Is october a good time to hunt insects?

KevinsWither

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I am from Arizona and that the location where I hunt is 50 miles south of Phoenix, AZ. Now, would many insects be out there during that time? Could I hunt scorpions and maybe potentially tarantulas too? Any techniques on hunting?
 

chanda

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You can find scorpions and tarantulas during October - but most of the tarantulas are going to be mature males out looking for a mate. As such, their life expectancy is somewhat limited - anywhere from a few months to a year at most.
 

Tenevanica

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Definitely, especially in Arizona! I find insects all the way through mid-November here. Who knows how long you'll be able to find insects in a warmer climate!
 

KevinsWither

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Now I was hoping to see if scorpions, tarantula or any ground insects fall for pitfall traps.
 

Hisserdude

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Now I was hoping to see if scorpions, tarantula or any ground insects fall for pitfall traps.
Scorpions might, the traps would have to be pretty large for tarantulas though, plus only males would be wandering around, to get the long lived females you'd need to dig up their burrows. Plenty of beetles, roaches, and other cool inverts should get trapped in pitfall traps as well.

BTW, if you happen to find some Arenivaga or Eremoblatta roach nymphs/females on your trip, be sure to collect some, if not for yourself, then for your fellow hobbyists! ;) We are still missing a bunch of those species in the hobby.
 

KevinsWither

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Yea I'll go and see trying to catch a few of these. Now would full moon repel insects? I heard that the light repels most insects except for moths.
 

KevinsWither

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I am hunting at maricopa base camp. Now could I set up traps there and leave it for a while. Is three days adaquete for insects to be trapped?
 

Hisserdude

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Three days should be enough, if you set up camp there and look around for bugs at night then you should find some cool stuff. Laying out oat trails and checking them at night should yield all sorts of beetles, roaches, and orthopterans. :)
 

Ranitomeya

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Make sure to check traps daily and don't be surprised if all you find inside are remains of your captures as things may find your traps and eat whatever is inside before you get to them.
 

KevinsWither

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Well it's more like i visit in the afternoon setup up camp along with a full day and then I pack up and leave. Now would pitfall traps yield scorpions or spiders? My plan was to setup during camp setup and check on the traps every few hours. Are there any traps for moths or butterflies?
 

Ranitomeya

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Our native butterflies will be difficult to attract since many of them prefer certain flowers, but you can check near riparian zones where evaporation leaves behind salts that some butterflies will lap up. You can try leaving out platters of dilute maple syrup, mashed-up and overripe fruit, and salts--try using sea salt--or a solution of those substances, but it's usually only effective if you're doing this in tropical areas. If you set up a light trap at night and aren't competing with other nearby light sources or a full moon, you should attract a good number of moths and maybe even some interesting beetles.
 

KevinsWither

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Yeah I have a few weeks. How would I keep them alive when I collect them so that I can either keep them as pets (Arizona rhino beetles and scorpions) or to put them in the freezer for the insect collection (moths).
 

pannaking22

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Plenty of nice Orthoptera will be out now, as will various beetle species. Even with a full moon, traps and blacklighting will still yield insects/arachnids, but the numbers will be a bit lower. If you want to keep them as pets, you can put them in vials or tupperware containers and keep them in a cooler or something so they don't get as warm. The mixture Ranitomeya mentioned works pretty well for Leps and beetles in pretty much all seasons.
 

KevinsWither

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I was thinking of putting meat scraps (like a dead pidgeon I find) and making a pit and putting screens that are big enough to let insects through but small that the coyotes or whatever is living there can't get through. I was hoping that I could be able to attract tarantula hawk wasps so I can use them for the collection.
 

billrogers

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I was thinking of putting meat scraps (like a dead pidgeon I find) and making a pit and putting screens that are big enough to let insects through but small that the coyotes or whatever is living there can't get through. I was hoping that I could be able to attract tarantula hawk wasps so I can use them for the collection.
Tarantula hawks are nectar feeders. Your best chance to find those is probably walking around and looking at blossoming plants.
 

Ranitomeya

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Take some cotton balls and maple syrup or sugar with you and you can use that to feed certain beetles and any butterflies you might want to keep alive. A net cage can be used to house butterflies and moths that you might want to take home alive if you want to try to get them to lay eggs. You'll want some containers that are big enough for beetles and some damp or semi-damp substrate if you want to keep beetles--keep in mind that some beetles require more moisture and some do not like moisture at all. You'll have to figure out what kind of beetles you have before you can feed them, but if you catch any darkling beetles that are bound to be found just about everywhere, they'll happily accept fish food and fruits and vegetables.

If you cannot keep your butterflies and moths frozen throughout the trip, the easiest thing to do is let them dry inside glassine envelopes and then rehydrate them at home if you plan on spreading them. Make sure to bring a killing jar and ethyl acetate so that you can kill your moths and butterflies before storing them. Moths in particular will struggle inside envelopes and rub off all their scales if they are alive. There are other ways of storing dead butterflies and moths without having them dry out or decay, but those require chemicals and damage can still occur if storage conditions are not optimal. Keeping them alive is also an option, but they will probably batter themselves against a container until they're in too poor of condition to be used as pinned specimens.

Tarantula hawks are easiest to catch when they're nectaring, and in my experience, it's been on milkweed if it's in bloom. If it isn't, there are a lot of other flowers they'll visit, so just look for a sunny spot with a lot of clumps of flowers. If you don't see any tarantula hawks, move on and look for some other type of flower--they tend to be picky if they have choices. Avoid long, tubular flowers as tarantula hawks do not have a proboscis long enough to drink from them. Look for flowers of plants like milkweed, fennel and its relatives, and Eriogonum. Numerous small and short flowers clumped together on taller plants is what you should try to look for.
 

nepenthe

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mid to late fall is also a great time to find mantid oothecae! Look up what your native mantids' egg cases look like and check the vegetation for them.
 

KevinsWither

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Alrighty i'll get to that. Tell me what you guys wish to see and I'll attempt to get it for you.
 
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