Light Trap – 27 July 2019

Introduction

I decided that I should start doing light trapping on a regular basis, as a way of get to see some new stuff and to record what we get at different times of the year. For anyone who doesn’t know, light trapping is where you put up a white sheet and a light at night to attract insects. The light is usually a mercury vapour lamp, a UV light or a black light, or a combination. I have a 150W mercury vapour lamp. Our location is ideal for this because we are in an open area surrounded by forest, and we have very little light pollution.

I turned the light on fairly soon after dark at around 7 o’clock and I was out taking photos from a little after 8 until a little before midnight.

Summary Results

It seems that 218 different species of insects were attracted by the light. Not surprisingly, by far the most abundant group was moths (Lepidoptera) with 163 species. The rest, in order of diversity, were true bugs (Hemiptera) with 19 species; beetles (Coleoptera) with 11, crickets, katydids and grasshoppers (Orthoptera) with 10; wasps, bees and ants (Hymenoptera), praying mantises (Mantodea) and Neuroptera each with 4 species; flies (Diptera) with 2 and caddisflies (Trichoptera) with 1.

Gallery

Detailed Results

The list below shows everything that was photographed on the sheet. I have everything identified, at least to order level. I have identified many specimens on my own, so there might be a need for corrections. I will amend the list if necessary. I am likely to have missed some creatures that landed on the sheet. For example, I known I didn’t photograph all the ants or a single mosquito. Where I have not been able to identify to species level, I have included the lowest level taxon that I believe can be reliably assigned. All taxa above species level are suffixed with the number of species within. For some taxa, I have shown a range. This indicates that I do not know whether the photographed specimens are all the same species or not. When totalling species counts for higher levels, the lower number in any range is used. Species marked in bold are new to me. Higher level taxa in bold indicate at least one new species within the count.

