring about 1 5/8'' long. I assume it is Hydrophilus triangularis.
I see the name on your ruler. I rescued Equipto way back in 1997. They went bankrupt in 2000(??).
There should be a law against morons and idiots from owning companies.
Deidamia inscriptum is having a banner year. I had two in my Bait Trap in my back yard and over twenty in both my Light Traps. I also collected about thrity+ specimens of Lophocampa caryae and Lophocampa maculata.
I have two Light Trap set out in the Grand River WMA. This location is over 40 miles from my home. I am considering a trip up to Thompson Harbor which is located in the upper eastern portion of the lower Peninsula of Michigan.
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2020 8:03:19 GMT -8 by leptraps
Exoticimports: you photographed several very nice Acronicta. I am assuming you do not collect Noctuid moths.
All HID bulbs, which include Mercury Vapor, can operate for decades. I have a friend in Florida who operated a walk-in light trap with a 175 Watt MV. The bulb is over 25 years old.
Most street lights in North America are HID. Most are Low Sodium. The new LED Corn lights are replacing HID.
Leptraps can no longer obtain MV Bulbs. Nothing can be imported into the USA and Canada that contains Merury (Hg).
I have a Light Set Up for collecting nocturnal insects, I have not used it in over 25 years. The set up has two 250MVSB, Four 40Watt 48"QBL 368, and two 250 Sun Lamps 368NM. It is in a wooden box in my garage. The last one I produced was in 2006. They were not cheap. The last time I used mine was in 2000 in SE Arizona.
The last freezer trap I made with a MV bulb was in 2004.
Exoticimports: you photographed several very nice Acronicta. I am assuming you no not collect Noctuid moths.
Good question, or comment, Leroy.
We all have differing drivers for collecting voucher specimens, so I can only reflect on my situation.
Space and curation time limits me to roughly 100 drawers. I'm a bit over that now, but that's my benchmark. Meaning, if I need space for new study specimens, "used" specimens go out to museums and other advanced collectors. Typically the disposal is by sub-collection; for example I got rid of all my academic display Morphos years ago.
I do have representative Noctuid specimens. In the case of Acronicta and others, they are common enough year after year (thus far). Thus, from a lifetime snapshot, they aren't of substantial scientific value. And, the specimens I have taken for others, and put into the Swap Box, are returned, so others don't want them either (like my Catocala).
To my mind, the common and recurring species aren't of great scientific value. Contrast that with, for example, P Cresphontes. Now, some will laugh since Cresphontes is so common in FL, but Cresphontes exploded (and reproduced) a few years ago south of Lake Ontario, whereas they had never before occurred there. In my non-scientific observation (ie how many I see flying around) that population has dropped markedly over the last couple years. Who knows, maybe in 50 years the technology will exist to explain why the population expanded, exploded, and dropped or disappeared.
Likewise, the Saturnids which have dropped markedly in the Finger Lakes NY area. None are uncommon, but it merits asking why the population is dropping. Perhaps technology will reveal, some day, introduced parasites, agricultural poisoning, etc. Perhaps my specimens will be of value for this research.
That all said, if anyone wants Noctuids, Pyralids, etc I'd be happy to take specimens for them. But even after donating thousands of specimens to museums I still have thousands of papered specimens, and these too take space.
Post by exoticimports on Jun 3, 2020 4:30:26 GMT -8
Last night was a bust with the 175W MV. One beat insciptum.
I was standing on the deck, watched a large sphingid (probably undulosa) come out of the forest, wobble a bit, and head straight for the darkness.
Looking at the forest, only meters away all around, the whole area is lit. The Tulip Tree trunk glows white. I'm guessing that over the years the forest has matured, there is certainly more leaf, and that (1) the MV isn't punching deep into the forest like it used to and (2) there is too much light reflection.
I set out two Light Traps last night in the Grand River WMA. (Located in the north east area of Ohio, Astabula County.) Both traps were at the Northern boundary of the WMA. I have an expression, "This Place Smells of Moths!!". I also found an open woods with some sun. When I returned this AM to collect my Light Traps, I set out three (3) Bait Traps in this area.
The Light Traps were "Loaded". It took me over an hour to sort each trap. I think I took home about four hundred moths from the Light Traps. Some of these moths are new to me. I also brought home 100+ beetles for a friend. Supriselingly, very few Diptera.
Not a lot of butterflies on the wing. I saw a couple of Swallowtails, some Pieridae and not much else. I also saw a Hawk snatch a rodent (Field Mouse?) from a grassy field.