Book Review: Basic Techniques for Observing and Studying Moths and Butterflies by William D. Winter Jr.

Basic Techniques for Observing and Studying Moths and Butterflies by William D. Winter Jr. is normally referred to as the “Techniques” book.  This 446 page manual considered by most Lepidopterists to be the bible of techniques is available from the Lepidopterists’ Society.  I consider it a must have, and after reading all the recomendations in lepidoptera forums, was the first book I purchased when I decided to get back into the study of lepidoptera. Whether you are an experienced avocational or professional Lepidopterist or a rank beginner like me returning after many years, you need this book.  Observational methods, photography, collection, record keeping and rearing are all covered.  The book sells for $29.00 to members of the society or $44.00 to non-members. … Continue reading

Quick Note: Actias Luna in Utah?

The range of the Luna Moth, (Actias luna), a large, beautiful Santurniidae is not known to extend as far East as Utah.  I have read though, (trying to find the reference) that they are sometimes found as far East as middle Montana which would be about the same longitude as eastern Utah. I lived for many years in Uintah county.  On two separate occasions a few years apart, I found one of them clinging to my house below the porch light.  This spring and summer I’ll be going back attempting to collect them and document that their range does in fact extend into Utah. Though it has been several years, I believe there is a good chance for success.  I know the area where … Continue reading

On the Harbor Freight 800 Watt Generator: Usage Tips and Helpful Modifications for the Moth Collector

I’m back into the Lepidoptera collection game this year.  After many years away, I decided that I was coming back to a hobby I’ve loved my whole life.  I particularly enjoy collecting the beautiful moths that we have in Utah, and I am putting together a white sheet collecting kit that consists of three mercury vapor lamps and two compact fluorescent black lights. Night collecting at a white sheet is a tried and true method for gathering moths.  Using a set of Mercury Vapor bulbs will provide the correct wavelength of light to attract most species of nocturnal Lepidoptera. Unless I am collecting in the back yard though, a portable power source is going to be necessary.  The Honda EU1000i is a … Continue reading