“Black Lighting” for Moths

Blacklighting at Gardner CanyonI recently had the pleasure of “black lighting” with some entomologists and botanists in Gardner Canyon, southeast of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains. While it was still light they set up a white scrim to which the moths and other insects would be attracted, and then set up black lights powered by generators on either side of the scrim to draw them in. We barbequed dinner while we waited for darkness to set in and the moths and other insects to arrive. We even had dessert, since our pollination biologist friend Ruben Alarcon cooked a red velvet cake over the coals in a Dutch oven!  Once the insects arrived the science folks gleefully studied the vast array of Hawk Moths, Silk Moths, Glorious Beetles, Katydids, etcetera, while my friend George and I photographed some of them. There were hundreds, maybe even thousands, from which to choose – many of whom had landed on us! All in all it was a fun time, and though it has taken three stain removal treatments and five washings to get the bug ooze stains off my jeans, I’ll be going again!

One thought on ““Black Lighting” for Moths

  1. Katydid Velvet Cake. Sounds yummy! Joking aside, I really like the images you captured. I’m not too keen about the bug ooze though. You have fun on your next “Buggy” adventure.


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