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Moths revealed

June 18, 2009

Did you know there are about 8,000 named species of moths in our region? And, although most are unnoticed by the public, many attract attention when their larvae create economic damage.

Paul A. Opler, professor in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, recently finished coauthoring a new book titled Moths of Western North America with Jerry A. Powell, professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Moths and their plant relationships

Insects boast incredible diversity, and this book treats an important component of the western insect biota that has not been summarized before – moths and their plant relationships.

Economic impact

There are about 8,000 named species of moths in our region, and although most are unnoticed by the public, many attract attention when their larvae create economic damage:

  • eating holes in woolens
  • infesting stored foods
  • boring into apples
  • damaging crops and garden plants
  • defoliating forest

In contrast to previous North American moth books, this volume discusses and illustrates about 25 percent of the species in every family, including the tiny species, making this the most comprehensive volume in its field.

More about the book

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Originally published in the Collge of Agricultural Sciences Ag Family newsletter, Spring 2009.