Lunar Cycles in the Distribution and Abundance of Airborne Insects in the Equatorial Highlands of East Africa

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Date
1972
Authors
Taylor L.R
Brown E. S.
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Abstract
(I) The aerial density of moths in two years and of all insects in one year were measured at 5 ft (1•52 m) and 50 ft (15•24 m) or 30 ft (9•14 m) at Muguga in Kenya, and the results analyzed in relation to the lunar cycle. (2) Neither the total number of insects in the air nor the aerial density at the two heights showed any significant lunar cycle. (3) The vertical distribution of total flying insects had a significant lunar cycle, out of phase with the moon, insects flying higher in the first quarter than the third. (4) The densities of total moths at both heights and the total number in flight had significant lunar cycles in one year, but not in the other, such that maxima occurred at new and full moon and minima at first and third quarters. (5) Different species had different lunar cycles of aerial density at 5 ft (1•52 m). (6) There was no significant lunar cycle of the vertical disposition of moths in either year. 0) Amplitude of established cycles was always small. (8) The density gradients are similar to those found in southern England. (91 Lunar cycles of catches of moths at light at Muguga are not adequately accounted for by these.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 3, p. 767-779