Citizen Science

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Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:30 pm

Citizen Science

#1 Post by TonyT » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:43 pm

There is a real opportunity for amateur microscopists to aid in the identification of moths. Most moths can be identified by colour pattern but even then there are several 'look-alikes' when other attributes are needed for a positive ID.
Recently, DNA research (e.g., BOLD, (Barcode of Life Data Systems) ) has proved most useful for confirming ID's and establishing relationships between species. DNA research is not a practical option for most of us.
Moth genitalia studies is a tried and true method of species identification and for showing relationships between species. In Europe and especially the UK such a study is well advanced and way ahead of activity in North America.
Methods involved and images of moth genitalia can be found on the Moth Dissection UK website:
Checking the species list there will show that many species still lack genitalia images: ... tuidae&v=1

In North America, with 11,000+ moth species the field is wide open with only a very few individuals posting genitalia images on BugGuide and MPG:
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.e ... ndex.shtml

Many amateur microscopists have the skills and equipment to make useful contributions to this part of science:
1] collecting moths - any light, almost anywhere, will attract moths
2] lots of moth images of NA species and European species on the www for identification
3] for the larger moths, dissection is simple
4] standard slide mounting
5] imaging, low power scope; <5x for many species
6] stacking
7] posting on BG or Moth Dissection UK

Here is the male genitalia of the Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) found in Europe and NA:
noct-pronuba-for-MH.jpg (206.79 KiB) Viewed 521 times

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