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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)

homemoth familiesmona #'s seasonal chartsmaps linksspecimen galleryspecimen records << previousarticles next >>
Peculiarities of Moth Activity
There are always at least a FEW diurnal (day-flying) moths in every locality, and a small percentage of these may fly both day and night (Ctenucha venosa, for example). Strictly diurnal moths are easily assessed (as to local abundance) simply by looking for them wherever they tend to congregate, exactly as one would do for most butterflies, which can be found visiting their favored flowers, or coming to mud and seepages, etc., etc.. Those (few) moths that don't feed or drink as adults, but are nevertheless strictly diurnal in their activity, are a little more challenging to obtain (males of Gloveria spp., for example)! Some of these diurnally active males are also rapid and very erratic fliers (again, Gloveria males) almost impossible to chase down with a net. And they don't (or rarely) come to lights after dark! The best collecting technique for such moths is to place a freshly-emerged living female (inside a screen cage) out in the habitat. Her pheromones will often attract the flying diurnal males sometimes in large numbers. They are then quite easily captured, as they flutter around the cage trying to reach the unmated female.

In quite a number of unrelated moths (various families), there may be a very noticeable difference seen in the numbers of one sex versus the other coming to lights. In some of these species, the males arrive in large numbers, but females are rarely seen and, vice versa. In this locality, females of a common summer arctiid, (Hemihyalea labecula), come readily to my uv. lights, but males are almost never seen! Yet, in two other closely-related arctiids here (H. edwardsi & H. splendens), both sexes regularly come to light in about equal numbers. In the more usual situation, with the vast majority of nocturnal moths that are attracted to lights, it is typical that more males will show up, OR that both sexes will be about equally represented. The most unusual of these various examples would be that of H. labecula at this location, where it is the males that are rarely seen at light. Typically, if there is any noticeable difference in numbers coming to light, it will be the females that are rarely seen — NOT the males!
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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