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Macro-Moth Study
Noel McFarland moths, moths, moths .... and other stuff!
BACKYARD 7 — FIVE ACRES OF MOTHS
SOUTHEASTERN ARIZONA
in the SE. HUACHUCA MOUNTAINS,
COCHISE COUNTY (HEREFORD DISTRICT)

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Introduction
A long-term study documenting the occurrence of more than 900 macro-moth species on 5 acres in lower ASH CANYON (oak/manzanita woodland and grassland ecotone, at 5170 ft. elevation, 13 mi. S. of Sierra Vista).
THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THIS WEBSITE IS SIMPLY TO DOCUMENT THE INCREDIBLE DIVERSITY OF MOTH SPECIES THAT CAN BE FOUND ON ONE SMALL PARCEL OF LAND, PROVIDED IT STILL HAS MOST ELEMENTS OF ITS ORIGINAL NATIVE FLORA INTACT OR NEARBY.
This presentation is NOT intended (or arranged) as a guide or key to identification, although the photos may, indeed, prove useful toward that end.... The moths are arranged alphabetically by genus and species, under their various superfamilies, families and subfamilies. IF you already know the name of the entity you are seeking, you will be able to go right to it. If not, a "hunt" through the appropriate family or subfamily may reveal it.... Some of the old or more familiar generic (genus) names that are no longer in use are also cross-referenced in these lists, for those of us who still remember certain older names but don't happen to know about all the latest taxonomic changes! FIRST, see the section headed "Taxonomy...."
This site presents some of the results of a 29 year (1979-2008) survey of the "macro" MOTH FAUNA inhabiting a SINGLE 5-ACRE PARCEL, located in the southeastern foothills of the HUACHUCA MTS., in the HEREFORD DISTRICT of SW. COCHISE COUNTY, ARIZONA, near the Mexican border, at an elevation between 5,100 to 5,200 feet (stated as "5,170 ft." on CDF labels). Miller Peak (9,500 ft. elev.), the highest point in the range, is nearby on the western horizon. Our land is on the south side of lower ASH CANYON RD. at Deer Trail. It is densely covered with the original oak/manzanita woodland typical of this general locality. The main channel of Ash Creek crosses this parcel from west to east along its south side (only flowing after major storms). Grassland elements also penetrate here and there, in openings between the trees and shrubs. Immediately to the south and west are many higher slopes, all of which are densely-covered by thickets of manzanita and oak (3 Quercus spp.); pinyons and junipers become more abundant further up these same hillsides. Mesquite (Prosopis) dominates in much of the vast valley below (to the east and north, at slightly lower elevations), and also 8 to 12 mi. north of here, around the city of Sierra Vista (elev. 4600-4700 ft.), where various Chihuahuan Desert elements are present (grasslands with Yucca elata; Larrea, Acacia, etc.).
Record-keeping for this study commenced in January of 1979, and continues to the present date, so it is still a "work-in-progress".... My guess is that at least 90% of the "macro"- moths, inhabiting this exact location, are listed here. New records (usually noctuids) continue to show up occasionally, and will be inserted into the website when/if they can be identified. There are also a number of "puzzlers" that still await even generic identification....
Five Acres of Moths
www.fiveacresofmoths.org

A long-term study documenting the occurrence of more than 900 macro-moth species on 5 acres in lower ASH CANYON (oak/manzanita woodland and grassland ecotone, at 5170 ft. elevation, 13 mi. S. of Sierra Vista).

Dedication

Introduction

What to Expect at this Site

SOME POSSIBLE (perhaps valid?) REASONS for visiting this "Backyard" website

About the Backyard Concept

Motivations: Why Publish This Material?

Summarizing How These Projects Evolved

What is Being Collected?

About the Photographs

Bias in Photo Representation

Moth Identifications

Taxonomy & Classification (the names)

About Moth Families & Subfamilies

Some Thoughts About Moth Surveys

Abundance Ratings Defined (8 Categories)

About the Flight Periods

Interpretation of the Flight-Phenograms

Miscellaneous Comments on Black Lights

Peculiarities of Moth Activity

Prime Time = Full-Moon-Plus-Ten

How To Obtain Perfect (Moth) Specimens

To Kill Or Not To Kill??

Beating or Sweeping for Larvae

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & DETERMINATIONS

PHOTO CREDITS

REFERENCES

GLOSSARY & ABBREVIATIONS + SYMBOLS USED

Miscellaneous Tidbits Dept.

SUPERFAMILIES AND SUBFAMILIES

A FEW GENERIC SYNONYMS

MONA #'s

SEASONAL CHARTS

EXTERNAL LINKS

MAPS

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