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Seven Backyards
Moths...Moths...Moths...and their Habitats...and other stuff....
Several Long-Term Backyard
Studies in the U.S. and Australia


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GLOSSARY & ABBREVIATIONS + SYMBOLS USED
CERTAIN WORDS (TECHNICAL TERMS) MAY NOT BE KNOWN TO EVERY READER; HOPEFULLY, ALL OF THESE ARE DEFINED BELOW, along with miscellaneous abbreviations and symbols employed at this website. Also included are some redefinitions of certain American sacred cows (q.v.), and a few politically incorrect (i.e., more honest) translations of popular American “double-speak” or jargon, purely for amusement!


DEFINITIONS

calyx — all the sepals of a flower, collectively

chaparral — the most common (generic) term applied to the coastal/subcoastal evergreen sclerophyll (q.v.) shrub/small tree associations, encountered from SW. Oregon to NW. Baja California, Mexico, and also is found in certain more inland mountainous regions of W. Central to SE. Arizona (the depauperate “petran chaparral”) — usually between 4,000-6,000 feet elevation. Chaparral reaches its greatest diversity and richness near the coast, from Monterey Co. to San Diego Co., California.
    This term does not apply to any single species of plant, as is often (erroneously) implied in popular writings; it is a patchwork-formation, comprised of numerous related (and unrelated!) species, typically growing closely together in dense, thicket-like, and often uniform-looking formations, regularly referred to as “brush” or “scrub” in popular writing. It is the dominant plant association between sea-level and approximately 5,000 feet elevation, in most of the coastal/subcoastal mountain ranges of the southern half of California, from the Santa Lucia Mts. of Monterey County, southward.
    It grows where a winter rainfall pattern predominates, and the warm to hot summers are typically almost (or totally) rainless (i.e., the Mediterranean climatic pattern). However, periods of coastal fogs regularly moderate the long Californian drought (± May-Oct.), often penetrating up to 10-15 mi. inland from the coast (sometimes further). Fires are a natural part of this habitat (June through October), and most of the native chaparral plants are well adapted to their periodic occurrence — and benefit from them.
    A complicating-factor, regarding application of the term “chaparral”, comes to us via the herbal trade, wherein this term is, indeed, applied to one specific plant — namely the (woody) creosote bush (Larrea divaricata), which is widely known simply as “chaparral” amongst the herbalists! This is doubly unfortunate, because Larrea doesn't occur naturally in any part of the true chaparral habitats; it is strictly a desert element, often dominating across vast regions in all of the North American desert biomes....In a few of these localities (west end of the Mojave Desert, for example), Larrea comes close to achieving contact with some inland belts of chaparral, growing slightly higher up in the nearby mountain ranges — such as in the Valyermo district, just south of Pearblossom, in northern Los Angeles County. [See also fynbos, heath scrub, kwongan, macchia, maquis, matorral]

“common” sense — should often be placed in quotes because it is anything but “common” these days; a fine example is offered under “How Good is Your Cotton?”(!)

conflict-of-interest / corruption — see Schmience & Resmearch(!)

corolla — all the petals of a flower, collectively

DATES, as written on labels & photos — on the oldest specimen-labels (Backyard No.1), dates were always written entirely as numbers, the first being the month (“2/8/55" would be Feb.8, not Aug.2). Now, I am usually writing them with the month spelled out (by 3-letter all-cap's. abbrev.), sandwiched in the middle: 8 FEB.55 or 2 AUG.55, etc.. Many prefer to use Roman numerals for the month, but may I point out that these are very easily garbled or rendered unclear by a sloppy or hasty writer (referring here to handwritten specimen-labels). By contrast, it's harder to misinterpret “FEB” or “AUG”, even in a sloppy hand, esp. if the writer sticks to all CAP's....(And no more space need be taken up this way than by any other style!) One can even render all 12 months with just two non-conflicting letter abbrev's., as follows: JA, FB, MR, AP, MY, JE, JL, AG, SP, OC, NV, DC; sometimes I will resort to this on very small or “tight” labels, where I can't quite squeeze in 3 letters.

