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Digital Guide to Moth Identification


About MPG Distribution Maps
by Bob Patterson - email: MPG Mapping Data

The MPG mapping project began in October of 2011. A database of 35,000 records was established using data from Mississippi Entomological Museum, two fascicles from the Moths of North America series, and a list contributed by Nolie Schneider of 800+ species she has photographed in her yard in suburban Ottawa, Canada. Additional data from many sources (listed below) have been added to the database. Of about 1,042,198 records processed thus far approximately 500,657 passed through a filtering process and now reside in the database. The distribution of these data is shown in the summary presented below.

Distribution maps now appear at the top of all MPG species pages for butterflies and moths. For some species we do not yet have data to display on the map. In other cases the data are not yet complete enough to adequately describe the range of the species. Collectors and photographers can substantially improve mapping coverage by submitting lists of species they have encountered. See details below.


Database Holdings as of  09-Nov-2013
 
State/ProvinceRecordsSpecies
   
Alberta15,0182,036
Alaska1,239310
British Columbia11,8222,041
Greenland22
Labrador321225
Manitoba3,0781,489
New Brunswick6,7091,284
Newfoundland1,036570
Nova Scotia1,9361,026
Northwest Territories699364
Nunavut17785
Ontario15,4932,481
Prince Edward Island398316
Quebec8,3152,205
Saskatchewan2,2221,270
Yukon Territory1,333481
   
Northern Areas69,7984,360
   
Alabama5,2011,389
Arizona14,7623,733
Arkansas3,024925
California52,7244,417
Colorado8,8832,017
Connecticut3,035603
Delaware384243
District of Columbia9179
Florida27,8423,048
Georgia8,0882,717
Idaho1,668606
Illinois12,2172,195
Indiana5,7822,266
Iowa5,5491,119
Kansas2,156804
Kentucky32,9322,407
Louisiana4,7041,642
Maine13,7682,713
Maryland12,7992,395
Massachusetts5,2651,581
Michigan6,2201,711
Minnesota6,0721,510
Mississippi8,4981,403
Missouri1,614712
Montana3,8521,300
Nebraska1,967616
Nevada3,5261,349
New Hampshire2,7171,263
New Jersey3,8751,319
New Mexico6,0831,971
New York4,4671,375
North Carolina23,9292,267
North Dakota1,564606
Ohio44,0972,647
Oklahoma9,7371,949
Oregon5,0761,400
Pennsylvania4,8481,511
Rhode Island267203
South Carolina10,2762,081
South Dakota815382
Tennessee11,2562,062
Texas18,4623,265
Utah3,6381,160
Vermont557398
Virginia2,9081,041
Washington10,9591,738
West Virginia4,2351,669
Wisconsin7,0431,700
Wyoming2,122888
   
U.S.A. Lower 48 Total431,55411,510
   
Total for North America501,35211,802
   
Aguascalientes32
Baja California Norte256213
Baja California Sur6146
Campeche15592
Chihuahua3430
Chiapas10464
Coahuila5050
Colima7249
Durango7541
Guanajuato9077
Guerrero77
Hidalgo256124
Jalisco8483
Mexico16263
Michoacan345150
Morales1310
Nayarit65
Nuevo Leon3832
Oaxaca23285
Puebla1712
Queretaro12191
Quintana Roo521142
San Luis Potosi2421
Sinaloa2115
Sonora4535
Tabasco14055
Tamaulipas1817
Tlaxcala11
Veracruz3725
Yucatan3417
Zacatecas22
Mexico Total3,024663
   
Antigua66
Bahamas4943
Barbados1111
Belize2019
Bermuda84
Cayman Isloands166
Costa Rica188
Cuba728716
Dominica115
Dominican Republic414390
El Salvador4442
Grenada55
Guatemala5147
Haiti44
Honduras32
Jamaica344319
Martinique190190
Nicaragua6160
Puerto Rico944510
St. Croix11
St. Lucia77
St. Vincent143142
Trinidad53
Virgin Islands302255
Southern Area3,385978
   
Database Grand Total507,76411,888

 

For all records from the Lower-48 United States of America we "normalize" the data to reflect center-of-county locations. Thus, records from my Prince George's County yard in Bowie, MD will "compete" for entry into the database with records for the same species coming from the United States National Museum, John Glaser's collection, and several other photographers who post P.G. County records at BugGuide. Only one record is needed from our county for any species. The blue dot representing a moth from my yard spans a 35-mile diameter area. In my case it covers the area from Washington, D.C. to Annapolis, MD and Chesapeake Bay and includes most of two counties. Standardizing the data by using center-of-county lati-longs permits us to do the same level of mapping with 300,000 records that would be accomplished with 700,000 or 1,000,000.

