James S. Miller
National Moth Week
2022, July 23-31
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The Moths of North America
Noctuoidea, Notodontidae (Part, Conclusion):
Order from Wedge
James S. Miller
Greetings moth enthusiasts! Another busy year has passed since my last post. Greg Pohl's updated checklist of the Lepidoptera of North America, North of Mexico is nearly in final review. After much delay an overhaul of the MPG websight has begun. The much atticipated concluding MONA Fascicle on the Notodontidae has been published. But on the heals of the publication, I recieved word from coauthor David Wagner of the passing of it's lead author Jim Miller.
Dr. Wagner has graciously provided the following words to be posted on MPG in Jim's memory:
It is with much sadness that I convey news that James S. Miller, the principal author of the recent Moths of North America volumes on the Notodontidae North of Mexico, died unexpectedly on 24 March. He was 69. Jim was a consummate lepidopterist, evolutionary biologist, skilled artist and writer, world-class monographer, professional musician, artful storyteller, and more.
His two-volume taxonomic work on the Neotropical dioptine (Notodontidae) fauna was awarded the highly prestigious J.O. Westwood Medal for Excellence in insect taxonomy in 2012. The next year, he was awarded the Karl Jordan Medal by the Lepidopterists' Society for his career contributions to the biosystematics of Lepidoptera. His revisionary efforts were global in scope, but often were anchored to the Neotropics, and especially the fauna of Ecuador.
Spent a wonderful night with Jim at a Yanayacu Biological Station in eastern Ecuador, the night Obama was inaugurated. Seven of us hung out, played music, sang, and polished off a half-gallon of tequila. My daughter was along. That's when she decided Jim was her favorite entomologist. If ever there was a Survivor episode for entomologists, Jim would be the last to be voted off the island.
Here is an excerpt from a remembrance that will appear in the summer issue of the American Entomologist: "Jim was among the most skilled and respected biosystematists of our times. Jim's revisionary treatments of Lepidoptera were models for all of us, drawing from a deep respect for the works of his predecessors, careful study of genitalic and whole-body preparations, an appreciation for early stages, and his graduate training in ecology, evolutionary biology, and systematics. He was a skilled writer, using tight, spare yet colorful prose - not verse, but close. His taxonomic works were scholarly, illustrated with his own detailed pen-and-ink artwork, scanning electron micrographs, larval images, and photographs from his field work. He made monography beautiful, elevating regard for the animals that he studied."
His passing is much, much too early and a grave loss for entomology, insect systematics, country music, Mother Nature, and many, many friends.
David L. Wagner Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
National Moth Week. Please take note that National Moth Week 2022 will be held on July 23-31. Click here to register online.
New Notodontidae Fascicle. MONA Fascicle 22.1B, the concluding volume covering Notodontidae, has been published by the Wedge Entomological Research Foundation. MPG has been updated per this important work.
-- Steve Nanz
James S. Miller