Monday, 10 September 2018

Ultraviolet Lepidoptera.

Since my night-clubbing days many moons ago I have often wondered what our British moths and caterpillars may look like when subjected to "black" ultraviolet light, in particular those which appear to have some form of luminosity already, such as the Elephant Hawk Moth, or striking patterns with white such as the Garden Tiger.

Browsing this thought on the internet a few days ago I came across a website by a Canadian guy - Brian Robin from Ontario who has recently looked into this and has the studio equipment to experiment and photograph the results.

He mainly focuses on caterpillars as this caught his attention first. Nonetheless, I found his site very readable, interesting and entertaining.  Well worth a read.

He also delves into macro photography of thin ice formation and light refraction (Birefringence), which I also found quite fascinating!

Does anyone out there know if UV light has been tried on moths/caterpillars in this country? I would love to see the results.

Phil McGregor.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Phil,

    I did trail some different sorts of 'power saving' black 60w UV bulbs a couple of years ago, My results weren't that good (quantities and species generally down by 40%), but perhaps that was because they were only equivalent to 60w bulbs, so I wouldn't use these again, but of course a black 125w bulb may give better results. The other comment of note to make make, is that from a personal point of view I didn't find these black bulbs very helpful when checking around the trap in the dark, as the whole area isn't illuminated and you can't see anything you're doing really without a torch. I don't think I'd use them again.