det(s). — determinations OR determined by (followed by the name of the expert who identified the specimen).

develop — to bring out the possibilities of; to bring to a more “advanced” state [in any natural habitat, this also implies changing the use of a piece of land or region, usually in order to render it more profitable to the “developer”]. The literal definition has been included here in order to clarify why this word so often appears within quotes in my writings.!

eachother — each other

“education”? — for constructive suggestions, see the “ostrich cartoon”, the pig cartoon, the "education" cartoon, and “How Good is Your Cotton?” See also “Resmearch” & “Schmience”. One of the primary concerns of worthwhile scientific “training” (i.e., beneficial brain-washing) should be a vigorous attempt to weed these hypocritical mindsets entirely out of the “educational” system — slim chance of that (as corporate agendas will always be hovering in the background), but it certainly deserves to be mentioned! ....

endemic/endemism — the species is confined to only one specific locality or region, and is not known to occur naturally (or “in the wild”) anywhere else.

extirpate(d) — the politically-correct or sanitized (“feel-good”) comfort-word for totally destroyed, wiped-out, trashed, erased, exterminated, kaput (i.e., extinct!)....Why not just say so??? Answer: Because 90%+ of the cases point (embarrassingly) straight back to Homo sapiens — a hard pill for the planet's self-described “most advanced, most intelligent” species to swallow!.... Similarly, “ethnic cleansing” blandly sanitizes (makes more palatable, during the 6-7 P.M. dinner hour), the spectacle of the world's “most intelligent, most advanced” species carrying out mass murder, slaughter, and rampant violence on a colossal scale, usually over disagreements regarding which religion is the “right one” (or, this is frequently offered up as one of the underlying rationalizations for such mindless behavior)....Progress???
[“ostrich cartoon”, the pig-cartoon, the “education”-cartoon, and the happy-dogs-rendering-brotherly-love.]
Regarding murder-&-mayhem over religion, see “How Good is Your Cotton?”, which neatly sums up this deep-seated desire for an excuse to fight and kill....Too bad we can't just defuse ALL of these reptilian urges on the football fields, and draw the line at that....Dr. Seuss (19 ) said it all in the “Butter Battle Book” (hilariously illustrating the utter stupidity of war), which should be REQUIRED reading for all “educated” children and adults (particularly politicians), worldwide!! (ISBN

Family (Fam.) — a grouping of (thought-to-be) related genera (see also genus and species, below); has the standard ending of -aceae for plants (-idae for animals). The first letter of a family name is always capitalized (except when the name is employed as an adjective, as in “myrtaceous”, which is derived from the plant family name, Myrtaceae), but family names are NOT italicized OR underlined. Plant FAMILIES can also be broken down into Subfamilies (-oideae), Tribes (-eae), or Subtribes (-inae), for a more detailed understanding of relationships.

fynbos — general term for the evergreen sclerophyll (q.v.) plant associations of the S./SW. Cape Province, South Africa, in the zones where winter rainfall and summer drought are the normal pattern.

genera — the plural of genus (q.v.)

generic — see genus

genus — the smallest natural group containing distinct but closely related species (such as the plant genus Drosera, which contains most of the sundews). Large genera are sometimes divided into subgenera, to render them more manageable (and to show relationships), but the same generic (genus) name is applied to all of the related species, regardless of which subgenus is involved. The first letter of any generic (genus) name should always be capitalized, and is either italicized OR underlined as well.

heath scrub — general term for the shrub-dominated evergreen sclerophyll (q.v.) plant associations of S./SW. Australia; a more recently coined term, kwongan (Beard, 19 ), applies in much of the SW. of Western Australia, wherever small woody shrubs predominate.

heath — see heath scrub & kwongan (Australia)

homogenize — to make uniform or similar in appearance; to blend unlike elements until the original elements are no longer individually recognizable

host plant — “the plant upon which an insect species has its preferred haunt or abiding place; in predacious Heteroptera, fixed by the preferred prey which lives on it”. (Quoting Torre-Bueno verbatim, p.129). See also McFarland, 1970 (p. ), for additional commentary on this same topic. These subtle distinctions remain as valid today as they originally were when first defined, and warrant more careful use; see also foodplant!