  • Coleoptera (Beetles) [11]
    • Caraboidea [2]
      • Carabidae (Ground Beetles) [2]
        • Harpalinae [1]
          • Ophionea [1]
        • Panagaeinae [1]
          • Adischissus notalatus
    • Chrysomeloidea [1]
      • Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetles) [1]
        • Galerucinae (Skeletonizing Leaf Beetles) [1]
          • Monolepta signata
    • Curculionoidea (Snout Beetles) [1]
      • Curculionidae (Weevils) [1]
        • Platypodinae (Pinhole Bark Borers) [1]
          • Dinoplatypus [1]
    • Elateroidea (Click Beetles) [2]
      • Cantharidae (Soldier Beetles) [1]
        • Asiosilis [1]
      • Lycidae (Net-winged Beetles) [1]
    • Scarabaeoidea (Scarab Beetles) [4]
      • Scarabaeidae [4]
        • Melolonthinae (Chafers) [1]
        • Rutelinae [3]
          • Anomala densa
          • Anomala pallida
    • Staphylinoidea (Rove Beetles) [1]
      • Staphylinidae [1] (subtribe: Philonthina)
  • Diptera (Flies) [2]
    • Brachycera (Short-horned Flies)
      • Oestroidea [1]
        • Tachinidae [1]
    • Nematocera (Long-horned Flies) [1]
  • Hemiptera (Bugs) [19]
    • Fulgoroidea (Planthoppers) [5]
      • Cixiidae [1]
      • Derbidae [1]
      • Flatidae [1]
      • Meenoplidae [1]
      • Ricaniidae [1]
        • Ricanula [1]
    • Lygaeoidea [1]
      • Lygaeidae [1]
        • Metochus
    • Membracoidea [4]
      • Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers) [4]
    • Miroidea [1]
      • Miridae (Plant Bugs) [1]
    • Pentatomoidea [2]
      • Pentatomidae (Stink Bugs) [2]
    • Reduvioidea [4]
      • Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs) [4]
        • Peiratinae [1]
        • Stenopodainae
          • Sastrapada [1]
          • Unidentified Stenopodainae [2]
    • Tingoidea [1]
      • Tingidae (Lacebugs) [1]
        • Cantacader [1]
  • Hymenoptera (Wasps, Ants and Bees) [4]
    • Apoidea [1]
      • Apidae (Bees) [1]
        • Apinae [1]
          • Apini (Honey Bees) [1]
            • Apis dorsata (Giant Honey Bee)
    • Formicoidea [2]
      • Formicidae (Ants) [2]
        • Myrmicinae [1]
          • Trichomyrmex destructor (Detroyer Ant)
    • Pompiloidea [1]
      • Pompilidae (Spider Wasps) [1]
  • Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies) [163]
    • Bombycoidea [2]
      • Endromidae [1]
        • Prismosticta microprisma
      • Sphingidae (Hawk Moths) [1]
        • Macroglossinae [1]
          • Eupanacra variolosa
    • Drepanoidea [2]
      • Drepanidae (Hooktip Moths) [2]
        • Oreta carnea
        • Teldenia specca
    • Gelechioidea [1]
    • Geometroidea (Inchworm Moths) [18]
      • Geometridae [13]
        • Ennominae [5]
          • Achrosis [1]
          • Bulonga schistacearia
          • Cleora [1]
          • Fascellina plagiata
          • Zamarada [1]
        • Geometrinae [5]
          • Comostola meritaria
          • Hemithea [1]
          • Ornithospila succincta
          • Orothalassodes [1]
          • Spaniocentra hollowayi
        • Sterrhinae [4]
          • Idaea costiguttata
          • Idaea craspedota
          • Lophophleps purpurea
          • Lophophleps triangularis
      • Uraniidae (Swallowtail Moths) [4]
        • Epipleminae [3]
          • Phazaca [1]
          • Unidentified Epipleminae [2]
        • Microniinae [1]
          • Strophidia caudata
    • Noctuoidea [76]
      • Erebidae [59]
        • Arctiinae (Tiger Moths) [31]
          • Amerilini [1]
            • Amerila astreus
          • Arctiini [2]
            • Creatonotos fasciatus
            • Creatonotos transiens
          • Lithosiini (Lichen Moths) [28]
            • Aemene ariadna
            • Brunia gibonica
            • Cernyia longpala
            • Chamaita [1]
            • Chrysoscota cotriangulata
            • Cyana costifimbria
            • Cyana perornata
            • Eugoa holocraspedon
            • Eugoa humerana
            • Eugoa uniformis
            • Eugoa vasta
            • Eugoa unidentified [1]
            • Katha cf. brevivalva
            • Katha sp. nr montana
            • Katha prabana
            • Lyclene irregularis
            • Lyclene orsova
            • Lyclene sp. nr punctata
            • Lyclene unguifera
            • Macaduma borneana
            • Poliosia cf. concolora
            • Schistophleps bipuncta
            • Teulisna sp. nr impara
            • Tigrioides leucanioides
            • Trischalis subaurana
            • Unidentified Lithosiini [4]
        • Boletobiinae [9]
          • Corgatha [1]
          • Eublemma [1]
          • Homodes bracteigutta
          • Laspeyria viridicincta
          • Loxioda [1]
          • Maguda [1]
          • Metaemene atrigutta
          • Sarobides inconclusa
          • Tamba nigrilineata
        • Erebinae [1]
          • Ugia [1]
        • Herminiinae (Litter Moths) [4]
          • Adrapsa ablualis
          • Bertula [1]
          • Lysimelia neleusalis
          • Simplicia [1]
        • Hypeninae [3] ]
          • Britha [2]
          • Hypenna [1
        • Hypenodinae [1]
          • Micronoctuini [1]
        • Lymantriinae (Tussuck Moths) [4]
          • Carriola [1]
          • Laelia [1]
          • Nygmiini [1]
          • Olene [1]
        • Rivulinae [1]
          • Bocula [1]
        • Unassinged Erebidae Subfamily [3]
          • Chorsia albiscripta
          • Cretonia [1]
          • Gesonia obeditalis
        • Unidentified Erebidae [2]
      • Euteliidae [1]
        • Lophoptera [1]
      • Noctuidae [5]
        • Amyna [1]
        • Callopistria exotica
        • Elusa [1]
        • Spodoptera pecten
        • Trisuloides catocalina
      • Nolidae (Tuft Moths) [10]
        • Chloephorinae [1 – 3]
        • Nolinae [8]
          • Barasa [1]
          • Nola [4]
            • Nola fasciata
            • Nola mediolineata
            • Nola taeniata
            • Unidentified Nola [1]
          • Unidentified Nolinae [3]
        • Unidentified Nolidae [1]
      • Notodontidae [1]
        • Saliocleta sp. nr armata and postica
    • Pyraloidea [47]
      • Crambidae [35]
        • Acentropinae [4]
          • Nymphicula [1 -3]
          • Parapoynx [3]
        • Crambinae [6]
          • Ancylolomia [1]
          • Culladia hastiferalis [1]
          • Eschata [1]
          • Unidentified Crambinae [1]
        • Odontiinae [3]
          • Syntonarcha [1]
          • Taurometopa pyrometalla
          • Unidentified Odontiinae [1]
        • Pyraustinae [2]
          • Circobotys occultilinea
          • Ecpyrrhorrhoe c.f. puralis [1]
        • Schoenobiinae [4]
          • Ramila acciusalis
          • Scirpophaga [3]
        • Spilomelinae [14]
          • Agrotera basinotata
          • Eurrhyparodes [1]
          • Goniorhynchus [1]
          • Herpetogramma sp. nr hipponalis
          • Herpetogramma rudis
          • Metoeca foedalis
          • Omiodes [1]
          • Phostria [1]
          • Poliobotys ablactalis
          • Polythlipta macralis
          • Unidentified Polythlipta [1]
          • Tatobotys janapalis
          • Tyspanodes hypsalis
          • Unidentified Spilomelinae [1]
        • Unidentified Crambidae [2]
      • Pyralidae [12]
        • Epipaschiinae [3]
          • Coenodomus [1]
          • Orthaga [1]
          • Stericta [1]
        • Galleriinae [1]
        • Phycitinae [4]
          • Aurana [1]
          • Unidentified Phycitinae [3]
        • Pyralinae [3]
          • Hypsopygia [1]
          • Unidentified Pyralini [2]
        • Unidentified Pyralidae [1]
    • Thyridoidea [3]
      • Picrostomastis [1]
      • Striglina buergersi
      • Striglina duplicifimbria
    • Tortricoidea [6]
      • Tortricidae (Leafroller Moths) [6]
        • Archips [1]
        • Ophiorrhabda mormopa
        • Phaecasiophora [1]
        • Phricanthes flexilineana
        • Rhopobota [2]
    • Yponomeutoidea [1]
      • Glyphipterigidae [1]
        • Glyphipterix [1]
    • Zygaenoidea [1]
      • Limacodidae [1]
        • Oxyplax pallivitta
    • Unidentified Lepidoptera [6]
  • Mantodea (Praying Mantises) [4]
    • Hymenopodidae [2]
      • Acromantis [2]
    • Mantidae [2]
      • Statilia maculata
      • Tenodera [1]
  • Neuroptera [4]
    • Chrysopidae (Green Lacewings) [1]
      • Ankylopterygini [1]
    • Mantispidae (Mantidflies) [3]
      • Mantispa [1]
      • Unidentified Mantispidae [2]
  • Orthoptera (Crickets and Grasshoppers) [10]
    • Caelifera (Grasshoppers and Locusts) [1]
      • Acrididae [1]
        • Calephorus [1]
    • Ensifera (Crickets and Katydids) [9]
      • Gryllidae (Crickets) [2]
      • Tettigoniidae (Katydids) [2]
        • Conocephalinae [1]
          • Conocephalus [1]
        • Phaneropterinae [1]
      • Trigonidiidae [5]
        • Nemobiinae [1]
        • Trigonidiinae [1]
        • Unidentified Trigonidiidae [3]
  • Trichoptera (Caddisflies) [1]

