Science has yet to discover who the caterpillars are of 95% of Australian moths. Matching adults to their larvae is fundamental to understanding moths and their conservation. Help us match caterpillars to moths in six easy steps. In celebration of National Moth Weeks 10th year, be a MOTH MATCHMAKER and expand moth science!
National Moth Week | July 17-25, 2021
Find and photograph a caterpillar. Take clear close-up photos from above, the side and both ends. Also photo the plant or lichen the caterpillar is on.
Register on Canberra Naturemapr and add your caterpillar and plant photographs as wildlife sightings.
Place a few centimeters of dry soil, a diagonal stick and dead and live leaves from the food plant the caterpillar is on into a glass jar. Collect your caterpillar and place in a jar, with fabric over the top, held in place by a rubber band.
Care for your caterpillar. It may need feeding with leaves from the foodplant until it forms a cocoon. Dipping new leaves in water can increase humidity if your caterpillar is looking dried out. Cocoons may be built attached to the stick or be in the soil.
Photograph the emerged moth. Clear close-ups of head, top, side and rear are required.
Add your moth photographs to Canberra Naturemapr, include the sighting number from step 2 in the public comment box. You will receive an email from a moth expert telling you the identity of the moth you have matched with a caterpillar
For Further guidance see the ‘Caterpillar Collect and Care – Detailed Guide‘
5 thoughts on “Moth Matchmakers Needed”
Is this aimed only at people in the ACT? Or can anyone in Australia participate?
This would make a Wonderful Nature Field Journaling project. Logging observations and drawings in a field journal throughout this process would be amazing.
Is there a NSW group?
Unfortunately not at this stage.
is this project going be happening at a national scale during this year’s Moth Week?