Professor David Wagner of the Department of Ecololgy and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut is compiling data for a field guide to the Caterpillars of Western North America. The work will treat 1000 macrolepidopteran and key microlepidopterans caterpillars. Lepidoptera commonly of interest to land managers and/or the general public will be included: e.g., species of conservation interest, those that frequently find their way into classrooms and nature centers, those of medical importance, etc.

Researchers collecting and inventorying moths

Researchers collecting and inventorying moths

collecting moths

Moth collecting: Adult moths will be collected by light trapping with black- and mercury vapor lights. We will use live traps and sheet collecting (to acquire live females which can be egged). Sheet collecting involves hanging a light in front of a white sheet in order to attract moths.

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David’s group is gathering caterpillars and/or gravid females from locations across the Colorado Desert District (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Palomar Mountain State Park, Salton Sea State Recreation Area and Picacho State Recreation Area, etc.)

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