Attraction to Lights

Dave Chesmore E.D.Chesmore at
Mon Jun 16 04:45:21 EDT 1997

I was prompted to re-submit this when I saw Chris Raper's comments 
on running a trap:

"I have trapped in South America once or twice and have always 
thoughtthat overcast (even drizzly rain) increases the catch by 
blotting out the moon, keeping air temperatures higher and diffusing 
the moth light."

There seems to be very little about attraction of insects to light in the 
literature, and what there is appears to be inconclusive.  For example, 
I have 2 papers discussing light attraction of Chironomid midges 
which are contradicatory - one says intensity and not wavelength 
(colour) is the most important and the other says exactly the opposite. 
 Also, what effect does the physical size of the light source have 
(compare a lighted window with a point source), or its orientation if it 
is a fluorescent lamp?   Diffusion of the light by rain or mist 
effectively increases it's perceived size but must reduce the overall 
light output, particularly in UV.

Does anyone have any thoughts, comments or know of recent work 
relating to this?

Dr David Chesmore, FRES
Environmental Electronics Research Group
Dept. of Electronic Engineering
University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX
Tel: +482 465062;  Fax: +482 466664
Email:  E.D.Chesmore at E-Eng.Hull.AC.UK
Web page:

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