Bugs in Peabody Lights

This topic submitted by Jaclyn McCormick, Alison Smith, Sarah Waldman, Turner Wathen at 7:01 PM on 12/3/02. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Section: Nicholson

Natural Systems 1 Fall, 2002 -Western Program-Miami University

I. Abstract
Do you ever wonder what other species live in your environment? This project gives you a better idea of the insects that live near Peabody Hall. Different species were categorized to see which was the most and least populated in the area. It also explains why the bugs are attracted to the light. Through this experiment we gained knowledge about what is living around us.
II. Introduction
The purpose of this experiment was to find out why bugs are attracted to the light. Also, finding the most and least dominate bug near Peabody Hall. The hypothesis was that gnats were the most common insect. The null hypothesis was that there is not a statistical difference between the bug species.
Our research was based on why bugs are attracted to the light. From empting the light of Peabody Hall the different bug species were apparent and it was found what bugs populated the lights. From this knowledge we know what bugs live around us.

III. Research Design
A map of the placement of the side light of Peabody Hall was drawn to show where the bugs were found. The bugs were identified and categorized and each species was organized in a chart according to each layer. Digital pictures were taken of the bugs. The materials needed to conduct this experiment included: plastic gloves, plastic bags, tweezers, digital camera, and snap-cap viles. A Shannon-Wiener index was used to do statistical analysis.
The class was involved in the study by helping to categorize the different species from samples of three different months worth of bugs. Each group was given a sample of one of the layers to sort through and the different bug species were put into viles. One class period was used to sort the bugs and one additional evening the team sorted through the remainder of the bugs. The data sheet (appendix one) shows all of the different bug types are located at the end of the paper.
IV. Results
Many different bug types were found. After the bugs were identified and counted they were put into a Shannon-Weiner index. Each layer had it’s own diversity calculated and a total diversity for all of the layers was calculated as well. The charts show that in the first two layers three species dominated the population, so the diversity index was small. Surprisingly, the index for all the layers was higher than the index for the individual layers. A bar graph (appendix two) was produced from the charts showing the index values for each layer.

V. Conclusion
Based on the research and the experiment that was conducted it was found that many types of bugs are attracted to light. The index shows that certain bugs, like moths, are more attracted to light than other insects. For further research different light colors or luminosity of the lights could effect how many bugs are attracted to the lights. Finding a light that attracts less bugs would prevent bugs from entering areas of large human populations. Many different bugs carry diseases, so keeping more bugs away could prevent or reduce diseases and illnesses in humans.

Works Cited:
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board. “Why are bugs attracted to light?” The straight Dope. Date retrieved: 18 September 2002. Online: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbugligh.html.
Grant. “Bugs and lights, what's the attraction?” Ask A Scientist, General Science Archive Date retrieved: 18 September 2002. Online: http://newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen99/gen99111.htm.
“Science Fair Projects Suggestions.” About. Date retrieved: 18 September 2002. Online: http://inventors.about.com.
Uhler, David. “Firefly lover wants to shed light on decline.” Express-News. Article date: 07/23/2002 12:00 AM. Date retrieved: 18 September 2002. Online: http://www.burger.com/fflink41.htm.
“Traps.” Collecting and Preserving Insects and Mites. Article date: 6-28-01. Date retrieved: 18 September 2002. Online: http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/selhome/collpres/collpres.htm.
Borror, Donald J. and White Richard E. Insects. Houghton Mifflin Co; Boston.1970
Mitchell, Robert T. and Zim, Herbert S. Butterflies and Moths. Golden Press; New York. 1987
Arnett Jr., Ross H. American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico. CRC Press: Boca Raton. 2000, 2nd Ed.
Linsenmaier, Walter. Insects of the World. McGraw Hill Book Co. New York. 1972
Grzimek, Dr. Bernard. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co: New York. 1975
Danthanarayana, W. Ed. Insect Flight: Dispersal and Migration. Springer-Verlag: Berlin. 1986
Chapman, R. F. The Insects: Structure and Function. Cambridge University Press. 4th ed. 1998
Horridge, G. A., Ed. The Compound Eye and Vision of Insects. Clarendon Press: Oxford. 1975
Heliovaara, Kari and Rauno Vaisanen. Insects and Pollution. CRC Press: Boca Raton. 1993
Hughes, R. D. Living Insects. Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc. New York: 1974

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