Beyond the Classroom - Nocturnal Insects
Do you know what a nocturnal insect is? Yes, you guessed it! Insects that come out at night. One of the best ways to attract insects you wish to study at night is to use a light trap. You can build your very own eco-friendly light trap with things you have around the house.
What you need
An old white sheet, a length of rope, some string, tent pegs or heavy rocks, a torch, and a clear jar with a lid.
What you need to do
Find two strong trees or posts of some kind, tie the rope between them and hang the white sheet over the rope. Secure the base of the sheet to the ground with the tent pegs or rocks, stretching it smoothly.
Hang the torch in front of the sheet using the string. Once the sun sets, you can switch the torch on and wait for darkness to settle in. Wait for insects to be attracted to the torchlight.
To capture an insect that lands on the sheet without hurting it, gently place the jar over the top of it. Then carefully slide the lid under the jar and you have the insect captured inside.
Try and identify the insect you have captured. Use books, mobile apps, and the internet to try and identify your find.
Take some pictures of your insects to share online, as there are pages dedicated to people capturing insects in their back garden.
Carefully release your captured insects back into their natural habitat.
Here is a fun group to share your discoveries with:
Read about more fun and exciting activities in our Proudly South African Magazine.