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Table 2: LED Light Collection Data

Led Light


Bradysia Fungicola
60% Harmonia Axyridis

Table 3: Mercury Light Collection Data

Mercury Light


Bradysia Fungicola
67% Culex Gelidus
Table 4: Low Pressure Sodium Light Collection Data

Low Pressure
Bulacan Light

Bradysia Fungicola


Table 5: Halogen Light Collection Data

Halogen Light

3% Bradysia Fungicola
2% 3%
8% Allactoneura Cincta
4% 37% Culex Gelidus
Tagasta Marginella
20% Hydrophilus
Xylotrupes Gideon
Harmonia Axyridis
Solenopsis Germinata
Seotinophara Coarctata
Insects collected on different light sources in the town of Baliwag, Bulacan


Research Project Presented to the

Faculty of College of Science
Bulacan State University
City of Malolos, Bulacan


In Partial Fulfillment of the Course Requirement of BIO223

Bachelor of Science in Biology



Uy, Willard Karlheinz C.

May 2017

Light pollution is an invincible killer to all living beings, here on this planet.

The invention of different kinds of lights, the Compact Fluorescent Light or the CFL,

the Light Emitting Diode Light or the LED bulbs, the Mercury bulb, the Halogen bul

b, The Incandescent bulbs, Fluorescent bulbs, the High-Intensity discharge bulbs, the l

ow-pressure sodium bulb and the High-pressure sodium bulb. These light bulbs have

different usage in the modern world, and these can also create different effects to the e

nvironment, especially the insects. Insects are very attracted to light sources, and beca

use of the presence of those high-intensity lights that we, humans, use, insects lose the

ir wings because of intense heat coming from the bulbs. Some of them also die from it

. In this paper, I showed the 1) species of insects present in my community, 2) the spe

cies of insects that are attracted to certain types of light bulbs 3) the preserved and pin

ned bodies of insects, and 4) the reasons why insects are attracted to certain type of lig

ht bulb. Tests show that insects are more attracted to Halogen light compared to the L

ED, Mercury and low-sodium bulbs, and the major species observed are the Fungus G

nats, and larvae species.. . Research is now needed to fully educate the people about i

nsects, their behavior, and their importance to us, and also to know better alternatives

to reduce light pollution in our environment.


The Sun, Moon and Stars would have disappeared long ago Had they happ

ened to be within the reach of predatory human hands. - Havelock Ellis, The Dance

of Life, 1923

We, humans, who care for the environment, tend to reduce all of our carbon e

mission. From recycling, re-using, changing all of our appliances into a much more e

fficient tools, changing our light bulbs, and so much more. But, we, however, may co

ntribute to carbon footprint and also the unrecognizable pollution, the Light Pollution

(Bermudez, 2003-2017)

We currently live immensely in a world full of artificial lights (Bermudez, Bo

gard, Richardson, 2003-2007)

Light Pollution, also known as photo-pollution or luminous pollution, is said t

o be an effect of industrial development (Gent, Bermudez, McCornald, 2006). It is an

excessive use of artificial lights or man-made lights, to enlighten all of our areas. Fro

m parks, buildings, houses, even roads and our very own appliances (Bermudez, Tho

mas, 2009) but, unlike many environmental issues, light pollution is a problem researc

hers say could disappear with the flick of a switch. Solutions include turning off unne

cessary lights and putting shields on streetlights to direct beams downward. Those exp

erts want to mitigate urban illumination not just because it creates an annoyance for a

mateur astronomers but also because it can adversely affect wildlife and human health

. (Barentine, Oslov, 2016). Not only humans are affected by these extreme pollution.

Even the wildlife itself, is greatly affected by light (Moore, 2017)

We are diurnal species, the same for some animals. Some are also nocturnal. T
hey are active by the night, and asleep by the day. But, we are all affected by this poll

ution. Animals tend to change their behavior. For example, nocturnal animals tend to

see the night as day, causing them to be inactive, and later will die because of starvati

on (Wilkinson, 2015). Insects are also affected by light. Many insects are drawn to lig

ht, but artificial lights can create a fatal attraction. Declining insect populations negati

vely impact all species that rely on insects for food or pollination. Some predators exp

loit this attraction to their advantage, affecting food webs in unanticipated ways. For t

his moment, research and proper education is needed to warn people about the effects

of light in our own ecosystem (Kyba, Bermudez, Talany, Jenkins, 2010- 2016)

This study aims to know the particular species of insects that are attracted to c

ertain type of light, to observe the behavior of insects during the nighttime, and to ide

ntify the damages that light pollution deals to all insect families within the area of Bal

iwag, Bulacan. To do this, proper methodology is used to ensure the accuracy and pre

cision of all the results obtained. I also observe the environment where in the traps we

re placed. The light traps were placed on open areas on which other light types are pr

esent (LED mainly). The distance of LED street lights to the light trap is exactly 70ft.

