LepiMAP – The Atlas of African Lepidoptera, Guest post by Megan Loftie-Eaton (LepiMAP project coordinator)

Cherry Spot moth Diaphone eumela

Cherry Spot moth Diaphone eumela

 

Mapping how species ranges are changing is key to proper biodiversity conservation and can act as an early warning system if a species might be in trouble. Is a species’ range expanding or contracting? If we don’t know this how can we make proper decisions regarding its conservation? This is where LepiMAP comes in. LepiMAP is an awesome Citizen Science project run jointly by the Lepidopterists Society of Africa (LepSoc) and the Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town. LepiMAP was launched in October 2013 and is the continuation of SABCA (the Southern African Butterfly Conservation Assessment).

Beautiful Tiger Amphicallia bellatrix LepiMap

Beautiful Tiger Amphicallia bellatrix LepiMap

LepiMAP aims to determine the distribution and conservation priorities of butterflies and moths on the African continent. Yes, you read correctly, LepiMAP is an Africa-wide project! We want butterfly and moth records from all over Africa! LepiMAP’s ultimate goal is the conservation of wild populations of butterflies and moths, and their habitats, in Africa. This entails educating and encouraging people to observe, appreciate, and understand the needs of living insects. LepiMAP is a section of the Animal Demography Unit’s Virtual Museum and is a database containing photographic records of butterflies and moths, together with the dates and places of occurrence.

Leaf Emperor Pselaphelia flavivitta

Leaf Emperor Pselaphelia flavivitta

This project represents an excellent opportunity to make your photography count for conservation. We are building up a huge database of photographs (along with the locality information) of butterflies and moths throughout Africa. LepiMAP is “phase 2″ — in phase 1 we built up a database of almost 400 000 records of Lepidoptera distributions, so we have demonstrated that we can build distribution maps using this approach. Please help us build onto this database, and enable LepiMAP to produce the 21st century distribution maps for Africa’s Lepidoptera. Unless our knowledge of the ranges of species and how they are changing is based on solid evidence, conservation initiatives will only be based on anecdotes and the person with the loudest voice. So please do upload your photos of butterflies and moths to the LepiMAP database. The website at which you do the uploading is at http://vmus.adu.org.za/ — Join the conservation conversation. LepiMAP is a great way to involve the public in Lepidoptera conservation. Spread the news! Get your family and friends involved and let’s get out there and start LepiMAPping!!

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National Moth Week 2016 will be held from 23rd to 31st July. Anyone can participate.
Register a public or private event or find one to attend by checking the website for public events. Registration is free to individuals, groups and organizations.

LepiMap is a partner organization with NMW. For more about submitting moth observations click here

If you have questions or need more information – click here to contact us.

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National Moth Week Events – Anything Goes!

Tactics used by competitors in the windsurfing event

Tactics used by competitors in the windsurfing event

If you’re anything like me, you might have thought that a night or two of moth-ing on your back porch in the last week of July doesn’t really count as a National Moth Week Event. Thankfully, that’s a load of twaddle! The truth is that there are only two criteria for being a National Moth Week Event – looking at moths, and looking at moths during the last full week in July.

The word ‘event’ was always my problem. I’d obviously been staring at UV lights for too long, because I ended up with a picture in my head of a bunch of moths taking part in Olympic Events, the 100m, javelin throwing, skiing, sailing, and the like. (Other friends had assumed that their porch-lit party wouldn’t count, especially as they didn’t know many or any of the scientific names).

Reproduced by kind permission of Lou Prosperi 3rd.

Reproduced by kind permission of Lou Prosperi 3rd.

The reality is that National Moth Week Events can be anything you want them to be – they don’t even have to be at night as there are many day-flying moths, and of course some amazing moth caterpillars to find!

 For me, personally, a moth-ing Event is about recording (photographing) what I see during the week and, with modern iphones and ipads taking excellent quality images, anybody can now capture and share these images and be a part of this data-gathering exercise.

Other Events may be just having a few friends round to your home for an evening barbeque and looking at the moths, taking a sheet and black light out to a remote spot for star gazing and moth-ing, or just putting on an outside light and relaxing on your porch – really, anything goes! (As my wife says, a National Moth Week events can be incredibly sociable, as many moths are very obliging and well-behaved creatures who wait patiently for their photo to be taken, leaving lots of time for conversation, drinks, and laughter!)

Figure 2 Reproduced by kind permission of Magarell

Reproduced by kind permission of Magarell

Figure 2 Reproduced by kind permission of Magarell 2

..

Reproduced by kind permision of Ray Cohutta

Reproduced by kind permision of Ray Cohutta

The major public Events held by the parks, protected areas and societies etc. are extremely important in terms of education and increasing awareness of the importance and beauty of moths. However, for each major public Event held there are countless public and private Events which go unregistered each year.

Please register your Event and take part in one of the biggest Citizen Science projects in the world.

Just click on the Registration tab at www.nationalmothweek.org and complete the details of your event. Events can be marked as “Public” or “Private” but you don’t have to give the exact location of your home or where you will be on a specific night, just use a local landmark or town.


Written by NMW team member Ian Morton

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Meet an Underwing – Catocala gracilis

This year’s National Moth Week’s spotlighted moths are the Underwings. 

NMW participant Teá Kesting-Handly sent us photos and information on Catocala gracilis:

Catocala love to feed on bait, uncommonly, they can also be found on flowers! Here is a photo of Catocala gracilis feeding on the flower of Asclepias syriaca. A second photo shows this same moth on the ground, showing off it’s gorgeous hindwings. This is from Plymouth County, Massachusetts in July of 2015.

