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Seven Backyards
Moths...Moths...Moths...and their Habitats...and other stuff....
Several Long-Term Backyard
Studies in the U.S. and Australia

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Miscellaneous Comments on Black Lights
In 1980, Lloyd M. Martin (then retired in Prescott, AZ) gave me his four-foot long 40-watt G.E. “black light” tube (F40BL), which he had originally purchased during the mid to late 1950's (+ 1955-1958 ?). And he gave me the fixture (metal box) which ran this uv. light, also purchased in the 1950's.

In 1983, I placed this unit horizontally across a “Textilene” vertical sheet, at my “Site 3", on our property in Ash Canyon (13 mi. S. of Sierra Vista), Cochise Co., AZ....The location chosen was a permanent outdoor set-up, fully exposed to all weather in all seasons (NO protective cover or any kind of shield over it whatsoever). In this location, that same 40-watt uv. tube (and its fixture) continued to perform, almost nightly, for the next 25 years - after already at least 2 decades of regular use by its original owner, before I inherited it!

Finally, on 15 Oct. 2007, it expired (witness: Cliff Ferris, who happened to be collecting here at the time)! One of the small paired “prongs”, which are located at either end of standard fluorescent tubes, had snapped off. Otherwise, it might have gone on for who-knows-how-much-longer?.... Up to the very end, the intensity of the distinctive, pale lavender color emanating from the (lighted) tube, remained strong and consistent - far better than in some of the other brands of 15-watt “BL” tubes, which I have tried over the years. These would often “fade out” after a few years of use, gradually becoming less lavender/more whitish. Such was not the case with this phenomenal 40-watt G.E. tube! Does anyone else have a comparable story? ALL above references are to the “BL” series (tube white when turned off) - NOT the “BLB” series (tubes blackish or dark purple when turned off)....One or two of my original (1950's) G.E. 15-watt “BL” tubes (F15T8/BL) are also still in use!....

WARNING: About the worst black light (BL) that I have ever encountered (and gullibly made the mistake of purchasing) was one being described by the seller as a “Quantum Blacklight”. Well, of course I had to check it out to see what it was, and to learn why it rated that mysterious name - purely a clever marketing-gimic, I was later destined to discover....(Once bitten, but NEVER AGAIN!) This sorry excuse for a “black light” emitted primarily white (with only the faintest tinge of lavender) right from the start, brand new - hardly much better than an ordinary “cool white”. Save your money and don't fall for the catchy name!!

A brand name to avoid, that is now being supplied through certain electrical retailers (in AZ), carries the label “SLI Blacklight” - F15T8/350BL (Code: 5001800; 438mm. length x 26mm. diameter). Made in Germany. The output from these imported tubes is only a very faint or “washed-out” whitish-lavender at best. White overwhelmingly predominates in the color emitted, as would be expected of a very old or “worn-out” tube of one of the superior brands.

You can't do better than to seek out the G.E. (or Sylvania) brand specifically - unless, in the future, they should choose to alter their specifications or “formula” in some subtle way, thus changing the coloration, wave length, or other output characteristics. Let's hope that never happens!
Seven Backyards



Moths and Memories


Where Are the Specimens Now?


Background and Introduction


About The Backyard Concept

Motivations: Why Publish This Material?

Summarizing How These Projects Evolved

About the Photographs

Bias in Photo Representation

Moth Identifications

Taxonomy & Classification (the names)

About Moth Families & Subfamilies

Some Thoughts About Moth Surveys

Abundance Ratings Defined (8 Categories)

About the Flight Periods

Interpretation of the Flight-Phenograms

Miscellaneous Comments on Black Lights

Peculiarities of Moth Activity

Prime Time = Full-Moon-Plus-Ten

How To Obtain Perfect (Moth) Specimens

To Kill Or Not To Kill??

Beating or Sweeping for Larvae


Miscellaneous Tidbits Dept.