endangered luna moths?

Pierre A Plauzoles ae779 at lafn.org
Wed Sep 17 02:57:24 EDT 1997

In a previous article, evoluhol at magnum.wpe.com () says:

>In article <Pine.GSO.3.96.970915091331.22368C-100000 at nature.berkeley.edu>,
>kruse at NATURE.BERKELEY.EDU wrote:
>> On 14 Sep 1997, Richard L. Molay wrote:
>> > You described a Luna Moth caterpillar.  Actias luna.  My bug book says
>> > it is an endangered species,
>> (snip)
>> Yikes!  What book says this?
>I have discovered that self appointed "saviors" of some of their favorites
>love to make claims, even in writing, which are false.  In many parts of
>the country, the luna moth is the most common of the Saturnids.  It goes
>through high and low population cycles like any other arthropod.
>Here in the woods in the north east, in late May/early June, I, like
>many others, have my porch covered 10 to over 50 of them in the morning
>when I leave the light on.

I disgree with your assessment of the the usage of the term
"endangered".  Perhaps the term is not used in the same context, but
their are many species that are indeed endangered by the use of Bt and
the like.  This does not mean they need to be *listed* as such on a State
or Federal list, but perhaps we should nevertheless think twice about
what we are doing to our environment with the pesticides we use, be they
*labelled* as "environmentally safe" or not.

Even the loss of popularity of a particular plant often used as an
ornamental that might happen to be a host can have a devastating effect
on the status of a species.  I am thinking of the fall from favor of
pipevine (Aristolochia sp) here in southern California several decades
ago, which left the pipevine swallowtail with no host to speak of in
southern California at all.
Pierre Plauzoles   ae779 at lafn.org
Canoga Park, California

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