Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Project on Early Stages of Moths on all India level: Volunteers Needed

Dear Insectlovers,

I did get few responses for my earlier mail. I would like to write more specifically this time so that even others can start giving thought.

Friends, as you would be knowing study in moths is much in its infancy even today. I am struggling hard to get moths identified as there are hardly any books available. Well some one has to take up this herculean task. As I mentioned its a Herculean task which means its not possible by a single person like me, so we need a team of dedicated people who can work from different places yet contribute to the main cause. I intend to develop the all India level data base on moth life histories for the same I would request members of this group to help me. If you are interested, this is what you can do:

  1. Explore the wilderness as well as garden areas around your hometown.
  2. Suspect each and every plant to have a caterpillar- that's how you stumble upon caterpillars. Look on the undersides of leaves, or look out for half eaten leaves or droppings fallen on the ground.
  3. Collect the caterpillars alongwith its foodplant. Details on rearing of the caterpillar will be provided.
  4. Collect life history data as per the data sheet which will be provided
  5. Key in the data into excel sheets
  6. Get the foodplant identified, one can either send a photograph or actual specimen.
  7. Get the moth identified either with the photograph or specimen (in most cases specimen would be needed) Details on mailing of specimens would be provided. Please note this would be only done if needed.
  8. Lastly Send your data to be part of the main data base here in Mumbai
If you want to do the above then what will you need?

  1. Knowledge on caterpillar rearing
  2. Time to carry out the activity
  3. Computer skills
  4. Self funding for your activity
If you do all of the above, what will you gain?
  1. First hand information on moths
  2. Learning scientific approaches for such studies
  3. Replication of such work is possible if you intend to take up further ecological studies
  4. You would get acknowledgement in scientific publication that uses the data
  5. If you are keen I could help you further to work on a specific group.
If this appeals you then please write to me at I will be providing all necessary training that is needed for the project.

Waiting for your responses. Give your commitment before the moth month ends- that's a good omen ;-))



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