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(SEE ALSO the next sections: classification / taxonomy / systematics / acknowledgements / determinations)
A great majority of the SMALLER macro-moths in this locality cannot be found in any existing books or field guides.... Thus, I have had to rely upon the help of several moth specialists, who maintain vast private study-collections of (mostly identified) moths, from all over North America. These individuals have generously provided me with the needed "handles" (i.e., names!) that render it possible to compare and discuss these hundreds of distinct species. In some cases, positive identification (down to the species level) has not been possible. A few of these more "difficult" entities are probably new to science (i.e., still waiting to be named and described). And others will require still further study by specialists, involving genitalic dissection, a more detailed perusal of the literature, or visits to certain institutional collections, before a specific (species) name can ever be attached with any degree of certainty! The applicable generic (genus) name is often more obvious, however, even from the outset. "Problem species" will be indicated by just "sp." following the generic name. The only other handle in these cases will be my own "code-number", one of which is attached to each listed species, just for the sake of tracking totals by family.... (as, "GEO.127", for example). Others may be tentatively identified to species, but will have a (?) following the specific name meaning it may (or may not) be the species that I'm suggesting, but that the name shown represents the current "best guess" offered by the individual who has made this (preliminary) attempt at a determination! Additional feedback from other specialists, to help sort out some of the more "difficult" genera (or species-complexes), will always be most welcome! As this "fine-tuning" comes in, it will be periodically entered into the website, by the insertion of any newly-learned or corrected names, OR by removal of the (?) in those cases where the first suggested name was indeed the correct one. The ideal, of course, would be to have every depicted moth accurately named down to species a worthy goal to strive for, but quite unlikely ever to be attained! However, most of species depicted here have been identified (at least tentatively) to species level, by various living experts of the day. This is merely a starting-point, and can claim to be no more than that! As stated before, it is still a work-in-progress. NEW INSIGHTS WILL CONTINUE TO SURFACE....
Five Acres of Moths
A long-term study documenting the occurrence of more than 900 macro-moth species on 5 acres in lower ASH CANYON (oak/manzanita woodland and grassland ecotone, at 5170 ft. elevation, 13 mi. S. of Sierra Vista).
What to Expect at this Site
SOME POSSIBLE (perhaps valid?) REASONS for visiting this "Backyard" website
About the Backyard Concept
Motivations: Why Publish This Material?
Summarizing How These Projects Evolved
What is Being Collected?
About the Photographs
Bias in Photo Representation
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
GLOSSARY & ABBREVIATIONS + SYMBOLS USED
Miscellaneous Tidbits Dept.
SUPERFAMILIES AND SUBFAMILIES
A FEW GENERIC SYNONYMS
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