host — the insect (or other animal or plant) attacked or infested by a parasite or parasitoid.

improve — to make better or more desirable [in any natural habitat, this is also automatically understood to mean altering or totally destroying whatever was already there; the (former) habitat may then be referred to as “improved”!] The literal definition has been included here in order to clarify why this word so often appears within quotes in my writings.!

inflorescence — a single complete flower or flower-cluster, including all of its supporting stem(s), and defining the arrangement of the flowers thereon

intelligence — clearly suggested under “How Good is Your Cotton?”(!), and by the message in the “ostrich cartoon” (q.v.)

kwongan — see heath scrub (Australia)

maquis, macchia — one of the primary terms for Mediterranean evergreen sclerophyll plant associations, roughly equivalent to the chaparral (q.v.) of coastal California, and growing under similar climatic conditions of winter rainfall/summer drought, in the various countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

matorral — general term for the “chaparral-like” evergreen sclerophyll (q.v.) plant associations of central Chile, growing in the belt of winter rainfall/summer drought, approx. from Coquimbo south to the Rio Bio Bio.

month“E” — early (1st-10th of mo.); “M” — mid (11th-20th); “L” — late (21st-31st)

monotypic — refers to a family or genus founded for one unique species (no other close living relatives being known)

notion — This once rarely encountered noun has rapidly morphed into near buzzword-status in academic presentations over the past few years(!) Almost no one goes to press or podium without it these days....(It's right up there with “parameters”, “constraints”, and that older favorite, “ongoing”!!) Try counting how many times you are hearing the word “notion”, during a lecture or seminar that is about to send you off to sleep....(This exercise will help you to stay awake!) My all-time record-setter (to date), at a U. of AZ. lecture in 2006, was “notion” uttered 27 times in a single 35-minute presentation by one speaker!!

Order (Ord.) — a grouping of related families, as used in animal and plant classification; the first letter is capitalized, but the name is NOT italicized. The standard ending for plant orders is -ales.

(Ord.) Coleoptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of BEETLES

(Ord.) Diptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of FLIES

(Ord.) Heteroptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of TRUE-BUGS. (Correct application of the term “BUG” is restricted to this Order, and should never be applied to any of the other insect orders, although it is regularly used as an “umbrella-term” for the entire Class Insecta, in the popular press!)

(Ord.) Hymenoptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of ANTS, WASPS, and BEES

(Ord.) Lepidoptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of MOTHS, BUTTERFLIES, and SKIPPERS. (A Lepidopterist — one who studies/collects the Order Lepidoptera)

overpopulation — It is politically incorrect even to utter the “P-word”, let alone to seriously discuss it. The “correct” approach is to pussy-foot around this topic, changing the subject as quickly as possible. And top marks if you can do this without even uttering the P-word!....For those who wish to learn more, out of a sincere concern for our only home (the planet we inhabit), see Ehrlich (1970, etc., etc.) and Ivey (1995). The solutions to this festering disaster were suggested and widely discussed decades ago — and later, quietly shoved back into the closet to continue festering....“Band-aids”, that address everything but the P-word, are now offered as “solutions” to every extant or looming environmental disaster out there, each one of which is being caused by the P-word — either directly OR indirectly....



parasite — “ANY animal that lives in or on, or at the expense of another”. (Quoting Torre-Bueno verbatim, p.201).

phenology — study and documentation of the relationships between climates and periodic (seasonal) biological phenomena, such as the flowering and fruiting of plants, the migration or nesting of birds, the emergence of insects, etc., etc. (should always include mention of a specific locality or region).

progress — advancement toward a “higher” stage, considered superior to the previous level or state of being [in any natural habitat, this also implies....see “improve”]. The literal definition has been included here in order to clarify why this word so often appears within quotes in my writings.!

