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Buggin’ Out at Ideum

Ideum staff enjoyed an evening of black lighting for insects and other invertebrates after hours.
Authored by
Genevieve Brown
Marketing & Community Relations Manager

Working in a rural area has its perks! Uniquely situated near a nature preserve and trail system close to the Rio Grande, Ideum is visited by all sorts of interesting creatures. Bobcats, snapping turtles, lizards, snakes, peacocks, and lots and lots of insects—the list is long and growing.

Having studied invertebrates in graduate school, Becky Hansis-O’Neill, Ideum’s Director of Creative Services, suggested setting up a black light to learn more about the insects that visit the office at night. On August 2, the Ideum team did just that.

Black lights emit UV light, which attracts many types of insects and other invertebrates. Setting up a black light and a sheet is a great way to find out what insects live in your area and is a popular survey technique among entomologists.

The Ideum team attracted many kinds of arthropods, including may and june beetles, stink bugs, cicadas, antlions, lacewings, leafhoppers, grasshoppers, katydids, and moths, among others.

The team was excited about the wide range of invertebrates we found as well as our staff turnout. We photographed some of our finds and posted them on the citizen-science site iNaturalist.org so scientists interested in the southwest can see what we found and use our observation data.