Monday, August 5, 2013

Moth Tables: Arctiinae

August and July, our main monsoon months provide the most interesting insects related adventures, but...I am too busy to write any meaningful blog chapter right now: within three weeks I have been organizing the 4 day BugGuide Gathering 2013, had a 4 day art booth, presented a powerpoint show, and spent the evening black-lighting for the public at Southwest Wings in Sierra Vista, and now I am preparing for a 3 day bug tour with clients from California. On Sunday the highpoint: the Infestation Party at Pat Sullivan's

Our BugGuide Gathering was registered as an event of the National Moth week, and the species count was quite overwhelming. I am still editing hundreds of photos. Some of my upcoming events will also focus on moths.

 There are thousands of species, and most have no common names, so I would have to memorize the scientific ones. Even though I usually defend our use of those and often point out the disadvantages of local common names, I admit that I have a hard time remembering any but the most often used ones. So on site, I often only identify the family the moth belongs to even though I have a clear image of a former encounter in my mind - usually of the the bugguide page that I have posted the species to. My age, the unusual American-English pronunciation of Latin-and-Greek-based words, and my copy-and-paste habit when I'm writing all contribute to the problem.

A good field guide would help, but there isn't a western one. So I have begun to make my own spick sheets. I am using the bugguide contributions for Arizona as my species list. After years of photographing at my black light, I have my own images of the majority of the species. For these three tables of Arctiinae I had to borrow 2 images each from Charles W. Melton and Randy Hardy, one each from Arlene Ripley, and Rich Hoyer. This spick sheet for myself can be considered fair use, but before I make any copies or other use of the pages I will have to ask them formally for their permission. Luckily all four great photographers and naturalists are good friends of mine. 



  1. Alice had a very nice moth book of some sort that I caught a glimpse of at Pena Blanca. Maybe it only covered certain groups, though (she was looking up one of the silk moths). Your sheets will probably help me, as the moths are essentially all new to me, but I find I'm photographing them more of late.

  2. I want you to make a guide for Australian insects - these are both a work of art and a great scientific tool!

  3. Robyn, was it the new Peterson guide for eastern moths?

  4. Christian: lets do it! Invite me to Australia and help with the publishing, and I'm in!!!

  5. I would love to see a book made up of your sheets!