P-word — see overpopulation

Resmearch; Schmience (coined by McFarland, 1992) — These are the appropriate terms to apply when (if) you uncover evidence that the purported “research” has been stolen, with no attribution or revelation of source (plagiarism), OR was funded (either directly or indirectly) by some organization or individual positioned to profit professionally or financially from a (favorable) outcome of the “studies” undertaken (which are guaranteed to be flippantly labelled “research”). The latter has nothing to do with real Science (with a capital “S”), or any desire to discover the whole truth and fully report upon it. It is about AGENDAS (profiting from published lies or half-truths), all the while hoping that no one ever uncovers the complete story....This is an extremely widespread (and metastasizing) cancer throughout much of the (so-called) “developed” or “first” world....HOW SAD and ironic!!

Schmience based on resmearch (“research”) penetrates to the highest levels of the “professions”, government, and industry. When discovered and exposed (if even timorously mentioned by the captive media), the duplicity is most often innocuously dismissed and/or “excused”/rationalized (in retrospect) merely as “flawed research”, with a minimum of further probing or full disclosure....The more honest terms (fraud/lies/corruption) are rarely applied. YET we constantly refer to ourselves as “First” World and “advanced”!!....See also Standen (clear back in 1950), for chapter-&-verse on this inexcusable behavior. Nothing much has changed regarding this topic since it was so lucidly revealed by Standen, more than half a century ago. One can only hope that schmience and resmearch will gradually fade away, as our species continues to evolve(?)....

Resmearch — see Schmience

sacred cow — by no means confined entirely to India; several American ones pop up in this glossary, where they are (intentionally) not held sacred by its creator; see if you can spot them!

Schmience — see Resmearch

sclerophyllous — having tough and leathery (sclerophyll) lvs., usually capable of surviving many months of (summer) drought without wilting. Sclerophyllous plants are almost invariably evergreen woody perenials, most often shrubby in growth habit — or, if trees, relatively small and compact in growth habit.

species — the particular “kind”; the basic unit applied in order to name and separate each supposedly distinct kind of plant or animal; species is spelled the same (ending with “s”) whether singular or plural. The species name (specific name) is the second word of the complete scientific name, the generic (genus) name being the first word; if there is a third word in the name, this is usually the variety (in plants) or the subspecies (in animals). The species or subspecies name is always either italicized OR underlined, but the first letter should NEVER be capitalized. (By this distinction, generic and specific names are conveniently and instantly distinguished in long lists or indexes, etc..) When merely the abbreviation “sp.” directly follows a generic name, this implies that the writer has not been able to identify the species with any certainty, OR that it may be a new (undescribed) species, still waiting to be officially named through formal publication; “spp.” following a generic name implies more than one of the species in that same genus, OR all of the spp. in that genus, depending upon usage. (See also sp., spp., ssp., sspp., below.)

Subfamily (Sbf.) — a sub-grouping of what are thought to be the most closely-related genera within any given family (for animals, the standard Sbf. ending is -inae; for plants it is -oideae).

Superfamily (Spf.) — a grouping of (what are thought to be) the most closely-related families (ending with -oidea for animals).

taxonomist — one who undertakes the study of plant or animal classification, and may arrange the species being studied into various hierarchical groups or categories, that attempt to define and illustrate relationships (e.g., Orders, Superfamilies, Families, Tribes, Genera, etc.), OR who may document, describe, and create names for species new-to-science, by way of formal publication in various scientific journals devoted to such studies.