Further research is needed to obtain information on how and why insects are attracted

to artificial light sources, and why do they get killed from emission of such strong ligh


1. Methodology

The method of collection used for this research was called the Pan trap that is

mounted on a wooden post measuring 10ft. Pan traps are one of the simplest traps ma

de for entomological purpose. It is said that they are used for catching winged insects,

as well as those parasitic type of species (parasite to insects). The use of well-made p

an traps and different light traps that are unique from one another, will ensure the trap

ping of specific type of species that are attracted to certain wavelength or type of inten

sity of light. (Koehn, Moericke, 2016)

2. Setup or Trap setup

The trap setup for this research paper, is the use of aluminum pans filled with

water and ethyl alcohol, that is attached to a light post. These posts are located in mai

nly four barangays of Baliwag, Bulacan mainly Makinabang, Sta. Barbara, Tiaong, an

d San Jose.

2.1 Poles

Four pieces of poles were used for this experiment. Each pole measures exactl

y 10ft. A platform was attached to each pole to serve as a holder of the tray. The dista

nce between the light bulb or light source, and the platform measures exactly 4ft. The

distance between each poles measures approximately 1-3 kilometers, up to four baran

gays mainly
2.2 Pan trap composition

A tray, measuring 8cmx11cm, filled with 70% alcohol and mixed with water,

was used as a curating solution for the collection. The proportions used are: 50% etha

nol and 50%water (500ml ethanol and 500ml water per tray). Water is mixed so that e

thanol would not dissolve easily during the process.

2.3 Light source

Four types of bulbs were attached to each pole. Examples are the Light-Emitti

ng Diode or the LED bulb, the halogen bulb, the mercury bulb and the low-pressure s

odium bulb. The LED bulb is commonly used as a light source for all human activities

. The halogen bulb is currently used for strobe lights and fog lights. The mercury bulb

is commonly used for incubators and poultry light, and the low-pressure sodium bulb i

s commonly used for wide-area expressways and toll ways. These bulbs were selected

according to their intensities, to ensure specific type of collection between insect fami

lies that are attracted to certain types of light. (Koehn,Moerick, 2016)

2.4 Preservation techniques

Insects are placed into pins after the said time of collection. Card-point pinnin

g is used due to the small size of collected insects. Proper techniques were observed f

or this method.


The major groups of insects that are collected in the research experiment belon

g to the order Diptera, which includes flies and gnats. Species of insects belonging to

order Coleoptera (lady bug), order Hemiptera (Rice black bug) and Orthoptera (Grass

hopper) were also observed.

The collected insects for this experiment, were observed, and was determined t

hat there are sustained damages in the parts of the insect body, mainly the forewing an

d the hind wings.

The count for each species of insects collected per trap is identified. (See table

s 1,2,3,4)


A. The effect of different types of light to insects

As observed from this experiment, winged insects that go near to the light sour

ce, sustain damage to their wings, and main bodies. Some specimens that are caught t

o the light trap, sustain major damage to their forewing and hind wing, causing extrem

e fragility on the pinning. Some specimens were destroyed during the process, becaus

e of said damages.

Based on observation on the collection of species, these are the light traps arra

nged from most damaging to less damaging for insects: Halogen light, Low-pressure

Sodium Light, Mercury Light, and Light-Emitting Diode or LED bulb.

Insects that are collected from the halogen lamp trap sustained greater damage

compared to other type of traps. Some have their thorax burned and some sustained da

mages to their forewing and hind wing. The less damaging is the Light-Emitting Diod

e bulb or the LED bulb. According to the observations Ive done, insects collected on

the LED trap exhibit less damage compare to other type of trap. But, LED light bulbs

attract less number of insect compared to other types of light. Maybe this is because

LEDs are a type of Solid-state lighting, and they have heat sinks which absorbs heat, e

mitting low levels of temperature (Energy star, 2015-2016)

Intense light from the bulbs emit high levels of heat, specifically electromagne

tic heat This type of heat contains so much energy, it is said that even humans can be

hurt from intense light, same for insects(Gopal, Gardiner,Pandurangi, Bustany, Wrang

ler, 2015) The wings of insects are so membranous and this, such application of heat c

an literally destroy their wings. Their sensors are also distorted by such intense light,

making them blind. (Cua, Edward, Hawk, Robertson, 2013)