Catocala gracilis

Catocala gracilis 2

BHigg-Catocala ilia-2 BHigg-Catocala iliaSee more photos of Underwings and other moths on the National Moth Week Flickr group

National Moth Week 2016 will be held from 23rd to 31st July. Anyone can participate. Register a public or private event or find one to attend by checking the website for public events. Registration is free to individuals, groups and organizations.

If you have questions or need more information – click here to contact us.

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Meet an Underwing – Catocala palaeogama (Oldwife Underwing)

This year’s National Moth Week’s spotlighted moths are the Underwings. 

This photo of  Catocala palaeogama was taken by Ken Childs in Henderson, TN, USA.

08795-Catocala_palaeogama-OldwifeUnderwing-IMG_9654

BHigg-Catocala ilia-2 BHigg-Catocala iliaSee more photos of Underwings and other moths on the National Moth Week Flickr group

National Moth Week 2016 will be held from 23rd to 31st July. Anyone can participate. Register a public or private event or find one to attend by checking the website for public events. Registration is free to individuals, groups and organizations.

If you have questions or need more information – click here to contact us.

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National Moth Week T-shirts and other products

NMW products are available from RedBubble.com (http://www.redbubble.com/shop/national+moth+week).

Your purchase helps support National Moth Week, and we thank you for it.

 

nmw products 2016

 

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Meet an Underwing – Catocala epione (Epione Underwing)

This year’s National Moth Week’s spotlighted moths are the Underwings. 

This photo of Catocala epione was taken by Ken Childs in Henderson, TN, USA.

08773-Catocala_epione-EpioneUnderwing-IMG_6789

BHigg-Catocala ilia-2 BHigg-Catocala iliaSee more photos of Underwings and other moths on the National Moth Week Flickr group

National Moth Week 2016 will be held from 23rd to 31st July. Anyone can participate. Register a public or private event or find one to attend by checking the website for public events. Registration is free to individuals, groups and organizations.

If you have questions or need more information – click here to contact us.

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Submit Your Moth Sightings to BAMONA

BAMONA logo

Whether you’re new to mothing or an experienced moth-er, you can contribute to science by submitting photos and information on your sightings to Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA), a partner of National Moth Week. BAMONA is a unique, well-respected, and established database of verified butterfly and moth sighting records.

If you take part in National Moth Week, you can provide your data to us and receive free identification assistance. You’ll be contributing to this valuable dataset and online resource. You will need to register for an account, but it is quick and easy to do, and logged-in users can track their submissions. Simply take a photograph of a moth, and submit that information to us via our online submission form. Make sure to select “National Moth Week” under the list of Partner Projects.

We’ll add the verified records to the database, maps, and checklists, and your data will become part of a growing dataset. To see the records that have been verified so far, visit the National Moth Week Data Explorer.

BAMONA currently houses nearly 600,000 individual sighting records that have been submitted by the public and verified by collaborating lepidopterists who review each submission.  Sighting data are regularly exported to scientists at academic institutions and government agencies for research purposes.

In addition, sightings are made available to the public on the BAMONA website’s species pages with maps and life history information, and via regional checklists. BAMONA users have access to a personalized dashboard that organizes all submitted sightings and their status.

Getting involved is easy: attend a National Moth Night event, start an event, join friends and neighbors to check porch lights from time to time, set up a light and see what is in your own backyard, or read literature about moths, etc. Visit the National Moth Week website for more information, or learn how to register.


National Moth Week 2016 will be held from 23rd to 31st July. Anyone can participate. Register a public or private event or find one to attend by checking the website for public events. Registration is free to individuals, groups and organizations.

If you have questions or need more information – click here to contact us.

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Photos from National Moth Week 2015 in Japan

The Flickr album contains 357 photos of moths from National Moth Week participants in Japan.  More about NMW in Japan at http://www.nationalmothweek-jp.net/

National Moth Week 2015

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Underwings and mothing in Massachusetts – A geust post by Teá Kesting-Handly

This year NMW is celebrating the genus Catocala or Underwing moths. These fantastic moths may look dull at first glance, but will often reveal their showy hindwings when disturbed. They come in many colors, brown, gray,  black, white, red, yellow, orange and even pink! One of Massachusett’s most splendid Catocala, is restricted to pine barrens habitats, where scrub oak grows. This moth, Catocala herodias gherhardi or Gherhard’s Underwing, is one of the pink hindwing Catocala. One of the best places to see this moth in Massachusetts, is on Cape Cod! Join me, Teá Kesting-Handly at Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture this July 31st, to attempt to find this lovely moth.

Cape Cod is one of the coolest areas in Massachusetts to moth, but due to the protected areas, it’s quite difficult to moth on. This gives everyone an opportunity to search for the moths that live in this area. We will be using a Mercury Vapor light, a UV bucket trap, and bait to find as many species as possible in this night. Once a list is generated, we will count the number of species and submit them to BugGuide to add as many records as possible.

If you’d like to attend this event, check it out at the Mass Audubon website. Feel free to register through the Audubon website, same-night registration is available. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at tea.kestinghandly@gmail.com or at 857-221-2554.

 

Catocala herodias gherhardi

 

 

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Meet an Underwing – Catocala preclara

This year’s National Moth Week’s spotlighted moths are the Underwings. 

Catocala preclara is a common blueberry feeding Catocala found in many different habitats. This one is from Plymouth County, Massachusetts in July of 2015. Photo by Teá Kesting-Handly.

Catocala preclara

BHigg-Catocala ilia-2 BHigg-Catocala iliaSee more photos of Underwings and other moths on the National Moth Week Flickr group

National Moth Week 2016 will be held from 23rd to 31st July. Anyone can participate. Register a public or private event or find one to attend by checking the website for public events. Registration is free to individuals, groups and organizations.

If you have questions or need more information – click here to contact us.

Posted in Moth Identification, Moth Information | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment