SEVEN BACKYARDS HOME NORTH AMERICA:     Santa Monica Mts.     Valyermo     Kansas     Oregon     Arizona     AUSTRALIA:   South Australia     West Australia
BACKYARD 1 — BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA
at 9601 Oak Pass Rd. (1938—1957)
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, in the E. SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS
Historical Macro-Moth Study (1953-1957)
homemoth familiesmona #'s foodplants seasonal charts pdfs maps links << previousarticles next >>
About the Moth Studies at 9601 Oak Pass Road
Backporch All of the moths listed/figured under the “BACK PORCH....” heading (except for a few diurnal spp.) were attracted to lights at night, using one or two 150-watt incandescent “blue-daylight” bulbs, up until June of 1956, when two 15-watt ultraviolet (uv.) or “black lights” (G.E. F15T8/BL) were obtained and used exclusively thereafter. The lights were suspended in front of a dull white sheet, which was tacked onto a wooden wall, on a deck at the far NE. corner of the house, overlooking an east-facing slope at the edge of the ridge, which dropped off steeply just below the deck (see A-series habitat photos). The deck wrapped around the eastern and northernmost ends of the building, and was about eight feet above the ground at the point where the collecting-site was located. This gave a wide arc of illumination, out over the diverse and undisturbed native flora growing everywhere on this ridge — a rich blend of Chaparral/Southern Oak Woodland/Coastal Sage Scrub (after Munz 1974). IT WAS A SUPERB LOCATION! Habitat Photos in section 1C show color photos of the home location, and other nearby habitats.
The lights were frequently operated all night (on “good” nights), as it was easy to check them at any time, simply by stepping out onto the deck. No traps were ever used. The “early morning accumulation” on the wall often revealed species that rarely (if ever) appeared much before midnight. The arctiid, Grammia hewletti, was a good example of the latter — arriving almost strictly between 2:00 to 4:00 A.M.; and this was further restricted to a narrow, 2-week “window”, which only extended from about the last week of April into the first week of May! As there was an ample roof-overhang above the deck, moths resting all night on the wall never got wet during rain or drizzle.  I was usually able to spread everything fresh the same night, or within a day or two. Green (or green-marked) species such as Nemoria leptalea (shown at right) were usually frozen, if the green was unstable and thus inclined to discolor in the ethyl acetate killing jars.

Nocturnal searching for larvae in the surrounding habitat was a frequent (and often rewarding) pursuit. From early childhood, caterpillar hunting and rearing had always been a special interest (and still is)! It was through this activity that I came to know the habits of many strictly nocturnal larvae, such as Behrensia conchiformis (MONA 10178a), Pleromelloida cinerea (MONA 10031), and Zenophleps lignicolorata (MONA 7406), etc., etc., etc.. Unfortunately, during the earliest years, I only reared larvae purely for the fun of learning what would emerge, but never kept any notes (or specimens) for documentation! Living ova (eggs) were often obtained from confined females. Sometimes these were shared with Dr. John A. Comstock (then of 1373 Crest Rd., Del Mar), or with Frank Sala (then of Burbank), during the mid to late 1950's. A few of these life histories were illustrated by Comstock's watercolor paintings. [Click here for some published examples.]

See also Buckett (1964), regarding the taxonomy and life history of B. conchiformis, the preserved early stages of which were supplied to him from additional rearings that I later undertook in a forest habitat west of Corvallis, Oregon (1962-63); this life history was catalogued under N.43 in the McFarland larval collection (L.A. County Museum). This life history was reported as “unknown” in a recent Oregon publication!! (Unknown to some, perhaps....). [Click here for a condensed version of the Oregon studies (McF. 1963), with specific emphasis on the included life history observations, and other (supposedly) “unknown” details that were recorded during this intensive study, that was carried out 45 years ago....] It may indeed have been a long time ago, but that doesn't alter any of the observations that were reported in the 1963 publication (on file in the O.S.U. Dept. of Entomology) ....
1A — Growing Up Wild in the ELFIN FOREST north of Beverly Hills (1938-1957)

Dedications

Growing Up Wild in Beverly Hills!

EARLY DAYS on OAK PASS Rd. (1937-1945) and HOW the ROAD GOT ITS NAME

FIRES

- (A) Botanical Highlights

-- Historical Remarks on Oaks

-- EARLY EVOLUTIONARY STAGES of the "SMOG-DENIAL SYNDROME"!

-- OAK PASS NATIVE PLANTS TODAY (??)

-- Echos From the Past!

-- A Bit of SUMMERTIME FOGBANK-BOTANY

- (B) LOCAL BUTTERFLY HIGHLIGHTS

- (C) LOCAL BIRDS REMEMBERED

- (D) LOCAL MAMMALS REMEMBERED

- (E) REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS REMEMBERED

CONTACT INFORMATION

DESSERT (Purely for Amusement!)

THE HONEY-SNOB'S CORNER


1B — BACKPORCH MOTH COLLECTION at 9601 Oak Pass Road (1953-1957)

A five-year study (1953-1957) documenting the occurrence of 283 macro-moth species on one acre of woodland habitat at 9601 Oak Pass Rd., 5 road-miles north of Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills (a mixture of undisturbed Southern Oak Woodland / Chaparral / Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, at 1100 ft. elevation).

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THIS CALIFORNIA SITE

ABOUT THE BACKYARD CONCEPT

BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION

About the Moth Studies at 9601 Oak Pass Road

BEATING or SWEEPING for LARVAE - A MOST PRODUCTIVE COLLECTING TECHNIQUE

ABUNDANCE-RATINGS DEFINED

The OLD BEVERLY HILLS (OAK PASS ROAD) MOTH STUDY COMPARED WITH THREE OTHER (MORE RECENT) SURVEYS IN COASTAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

OBSERVED DIFFERENCES IN THE MACRO-MOTH FAUNAS OF THE ABOVE THREE OTHER SURVEYED COASTAL CALIFORNIAN LOCALITIES

HISTORICAL PHOTOS and A PLEA for FUTURE STUDIES in the SAME REGION

FRANK SALA'S CORNER

FRANK HOVORE'S CORNER


1C — HABITAT PHOTOS Documenting the Surrounding Locality (1957-1964)

1C - HABITAT PHOTOS (1957-1964)

DIRT ROADS

Copyright ©2005-2011 Noel McFarland. All Rights Reserved.