Non-lethal moth traps

JH jhimmel at
Sun Aug 6 20:10:20 EDT 2000

Olle - my interest also lies in photographing live moths and I find that the
light sheet works very well.  I sometimes pick the moth I want to shoot off
the sheet and put it in a small plastic container.  The container then goes
into the refrigerator overnight.  It keeps them calm and pretty docile for
their modeling gig the following morning.  You can usually set them up in a
natural setting and get the shots you need before they warm up their flight
muscles and take off.  This works for some species better than others.

 If you don't want to keep checking it all night, you can fashion a funnel
trap and set it underneath a black or MV light.  Hanging wires underneath
the light and over the funnel, causes the circling moths to "trip" and fall
into the bucket (joint compound buckets work well) the funnel is attatched
to.  Cardboard egg cartons inside the bucket give them something to grab
onto and they don't beat themselves up too badly.

If you use a trap, you have to get the moths out before the air heats up too
much and they get active.

And, of course, there is always beer bait, the moths' preferred method of
being lured!


John Himmelman
Killingworth, CT USA
jhimmel at
Visit my websites at:
-----Original Message-----
From: Olle af Geijerstam < at>
To: leps-l at <leps-l at>
Date: Sunday, August 06, 2000 4:54 PM
Subject: Non-lethal moth traps

>I am interested in collecting moths for digital documentation
>(photo), but all moth traps seem to be designed to kill the moths.
>Any suggestions on traps that will keep them alive and in good
>For those interested I'm using digital cameras (Nikon, Agfa),
>with macro-zoom lenses from Tamron and Tiffen. Collecting
>with a mix of black and uv-light sources makes flash unnecessary.
>Excellent color reproduction with both cameras.
>Olle af Geijerstam
>Tyresö Slott
>S-13560 TYRESÖ

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