Taxonomists are very much an endangered breed, now languishing at the roadside as all of the (currently) in-vogue bandwagons go galloping by, totally infatuated with themselves!....But the thundering Herd studiously “forgets” that they STILL NEED the very basic services of the taxonomist, in order to obtain accurate and explicit “handles” (names), for all of the thousands-upon-thousands of distinct entities (species) that they may wish to study and report upon....No valid scientific names?? Then sorry, NO meaningful communication of findings, and NO charts, graphs, tables, or jargon-laden pontifications can be published in the journals!! (Case in point: see any recent issue of the journal, Conservation Biology....Do any of these authors have any inkling of what they owe to the taxonomists??)

taxonomy — the science or study of plant or animal classification, identification, and/or naming (see also above).

taxon (plural, taxa) — any of the many categories or units of classification, such as a genus or a species, etc., etc.

tolerance — a desirable and empowering quality, uniquely illustrated under “How Good is Your Cotton?” (q.v.)

utilize(d) — the more pretentious way of uttering the simple verb, to use; this more 'erudite' form of the word has now reached almost buzzword status in the realm of academic jargon-babble....(when was the last time you heard/saw the simple word use, used??!!).

variety (var.) — a variation or color-form (etc.) of a plant species; for animals, the term subspecies is nearly equivalent to the term variety in botany. Either name is italicized but never capitalized, and it follows directly after the species-name, where applicable (in plants, preceded by “var.”).

wisdom — uniquely illustrated under “How Good is Your Cotton?”(!), and by the message in the “ostrich cartoon” (q.v.)


ABBREVIATIONS

aff. — (preceding a species name) means showing an affinity with the named sp., but the entity doesn't compare favorably (cf.) with it in all details

approx. — approximately

bkgd. — background (used in photo-descriptions)

cf. — see aff.

Co. — County (not “company”!)

c.u. — close up (often used on photos)

Dist. — District

elev. — elevation (usually given in feet, not meters); often included on my specimen locality labels

esp. — especially

fl., fls. — flower(s)

fp. — foodplant as distinct from “host plant” (q.v.) — see also McF., 1970 — pdf.

fp. — foodplant: the plant(s) known to be fed upon by the larvae of moths and butterflies (also some beetles and sawflies). “The plant on which an insect habitually feeds — not to be confused with host plant, on which the insect lives, since certain predaceous forms haunt particular plants which are the foodplants of their prey”. (Quoting Torre-Bueno verbatim, p.105). [See also McFarland 1970: p. ]

fr., frs. — fruit(s) (such as seed pods, capsules, acorns, berries, etc.)

frgd. — foreground (used in photo-descriptions)

g.h. — growth habit (often used in notes)

Hwy. — Highway

jct. — junction or intersection (usually with ref. to road intersections in a locality, as written in notes, or on specimen labels and photo descriptions)

lf., lvs. — leaf, leaves

LFW. — if known, this measurement is always included in the legends under photos, or in the specimen descriptions of adult Lepidoptera. I prefer to include this as a separate written measurement, rather than cluttering up the photos with ugly intrusions of rulers (or other scales). The “LFW” (always given in mm.) — the length of (one) forewing along its costal margin (the leading edge), in a straight line from base to tip (apex). Unlike the term “expanse” (distance from tip-to-tip between the 2 forewings of a spread specimen), the LFW measurement does not vary according to any particular collector's style of spreading specimens, nor will it vary according to the age of the specimens (wings sagging or not, which can also render slight variations in the reported “expanse”)....

DFW, DHW. — referring to the dorsal (upper) surface of FW or HW

FW. — forewing(s); also called “primaries” — the 2 leading wings of any 4-winged insect (flies are an exception, having only 2 wings).

HW. — hindwing(s); also called “secondaries” — the 2 wings behind the forewings of an insect. In the majority of moths, the HWS are usually + hidden or covered by the forewings, when the living insect is at complete rest.

VFW, VHW. — referring to the ventral (under) surface of FW or HW

mi. — mile(s) are used on labels, not kilometers (km.)

mm. — millimeter (approx. 25 per inch) is the basic unit of measurement used in all specimen descriptions under photos, as reported at this website

mo. — month

mt(s). — mountain(s), as often used on labels

nr. — near (usually with ref. to localities, as used on labels or photos)

N., S., E., W. — the four standard compass-directions, as used frequently on specimen-labels and in photo-legends (also further refined as NW, NE, SW, SE, NNW, WNW, ESE, etc., etc.)

n. sp., OR sp. nov. — following a generic name, implies a new species (new to science / not as yet named); still awaiting formal description and publication

q.v. — which see (i.e., go and have a look at it!)

