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Seven Backyards
Moths...Moths...Moths...and their Habitats...and other stuff....
Several Long-Term Backyard
Studies in the U.S. and Australia

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Transfer of this material to the web never would have been contemplated were it not for the relentless determination of Dr. Cecile Lumer (founder of the Cochise County Herbarium) and Dr. Paul Opler (Loveland, CO.), whose combined efforts have finally pushed this (card-carrying) Luddite onto the Internet! My 27-year card file of phenological and life history observations were expertly converted into spreadsheets by my wife, Dienie McFarland. They were then transfered to the Web with prodigious help and support from The Computing for Science & Education Institute, a non-profit educational organization located in Bisbee, AZ.
Ron H. Leuschner ("RHL" in the "Det. by" field) provided by far the majority of these identifications or determinations (during the 1980's-90's), directly from his extensive private collection of the North American moth fauna (particularly rich in southwestern spp.). He has visited our Ash Canyon home on many occasions since 1980, each time working his way through yet another segment of my collection, and providing whatever additional names he was able to apply at the time, based on his decades of study and collecting. Ron also has an intimate knowledge of the Los Angeles County Museum's extensive moth collection, where he is a frequent visitor. And, some of my more "difficult" species have also been transported (by RHL) to the Smithsonian Institution (Wash., D.C.), for further comparisons with their vast holdings, or for commentary by certain Lepidopterists on their staff, such as the late Douglas C. Ferguson ("FRG"), for example. Frederick H. Rindge (Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., N.Y. now retired) has also provided valuable assistance with geometrid determinations, ever since the mid 1950's.... More recently, Clifford D. Ferris ("CDF") of Wyoming has been of immense help in sorting out the difficult geometrid genus, Eupithecia ("pugs"), of which there are at least 13 species present on this 5-acre parcel! He has also been able to name a number of other "puzzlers", amongst the more difficult geometrids and small noctuids occurring here, and he continues to provide illuminating feedback from his extensive private collection and library. His contacts with various eastern specialists have further enhanced this undertaking. Ed Knudson (Houston, TX) and Ron Robertson (Santa Rosa, CA.) have also provided a number of valuable identifications over the years. TO ALL OF THESE INDIVIDUALS --- MY DEEPEST GRATITUDE!


  • BKT - J. S. Buckett (deceased)
  • HEN = Chris Henne (deceased)
  • DLF - Don Lafontaine
  • EDK - Ed Knudson
  • FRG - Douglas C. Ferguson (deceased)
  • JGF - J. G. Franclemont (deceased)
  • KEL - Kelly Richers
  • KRK - CARL KIRKWOOD (deceased)
  • LMM - LLOYD M. MARTIN (deceased)
  • MCF - Noel McFarland
  • OPL - Paul Opler
  • RDG - Fredrick H. Rindge (retired)
  • RHL - RON H. LEUSCHNER (deceased)
  • ROB - Ron Robertson
  • SAL - Frank Sala (deceased)
  • SHF - Paul Schaeffer
  • Seven Backyards



    Moths and Memories


    Where Are the Specimens Now?

    ASH CANYON FIRE (2011)

    Background and Introduction

    Elfin Forests, Worldwide: MAQUIS / FYNBOS / KWONGAN / MATORRAL / CHAPARRAL

    About The Backyard Concept

    Motivations: Why Publish This Material?

    Summarizing How These Projects Evolved

    About the Photographs

    Bias in Photo Representation

    Moth Identifications

    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


    Miscellaneous Tidbits Dept.