Tomorrow, on Saturday, July 21, Moth Week will commence! Running until Sunday, July 29, Moth Week is a way for people of all ages all around the world to come together to celebrate the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths. These self-described “Moth-ers” are in fact citizen scientists, as one of the key missions of Moth Week is to collect moth observation data.
Though many of the events are in the United States, this is truly a worldwide effort. There is an event in Iruña de Oca, a municipality in the Basque County of Northern Spain, an event in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and events in many places in between. For an event near you, use SciStarter’s event finder tool.
Every Moth Week event is different. At the Moth Week event in Tuscon, Arizona hosted by the Pima County Department of Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation, Naturalist Jeff Babson is giving a talk on the nocturnal diversity of moths, while in Bangalore, India, students will walk the campus to record moth diversity and species sighted. However, every Moth Week event promises a good time.
This might lead you to ask: why moths? National Moth Week answers this question on their website. Moths are special: they’re diverse with as many as 500,000 different species, they’ve adapted to different habitats all over the globe, they have an array of colors and patterns on their wings, and they’re nocturnal. Why are we documenting them? Because there’s so much more to learn. We don’t know how many types of moths are out there, and we need help from citizen scientists everywhere to find out.
National Moth Week is a project of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, a nonprofit. It’s super easy to get involved with National Moth Week in your community: you can join an already existing event or register one of your own. You can register public events after National Moth Week, too! Register an event on their website.
Don’t be afraid to moth on your own, either. National Moth Week works with several organizations for data collection, and they encourage you to submit photos of moths to as many organizations as you want. You don’t have to identify the species to submit photos!
When citizen scientists come together, great things can happen. Happy mothing!
Check out more citizen science projects through the SciStarter Project Finder!