Rd. — Road

ref. — refers to or referring to or with reference to

r.p. — resting position (often used in notes)

r.p. — resting position (or posture); refers to the stylized posture always assumed by a living insect when it is totally at rest. It's extremely worthwhile to photograph living moths in their natural resting postures, which evidence can also (sometimes) provide useful clues to their relationships....This is a fascinating (and very artistically rewarding!) field, in great need of more consistent study and documentation by photographs of the living insects. It is accessible to anyone with sharp eyes, a good camera — and the inclination. No moth has been adequately or fully documented untill its RESTING POSITION has been clearly depicted with good photos (both dorsal and lateral views) — or, at the very least, a written description of the r.p. should be attempted! See also McFarland (1988: pp. 235-248 + 357), wherein a descriptive terminology for all of the “macro-lep.” resting positions is offered in detail. This is based on 3 primary terms, with an array of sub-categories under each of them.

aff. — (preceding a species name) means showing an affinity with the named sp., but the entity doesn't compare favorably (cf.) with it in all details

mo. — month

Rd. — Road

Dist. — District

cf. — see aff.

fl., fls. — flower(s)

fp. — foodplant: the plant(s) known to be fed upon by the larvae of moths and butterflies (also some beetles and sawflies). “The plant on which an insect habitually feeds — not to be confused with host plant, on which the insect lives, since certain predaceous forms haunt particular plants which are the foodplants of their prey”. (Quoting Torre-Bueno verbatim, p.105). [See also McFarland 1970: p. ]

lf., lvs. — leaf, leaves

n. sp., OR sp. nov. — following a generic name, implies a new species (not as yet named); still awaiting formal description and publication

species — the particular “kind”; the basic unit applied in order to name and separate each supposedly distinct kind of plant or animal; species is spelled the same (ending with “s”) whether singular or plural. The species name (specific name) is the second word of the complete scientific name, the generic (genus) name being the first word; if there is a third word in the name, this is usually the variety (in plants) or the subspecies (in animals). The species or subspecies name is always either italicized OR underlined, but the first letter should NEVER be capitalized. (By this distinction, generic and specific names are conveniently and instantly distinguished in long lists or indexes, etc..) When merely the abbreviation “sp.” directly follows a generic name, this implies that the writer has not been able to identify the species with any certainty, OR that it may be a new (undescribed) species, still waiting to be officially named through formal publication; “spp.” following a generic name implies more than one of the species in that same genus, OR all of the spp. in that genus, depending upon usage.

s.l. — in the broad sense; the opposite of s.s. (see below)

spp. — standard abbreviation for species, plural (see above)

sp. — standard abbreviation for species, singular (see above)

s.s. — in the strict (or restricted) sense; the opposite of s.l. (see above)

sspp. — standard abbreviation for subspecies, plural (see above)

ssp. — standard abbreviation for subspecies, singular (see above)

approx. — approximately

esp. — especially

frgd. — foreground (used in photo-descriptions)

bkgd. — background (used in photo-descriptions)

jct. — junction or intersection (usually with ref. to road intersections in a locality, as written in notes, or on specimen labels and photo descriptions)

ref. — refers to or referring to or with reference to

fr., frs. — fruit(s) (such as seed pods, capsules, acorns, berries, etc.)

(Ord.) Lepidoptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of MOTHS, BUTTERFLIES, and SKIPPERS. (A Lepidopterist — one who studies/collects the Order Lepidoptera)

(Ord.) Coleoptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of BEETLES

(Ord.) Diptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of FLIES

(Ord.) Hymenoptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of ANTS, WASPS, and BEES

(Ord.) Heteroptera — the insect ORDER that includes all the known families of TRUE-BUGS. (Use of the term “BUG” is restricted to this Order, and should never be applied to any of the other insect orders, although it is constantly used as an “umbrella-term” for the entire Class Insecta, in the popular press!)

