Call to action

Do you have a black light set up in your backyard to collect insects just for fun?

Do you go on black lighting trips to collect moths?

Do you enjoy the thrill of helping a graduate student with their research?

If any of those apply to you – please read on!
As you are likely aware, I am doing my dissertation research on species in the genus Acronicta. My main goals are to:

  • Collect specimens from around the world to obtain DNA for a phylogeny of the group
  • Raise species from egg to adult to observe various life history traits
  • Explore mimicry complexes, behavior, and bird predation

As a graduate student, I only have so much time and money. I am planning on a bunch of small collecting trips within driving distance this summer, and blacklighting at my apartment and forests around campus.

It would help me tremendously to get freshly killed specimens from around the country (and around the world!) for me to use for DNA analysis.

I have a few collaborators who are helping me by collecting female Acronicta species at lights and keeping them in plastic containers or deli cups until they lay eggs, and then sending the eggs on to me – that is also something I would be thrilled to have more help with.

If any of that sounds like something you could help me with, please let me know by emailing me through my contact page! I can then give more detailed instructions. Even if you cannot identify the species, if you can tell it is in the genus, I’ll take it. You will of course be credited in the acknowledgements of any paper or presentation that involve the species you send to me. I could cover overnight shipment costs.

Thanks, and happy mothing!

Posted on April 16, 2012, in Acronicta, Acronictinae, DNA, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That sounds like it might be doable. I’ll look into whether or not we have a black light. Or how much they cost. My daughter and I are volunteers for FrogWatch USA, and she is helping a friend with some of his butterfly research. I bet I can get her on board for this, too.

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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