All results have been added to my checklist, and are also recorded in iNaturalist.

Discussion and Conclusions

I think that was a pretty successful evening and I will be repeating it. My aim is do it once per moon cycle, as it is better when there is no moon visible, but I will have to see because it has taken a great deal of effort to process and identify the photos. Even with that effort, I would have preferred to get more things identified to lower levels.

Next time, I will try to remember to take a photograph of the whole light trap.

I had a few issues with my camera. It ran out of power much sooner than I was expecting. I switched to my spare battery but that latest only about 10 minutes. I think it must be faulty, which will teach me not to buy cheap alternatives. I had to resort to using the camera plugged into the same extension lead that was powering the mercury vapour lamp. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite long enough to reach the far side of the sheet, so I had to take a few shots on battery power and then plug it back in again. Even on the near side of the sheet, I had to carry the extension lead under my arm, while I took photos. I am glad no-one was videoing my efforts. Then the camera started to complain that the battery was getting too hot, so I had to let it rest and cool down. I hope I didn’t miss any visitors to the sheet. I will need to think of a solution before next time.

It is possible that Hymenoptera and Diptera are unfairly under-represented. There were many alate ants on the sheet but, as these are almost impossible to identify without specimens, I didn’t take many shots of them. I also did not photograph a single mosquito, though, thankfully, there were not many around.

Author: Gerard Chartier

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