Light affects the behavior of insects. Unlike us humans, Insects are able to see

Ultra-violet rays or UV rays, in which they are most attracted to or the so-called Phot

otaxis. It is the behavior of all insects. Phototaxis can be classified as attraction or m

ovement of insects towards the source of light (Coombe 1981; Hardie 1989; Kinoshita

and Arikawa 2000; Menzel and Greggers 2004; Yang et al. 2003), and the repulsion

or the tendency for insects to move away from light source. (Jander 1963; Kim et al. 2

013; Reisenman et al. 2001). Light nowadays is used as a factor for pest control. But, l

ight itself has not only negative factors on pest, but also on beneficial species of insect


B. Effect of Urban Lighting

Full-scale research about urban lighting was done by past researchers in order

to determine the full effects of urban lighting. Urban lighting design is a discipline tha

t emerged to improve the aesthetic quality of urban space. It has significant effects on

people and consequently on urban life. However, it does have bad effects on environ

ment. Researchers say that light is essential to the development of life, but not all time

s. (Unver, Gent, Jander, Kim 2012)

For this research, observations have shown that urban lighting directly affects

us humans, plants and even animals. The phototaxis of observed insect species are in r

andom motion. This only means that urban lighting can distort the receptors of insects

. This behavior is observed in Low-pressure Sodium bulb, and the Halogen bulb whic

h emits high level of UV ray. Insects not only can detect UV rays but they can also se

e traces of it. (Igu, 2000-2009) All insects do have the ability called Spectral Sensiti

vity in which it determines the rate of UV ray an insect can detect. (Peitsch et al. 199


In general, it is reasonable to say that the current system for urban lighting is v

ery harmful especially for insect families. Light pollution is also a major problem, cau

sing severe damage to the entomological population and its succeeding generations on

the future era. The current urban light design also affects the growth rate of plants, an

d visual behavior of animals.

Our results suggest that by lighting up our night time environment we trigger c

omplex effects on natural food webs. While we are all aware that street lights often att

ract insects at night, we show that they may have more permanent, widespread impact

s on wildlife and ecosystem (Bennie, Griffiths, 2015)

C. Observed Species of Insects

As for this research, four orders are present in the town of Baliwag, Bulacan.

The orders Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera and Orthoptera. Exact count for this col

lection, and species present is stated as raw data, and is presented in tabular form (see

table 1)

The current system for urban lighting affects us humans, animals and plants di

rectly. It affects us in a way that it gives us both beneficial effect, and harmful effects.

It also destroys the process of food chains and food webs in the process.

The species present in the town of Baliwag,Bulacan, are mainly Coleoptera, H

ymenoptera, Orthoptera and Diptera. Majority of collected insects sustained damage d

uring and after collection. It was determined that extreme levels of heat coming from t

he light bulb, affected their structural foundation for survival, like flight (wings mainl


For this research, it was concluded that present types of light bulbs emitting di

fferent types of wavelength, and different levels of ultraviolet ray, affects all living thi

ngs. It gives severe damage to insect families, and deals effect to those that are near th

e scope of the light array. This only means that current light bulbs are very harmful, a

nd must be replaced with a better alternative.


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Figure 1 Mercury bulb

Figure 2 Light Emitting Diode

Figure 5 Sample tray with ethyl
alcohol and insect species

Figure 6 Pinning and preservation

for collected species
Figure 7 LED Lamp Location
Makinabang, Baliwag, Bulacan

Figure 8 Mercury Lamp Location

Sta, Barbara, Baliwag, Bulacan

Figure 9 Halogen Lamp Location:

Tiaong, Baliwag, Bulacan

Figure 10 Low Pressure Sodium

Lamp Location: San Jose, Baliwag,
Table 1: Raw Data of Collected Specimens

DIPTERA Collection collection collection Collection
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 1 Day2 Day3 Day 4 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
* Bradysia Fungicola 3 7 0 2 9 8 12 14 0 3 0 2 4 0 0 3
* Allactoneura Cincta 0 0 0 0 3 4 7 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
* Culex Gelidus 0 0 0 0 9 4 3 7 3 3 4 2 0 0 0 0

* Tagasta Marginella 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


* Hydrophilus 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
* Xylotrupes Gideon 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
* Harmonia Axyridis 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

* Solenopsis Germinata 0 0 0 0 3 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


* Seotinophara Coarctata 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Figure 3 Halogen bulb

Figure 4 Low-pressure Sodium