The database and maps can accommodate records from Mexico and the Caribbean provided that they are for species that appear on our North American checklist. For records from the United Mexican States we use center-of-state lati-longs. For islands of the Caribbean we use center-of-island mapping points.

The vast areas of Canada and Alaska represent a special problem. In much of that region there are no counties, but rather large administrative areas. So, for these northern areas we convert all lati-longs to the center of an approximately 35-mile-square in which the record falls.


10911 - Anicla infecta       Larger Map and Month Chart

Collectors and photographers can substantially improve mapping coverage by submitting lists of species they have encountered. Please use a separate list for each county (or in Canada, each location) for which you have data. Please send your lists to MPG Mapping Data. If you do not have Excel or some other spreadsheet application, a simple list can be provided in which the three data fields are separated by commas:

0021.00,Sthenopis thule,Jul

Using an Excel file, a report might look like this:

Report From: Bob Patterson
Location: 12601 Buckingham Drive, Bowie
County: Prince George's
State/Prov.: Maryland
Lati-Long: 38.969915,-76.732801

0021.00Sthenopis thuleJul
0269.00Nemapogon multistriatellaAug
0639.00Caloptilia stigmatellaApr
0639.00Caloptilia stigmatellaAug
0922.00Depressaria pastinacellaAug
0922.00Depressaria pastinacellaMay
2278.00Dichomeris glenniJul
2301.20Dichomeris isaJun
2301.20Dichomeris isaAug
2492.10Acrolepiopsis assectellaApr
2492.10Acrolepiopsis assectellaMay
3334.00Catastega aceriellaJun

or.......

0021.00Sthenopis thuleJul  
0269.00Nemapogon multistriatellaAug  
0639.00Caloptilia stigmatellaAprAugOct
0922.00Depressaria pastinacellaMaySep 
2278.00Dichomeris glenniJul  
2301.20Dichomeris isaJunAug 
2492.10Acrolepiopsis assectellaAprMayJun
3334.00Catastega aceriellaJun  
9669.00Spodoptera ornithogalliAugSep 
9679.00Elaphria chalcedoniaJunJul 

Please do not submit single records. We simply will be unable to handle a massive amount of email. Send your accumulated data and then supplement it with annual reports. If you are posting all of your photographs at BugGuide we will obtain the information there. We will not display personal information. Contributors will be acknowledged in a listing on this page.

To obtain accurate lati-longs, you may use this online application: Latitude and Longitude of a Point. It will pinpoint almost any address, place name, park or preserved area in the United States or Canada. Unsure about a county name? Type "Santa Ana NWR, Texas, County" into Google and you will quickly find out it is in Hidalgo County.

If records from the USA include the county name you do not have to supply lati-longs. We have a computer program that will do it. If you supply accurately spelled, currently valid, Latin names you do not need to supply Hodges numbers. We have a program that will do that, also. But it will be very helpful if you supply both the Hodges number and the Latin name.

You may download a copy of the North American Checklist and use it for correct spellings and numbers. It is an Excel table of 2.41 MB. Download


10911 - Anicla infecta (chart is truncated)

We will supply to compilers of state/provincial, regional or specialty databases records from the MPG mapping database, and request contributions from all such sources. Please keep in mind that our lati-long data are as described above, and that we store only the month and not complete dates. We do not store data pertaining to individual collectors or photographers.

We solicit the assistance of volunteers who will extract mapping information from journal articles, books, monographs and Internet documents. Use of an Excel file or other spreadsheet application may be necessary. Technical expertise is not required. If you would like to help please contact MPG.


Funding for this project was supplied by Mississippi Entomological Museum. Development of software for mapping applications and advice regarding data requirements were provided by Mike Boone. Database tables and processing of data were contributed by Bob Patterson.



