It’s time once again to post the latest revision of my unofficial list of the moths of Plainsboro Township. This fifth edition lists 393 species, which is a considerable jump over the fourth edition’s total of 344 species. Although new species are added every year, the large number of new species in 2016 can be ascribed to four nights of mothing at Plainsboro Preserve from late June to late July.
Even though our setup did not include a mercury vapor lamp, we ended up with a total list of 128 species identified during the month or so that we ran this informal survey. There were also 16 different species complexes (i.e., moths that could only be identified to genus or to species pair), as well as an assortment of yet-unidentified moths. A total of 64 species and 6 species complexes were new for Plainsboro Preserve. June 25 and July 27 ended up being our biggest nights; those also happened to be the nights we stayed out later, which probably has something to do with it. All in all, running our own sheet setup was an interesting and educational experience. Thanks to New Jersey Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve for allowing us the opportunity.