Simple protocol for monitoring moths
- Before photographing moths --
- Set up an album on Discover Life
If you don't already have one, see http://www.discoverlife.org/pa/ph and email firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Choose site and light source
You can use your porch light(s).
We recommend 100-watt compact fluorescent, bright white bulbs.
If you have one, also use a black light.
A location far from other light sources is best.
- On nights you photograph --
- Turn on the light(s) before dark
- Photograph your cell phone
so that we can verify the date and time on your camera.
- Document your location
If it is the first time you've taken photos for Discover Life at the site,
photograph a landmark or, better yet, a GPS reading.
Good landmarks are buildings, street signs, mail boxes, and trail head markers.
- Photograph each light and the moths on the surrounding background
This helps us estimate moth abundance.
- Photograph every species of moth each night
As late in the evening as you can, or before dawn, take a close-up
photograph of each species. If you are unsure of an identification,
especially if you are a beginner, take a photograph of every moth.
- Turn off the light at least 30 minutes before dawn
so that the moths fly away and don't get eaten by birds.
Final steps --
- Upload your photos
- Edit information on where you took them
- Help us identify your moths (optional)
Once identified, species are automatically added to your life list,
maps and our seasonal graphs.
Job done. Thank you!