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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

Moths of Peru by Jim Vargo

All photographs 2011 by Jim Vargo


During October of 2010 I was fortunate to be able to accompany a small but friendly group of lepidopterists on a trip that visited a variety of habitats across two states or departments of Peru. The photo at left, above, shows some of the habitat near the lodge at San Pedro, Cuzco. At the right is a view from El Mirador of a portion of the rugged Andes mountains.

Much of the trip was spent in pursuit of butterflies, but there were good opportunities for collecting moths at several places where we stayed at elevations ranging from 491-2950m (about 1,700-10,000 ft.). The entire area we were in is known as the Cosnipata Valley.

Mike McInnis who, like me, is from Indiana, arranged the trip. Gerardo Lamas from Peru was our guide and director. Gerardo is the world's foremost authority on Peruvian Lepidoptera. Other participants were Marcelo Duarte from Brazil, Charley Covell from Florida, and Loran Gibson from Kentucky. I thank them all for their companionship.

Identifying moths from South America can be a daunting task because the fauna is not well known. One exception to this general rule is the Sphingidae, a family for which all of the species I encountered could be found on Bill Oehlke's fine website Sphingidae of the Americas.

I will be grateful to receive proposed identifications for any of the species that I collected, even if the IDs must be treated as tentative.

All proposed identifications should be treated as preliminary and tentative.

  The Plate Series -- Moths

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JV-Peru/JVPindex.shtml -- 01/20/2011