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Digital Guide to Moth Identification

Valerie G. Bugh's Moths of Austin, Texas
All Photographs Valerie G. Bugh


I've had an interest in nature, and especially taxonomy, since I was a child. The availability of reasonably priced digital cameras coincided with my retirement from my daytime job and now I spend several mornings a week out in the field, photographing everything. I find that I have the best luck with bones, fossils, plants, fungi, invertebrates and herps (I believe lack of mobility is key here), so these are my primary subjects. Although moths did not start out to be a major component of my daily photos, Bob Patterson's encouragement and dedication to this site have certainly provided inspiration and assistance with deciphering the myriad species. Incentive has also come in the form of interest from members of the Austin Butterfly Forum. As more people ask questions about moths, I feel obligated to learn more to make my answers as complete as possible.

My attempts at raising caterpillars have not been particularly successful, but the enthusiasm and expertise of David Wagner has prompted me to try it a few times. There is a certain satisfaction in being positive of the larval identification due to seeing the adult that emerges.

While I find many of my moth subjects while just wandering through woods, fields, and around flowers, I have discovered that the side of my house, as well as stone walls where there is a light on during the night are great places to check each morning. I frequently visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center when they open and the first places I look are along the walls and concrete steps next to the lights. People sometimes think this is strange behavior.

I use a pocket-sized Pentax Optio 555 point-and-shoot camera, which I carry with me almost constantly. I rarely use flash and no tripod, but often steady the camera on rocks, walls, the ground, my knee, shoe, etc.

The Collection

    • Plate 01.0
       


    • 0001 - 2700  :  Micromoths
    • Plate 02.0
       

    • 2701 - 4702  :  Tortricidae through Limacodidae
    • Plate 03.0
       

    • 4703 - 6255  :  Crambidae through Drepanidae
    • Plate 04.0
       

    • 6256 - 7648  :  Geometridae
    • Plate 05.0
       

    • 7649 - 8321  :  Epiplemidae - Lymantriidae
    • Plate 06.0
       

    • 8322-11233  :  Noctuidae

Unidentified Moths and Larvae

  • Plate 10 -- 2008 Unidentified Moths

  • Plate 11 -- 2008 Unidentified Larvae




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

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