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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)
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The OLD BEVERLY HILLS (OAK PASS ROAD) MOTH STUDY COMPARED WITH THREE OTHER (MORE RECENT) SURVEYS IN COASTAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
(1)     Between 1989 and 1999, using both uv. and mv. lights (on a deck facing the ocean), Sandy and Paul Russell undertook a survey of the moth fauna (some “micros” included) inhabiting their location in the western SANTA MONICA MTS., at MALIBU (4244 Avenida de la Encinal), just above the Pacific Coast Hwy. (elev. 700 feet). Coastal Sage Scrub elements predominated nearby, with Chaparral formations and Quercus agrifolia further up the hill (at Charmlee Park). A riparian habitat was nearby — not more than a mile away (sycamores, willows, etc.). Also present around this location were various annually cleared roadside swathes/vacant lots, etc., where many spp. of weedy annuals grew in abundance. And there were many introduced ornamentals growing in the gardens of other nearby homes. Their resulting LIST (many det. by RHL) has, not surprisingly, provided great correlation with my earlier back porch survey (located about 16 miles to the ENE., in the same mountain range, at 9601 Oak Pass Rd.). And it also reveals some interesting differences. They have given me permission to make the comparisons here, as drawn from their Malibu lists (unpublished). See the small table at the bottom right included with each Oak Pass Rd. moth, which make these comparisons with the Malibu records from the Russells. Also included is a separate list of species found by the Russells at MALIBU, that I didn't find north of Beverly Hills [Click here].

(2)     In 1999, the Russells moved up the coast to SANTA BARBARA.... Another moth survey has been under way there (at 3770 Foothill Rd.), for nearly a decade now, which location is adjacent to an extensive area of “original” habitat (Southern Oak Woodland and Chaparral formations predominating there). Their home is at 700 feet elevation in the foothills, about 5 miles inland from the coastline. This locality is 75 mi. to the NW. of the Beverly Hills study area, and is near the SE. end of the SANTA YNEZ MTS. Again, the correlations with the Oak Pass Rd. moth fauna have turned out to be close and interesting (see grids). As was done for the Malibu survey, I've also included a separate list of those spp. that the Russells have found in SANTA BARABARA, that I didn't find north of Beverly Hills [Click here]. For further input on the Malibu or Santa Barbara localities, the Russells may be reached by E-mail:   maliboo @ verizon.net.

(3)     In 2000, Brown & Bash published a list (determinations by Ron H. Leuschner), summarizing the results of a 3-year Lepidoptera survey (10/95-9/98), which was undertaken just north of SAN DIEGO, on the Marine Corps Air Station at MIRAMAR [click here for ref.]. This location is about 8 miles north of San Diego, and extends from approx. 8 to 15 miles inland from the coastline—again, some of the sampled habitats being closely comparable with the Oak Pass Rd. location, but about 150 miles SSE. of there. The range of native plant associations sampled was much more extensive in this study; there were 13 blacklight stations, operating in a diverse mixture of 6 or 7 differing habitat types, including (and additional to) the three that were sampled by the Russells and myself. The Oak Pass Road site was far removed from any moist or canyon floor situations (well-represented at Miramar). Thus, spp. restricted to feeding on Salix, Platanus or Baccharis were extremely scarce (or never taken) at 9601 Oak Pass. As with the two preceding surveys, I've also included a separate list of those spp. found by Brown & Bash at MIRAMAR, that were not taken north of Beverly Hills (listings are of the “macros” only). [Click here.]


(4)     From 1965 to 2007, Ron H. Leuschner (RHL) has been regularly sampling the moth fauna around his cabin at PINYON CREST (elev. 4200 feet), in the NW. SANTA ROSA MTS., Riverside County, about 15 mi. to the SSW. of Palm Springs, and 60 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean coastline at Oceanside (N. of San Diego). As might be expected, this habitat has far less in common with the Beverly Hills location than any of the above three, but is of interest to compare nevertheless, if for no other reason than its long history of consistent study by one dedicated moth-er! The complete list for this locality is, of course, in no way reflected by my relatively few linking-entries here. It would be necessary to contact Mr. Leuschner for the rest of that story....Dominant native plants, at or near this Pinyon Crest location, are: One-leaved Pinyon (Pinus monophylla); Calif. juniper (Juniperus californica); Scrub Oak (Quercus sp.); Bernardia myricifolia (“mouse-eye”)—a peculiar woody shrub of the Fam. Euphorbiaceae, abundant around the cabin; sugar bush (Rhus ovata); a woody wild buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum polifolium?). Within only about 1 to 3 mi. to the west, there are many typical chaparral elements reaching their easternmost or inland limits near this location:Adenostoma, Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Rhamnus, Prunus, Salvia, etc...— genera well represented closer to the coast.

(5)     And lastly (2007), there is also a notation about “ARIZONA” included on the comparison-tables (not a lot of correlation, but still rather interesting to document). This refers to any (supposedly) identical moth species that have been collected at the home address in SE. Arizona (Ash Canyon, in the SE. Huachuca Mts. of Cochise County, AZ, at 5170 feet elevation)—a distinctly different habitat (and totally different climatic pattern) from the coastal Californian localitites above described. But, there are some close parallels in a number of the more important woody elements of the two floras: Quercus, Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Rhamnus, Cercocarpus, Rhus, Eriogonum, and Brickellia californica, are all represented here in Ash Canyon, which is about 500 miles inland, to the east/southeast of the Santa Monica Mountains. [Click here to go to the ARIZONA study: “Five Acres of Moths”.] Also included is a separate list [click here] of the (few) SE. Arizona moths that are identical (or very close!) to certain spp. named in the Oak Pass Rd. list (Beverly Hills): Old friends! Further study may reveal that some of these entities are not, in fact,“identical” (based on comparisons of genitalia, etc.), even though they may indeed be closely related or sibling species....

It is interesting to observe how the composite, Brickellia californica, “behaves” differently here in SE. Arizona, in its response to our more severe/extreme inland (continental) climate: Its less pubescent and less viscid leaves totally die most winters here, but do remain attached to the (still living) woody stems—a phenomenon that I never observed in the (low-elevation) coastal Californian populations of this (same?) adaptable plant.... Regarding Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus: We have only one species of each in our immediate local flora here (lower Ash Cyn. Rd.), whereas in California, there can be several spp. (of these 2 genera) present in large numbers at many locations, where they often form major components of the various Chaparral assemblages (inland as well as coastal). The west/central to southern ARIZONA “petran chaparral” is seen to be depauperate, when it is compared with the species-rich Californian evergreen sclerophyll shrub associations termed CHAPARRAL.
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.