Contributors to the MPG Mapping Project

Museum Collection Databases

  • Canadian National Collection - Don Lafontaine, Chris Schmidt
  • Illinois State Museum - Everett Cashatt
  • Maine Forest Service - Charlene Donahue
  • Mississippi Entomological Museum - Richard L. Brown
  • Peabody Museum of Natural History - Larry Gall
  • E. H. Strickland Entomological Museum - Felix Sperling
  • United States National Museum - John Brown, Mike Pogue
  • University of Guelph: BOLD Barcoding - Paul Hebert
Publications: CD, Print and Internet

Nolie Schneider, Cynthia Van Den Broek and Bob Patterson have contributed data extracted from .pdf files and other published reference material. You are invited to join in this valuable activity. Send email to MPG to volunteer.
  • The Lepidopterists' Society Season Summaries - Leroy Koehn
  • Wedge Entomological Research Foundation
      MONA fascicle 7.6 - Gelechiidae: Ron W. Hodges
      MONA fascicle 8.1 - Tortricidae: Jerry Powell & John Brown
      MONA fascicle 17.2 - Geometridae: Douglas Ferguson
      MONA fascicle 27.1 - Noctuidae: Don Lafontaine
      MONA fascicle (forthcoming) - Acronictinae: Chris Schmidt & Gary Anweiler
  • BugGuide: Iowa State University - John VanDyk
  • Moths of Maine - Austin Brower
  • Moths of Maryland - John Glaser
  • Illinois Natural History Survey - Glenn Collection
  • Lepidoptera of Florida - John Heppner
  • New Brunswick & Maritimes - Tony Thomas
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Mike Pogue, Brian Scholtens
  • Cuba - Rayner N. Aguilo, Alejandro B. Cañamero
  • CBIF - Canadian Biological Information Facility - Macromoths
  • Pacific Northwest Moths - Lars Crabo
State Databases
  • California, Nevada, Arizona - Kelly Richers
  • Moths of Iowa - Jim Durbin
  • Kentucky Butterfly Net - Jeff Marcus
  • Louisiana Moths - Vernon A. Brou, Jr.
  • North Carolina State Parks - Tom Howard
  • Ohio Lepidopterists - Rick Ruggles
  • Moths of Puerto Rico - Aaron Cavosie
  • South Carolina Moths - John Snyder
Collectors and Photographers
  • Val Albu - Continent-wide collection
  • Ken Bliss - NJ, MX
  • Richard M. Brown - Hemisphere Butterflies
  • Jean Dane - ME
  • Bill Dempwolf - KY, NM, OK, TX
  • Tom Dimock - CA
  • Julian Donahue - Symmerista
  • Lance Durden - St. Catherines Island, GA
  • Joe Garris - NJ
  • John Glaser - WV
  • Jennifer Hanson - NJ
  • Betsy Higgins - MA
  • Kyle Johnson - MI, MN, WI
  • Steve Johnson - PA
  • Deb Lievens - NH
  • Stuart Marcus - TX
  • Debbie Matthews - Pterophoridae
  • Eric Metzler - Midwest, Southwest research collection
  • Tomas Mustelin - WA, CA
  • Arne Myrabo - MN
  • Steve Nanz - NY, ME, PA
  • Bob Nuelle, Jr. - East TX Natural History Survey
  • Bob Patterson - MD, FL
  • Evan Rand - Southwest
  • Russell Rahn - GA, KY, TX
  • Greg Raterman - KY
  • David Reed - ME, MN
  • Kelly Richers - Continent-wide collection
  • Dave Roberts - MD
  • Jeff Rouze - TX
  • Michael Sabourin - Tortricidae Research Collection
  • Stephanie Shank - Mostly Southwestern
  • Paul Sweet - IL
  • William Taft - Sesiidae Research Collection
  • Nolie Schneider - ON
  • Jim Taylor - GA
  • Martin Turgeon - NB, QB
  • Jim Vargo - IN
  • Dennis Washburn - VA
  • Karl Wilson - NY
  • Carol Wolf - FL, MI
  • Robert Zimlich - AL



Moth Photographers Group  at the  Mississippi Entomological Museum  at the  Mississippi State University

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