nr. — near (usually with ref. to localities, as used on labels or photos)

elev. — elevation (usually given in feet, not meters); often included on my specimen locality labels

mm. — millimeter (approx. 25 per inch) is the basic unit of measurement used in all specimen descriptions under photos, as reported at this website

mi. — mile(s) are used on labels, not kilometers (km.)

mt(s). — mountain(s), as often used on labels

N., S., E., W. — the four standard compass-directions, as used frequently on specimen-labels and in photo-legends (also further refined as NW, NE, SW, SE, NNW, WNW, ESE, etc., etc.)

fp. — foodplant as distinct from “host plant” (q.v.) — see also McF., 1970 — pdf.

r.p. — resting position (or posture); refers to the stylized posture always assumed by a living insect when it is totally at rest. It's extremely worthwhile to photograph living moths in their natural resting postures, which evidence can also (sometimes) provide useful clues to their relationships....This is a fascinating (and very artistically rewarding!) field, in great need of more consistent study and documentation by photographers. It is accessible to anyone with sharp eyes, a good camera — and the inclination. No moth has been adequately or fully documented unless its RESTING POSITION is clearly depicted with good photos (both dorsal and lateral views) — or, at the very least, a written description of the r.p. should be included! See also McFarland (1988: pp. 235-248 + 357), wherein a descriptive terminology for all of the “macro-lep.” resting positions is offered in detail. This is based on 3 primary terms, with an array of sub-categories under each of them.

q.v. — which see (i.e., go and have a look at it!)

ft. (') — foot or feet, referring to elevation(s) above sea-level (meters are not used, and there is a good reason)

LFW — if known, this measurement is always included in the legends under photos, or in the specimen descriptions of adult Lepidoptera. I prefer to include this as a separate written measurement, rather than cluttering up the photos with ugly intrusions of rulers (or other scales). The “LFW” (always given in mm.) — the length of (one) forewing along its costal margin (the leading edge), in a straight line from base to tip (apex). Unlike the term “expanse” (distance from tip-to-tip between the 2 forewings of a spread specimen), the LFW measurement does not vary according to any particular collector's style of spreading specimens, nor will it vary according to the age of the specimens (wings sagging or not, which can also render slight variations in the reported “expanse”)....

FW — forewing(s); also called “primaries” — the 2 leading wings of any 4-winged insect (flies are an exception, having only 2 wings).

HW — hindwing(s); also called “secondaries” — the 2 wings behind the forewings of an insect. In the majority of moths, the HWS are usually + hidden or covered by the forewings, when the living insect is at complete rest.

DFW, DHW — referring to the dorsal (upper) surface of FW or HW

VFW, VHW — referring to the ventral (under) surface of FW or HW

The above 7 abbreviations (written as all-capital letters) offer the potential to save vast amounts of space in long formal descriptions, but they are rarely applied. I think they were originally introduced by Paul Ehrlich (in How to Know the Butterflies, 1961), and remain fully as useful now as they were 5 decades ago!!....(Go figure).


SYMBOLS

± — (plus-or-minus) stands for more-or-less, or approximately; see also nr.

< / > — means lesser than / greater than

* — an asterisk or “star”, immediately preceding the scientific (generic) name of any plant or animal at this site, implies a species known to be introduced to the habitat under discussion (not originally native there); naturalized.

# — this symbol stands for number, which is also sometimes abbreviated as “no.”

§ — indicates a species that is cyclic in its annual emergence (some years, never seen).

੒ (M) — male (used in specimen descriptions and photo-legends, etc.)

U+2640; (F) — female (used in specimen descriptions and photo-legends, etc.)
Seven Backyards

Preface

OVERVIEW

Moths and Memories

Dedication

Where Are the Specimens Now?

ASH CANYON FIRE (2011)


Background and Introduction

Elfin Forests, Worldwide: MAQUIS / FYNBOS / KWONGAN / MATORRAL / CHAPARRAL

About The Backyard Concept

Motivations: Why Publish This Material?

Summarizing How These Projects Evolved

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

Miscellaneous Tidbits Dept.

PHOTO CREDITS