New guide for the moths of Dallas/Fort Worth

Hey friends,

I updated the moth guide and created a new moth guide of the 165 most commonly observed moths in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Here it is:

Big time thanks to the folks that observe moths and add GREAT images -- you'll probably notice some of these as being your images (@greglasley @gcwarbler @annikaml @krancmm @cgritz @kimberlietx @pfau_tarleton ... several other folks I can't recall right now).

I created this guide by using the observation search, filtering by the place DFW Metroplex, and the species as Lepidoptera.
These are sorted by the number of observations, so these are the most commonly observed ones. I then copy and pasted the species names of the ones that were moths (as opposed to the butterflies), and created the guide with these.

I'd like to know how many folks you think will use this though before I make it available online. @loarie @kueda @pleary @tiwane and the iNat folks mention that it is a burden to the system, so I definitely don't want to do that, unless there are several people that you think would use something like this.

Yippee! Moths! :)

Posted on 06 March, 2017 16:56 by sambiology sambiology


Really nice guide and images. Most of the species in this guides occur in Western AR and NE OK as well.

Posted by arbutterflynut almost 7 years ago

I use it a lot to ID moths!

Posted by cgritz almost 7 years ago

I'm just now looking at it and wondering the best strategy for using it. Wish it could be sorted by taxonomic category and not just alphabetically.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 7 years ago

@pfau_tarleton The guide is sorted by frequency of observations -- so the most observed ones are listed first.

You can indeed sort it by taxonomy though... or at least I think you can. I have to double check on how to. :)

Posted by sambiology almost 7 years ago

Well, it's a great resource regardless. Can you state in the description that it's sorted by frequency of observations? That'd be useful to know.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 7 years ago

Sam, this was just asked on Google by taxonomy. You would have to do it as the guide's architect.
"You can manually order the species list by clicking the Edit button to the right of the guide's title (next to PDF/Print). This'll take you to the species list. You'll see a rectangle of dots to the right of each species, next to the red X box. When you mouseover that rectangle of dots, your pointer should change, and you should be able to drag and drop that species to a different spot in the list."

@pfau_tarleton There is a "sort" on the right side next to the boxes for "grid" and "card". The dropdown gives you 3 possibilities: guide order (most observed), alpha by common name, alpha by scientific name. Sam though would have to manually re-arrange each species to match accepted taxonomy (like MPG or BugGuide).

Posted by krancmm almost 7 years ago

Ah -- ok.

Well, I'll change the description of the guide a little bit. I want to keep it as the most frequently observed come first -- this is a guide more for the laymen rather than the moth taxonomist. The moth taxonomist can still view the sorting on the side. :) The "observation screen" is pretty good as a guide as well:

As more and more moths get observed, perhaps some new individuals will pop up and I'll have to rearrange the guide (by making a new guide).

I'm going to have it printed out for the various moth nights that I'll attend. :)

Posted by sambiology almost 7 years ago

Except that the "taxonomy" on the left side is ridiculously ordered by superfamily alpha...matching no known taxonomic sorting/ordering.

Posted by krancmm almost 7 years ago

Great job, Sam! I think this will be an awesome help to many that are just starting out with moths in our area. However, as long as it is not sorted according to taxonomy it probably wouldn't be much help to me. Same goes for the species list in Lepidoptera of Texas or leps in the DFW Wildlife project. The reason is that when I'm looking for moths it's usually the more unusual ones. That means I have to scroll, and scroll, and scroll - and then it never shows up since there seems to be a cut off at a certain amount of species that can be shown in that type of species list. Instead, I'm using Monica's, Chuck's or Greg's lists, filter for leps or for the family I think the moth belongs to and get it all sorted nicely - and showing every observation. I have found this to be the most efficient way to find IDs. All three of them also have excellent pictures of their observations. :-)

Posted by annikaml almost 7 years ago

Absolutely -- I'm with you, Annika. Although, I'm still at a level that I don't yet have the common ones memorized! So I have to use this guide to refresh my memory.

I can definitely see where a taxonomic sorting would be helpful -- it's nice to see the moths that are related that look similar (comparing and contrasting the differences). Maybe later on, I can work on a complete taxonomic guide for the 500 or so species moths documented in DFW. I'm sure there are a lot more though -- as we get more moth-ers, I think more species will get added to the DFW list! :)

Posted by sambiology almost 7 years ago

I like having it handy at mothing events! It helps me put a name to a moth instantly. I think it will help folks that are mothing at an event for the first time. When I'm looking for an ID on iNat though, I use other techniques like Annika mentioned.

Posted by kimberlietx almost 7 years ago

As Kimberlie says, they will be great to bring to mothing events.

Posted by annikaml almost 7 years ago

As someone who is not yet familiar with many moths, it will be a wonderful resource. Thanks for taking the time to create this.

Posted by suz almost 7 years ago

Even though I'm not in the DFW area, I sure do appreciate your care for the iNat community, Sam, especially for those amateurs among us who need some help with the basics of identification. You're a gem!

Posted by forester93 almost 7 years ago

Another big WOW!!!
This will be a great tool for me! Thanks so much for spending the time and effort to help all of us iNat folks and other naturalists in the ID of moths.

I am daily amazed at the number of moth species there are... Chuck and Greg are continually adding observations of moths that are unfamiliar to me. The great photos really help a lot.

Thanks again for sharing this!

Posted by connlindajo almost 7 years ago

Oh, I see now how the taxonomy groupings on the right work....that's mighty fine enough! Thanks for doing this Sam! Look forward to making use of it the next warm night.

Posted by pfau_tarleton almost 7 years ago

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