The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism. Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little we know about it.” (Aldo Leopold, 1948)
National Moth Week offers an unparalleled opportunity to contribute meaningful scientific data about moths. We encourage data collection and high quality photographic documentation of moths during National Moth Week for anyone interested in this important endeavor. Obtaining voucher specimens for museum collections and DNA analysis for certain Families is also encouraged. For many moth species distributional information is lacking or poorly documented, for others, DNA is clarifying phylogenic relationships and identifying new species. National Moth Week observations and collections can fill in important data gaps and be of significant biological value. The contributions of amateur naturalists and citizen scientists form the foundation of many aspects of our understanding of moth ecology. We have partnered with many of the major moth databases around the country to facilitate the deposition of records obtained during National Moth Week. Many of these databases have also begun extensive distributional mapping projects that rely on the wealth of data provided by the professional scientific community, and of equal or perhaps even greater importance, everyone with an interest in moths, be it via casual backyard observations or from more structured studies. All accurate data is important and of equal value. While the vast number of moths and the difficulty identifying some species may seem overwhelming at first, there are numerous resources for help and we have partnered with many of these individuals and organizations. The link below lists organization that are all seeking data about moths. National Moth Week observations can yield a wealth of valuable data for these excellent resources and we strongly encourage contributions to them.