Selling Live Moths

gwang gwang at
Fri Jun 9 18:51:23 EDT 2000

Hi y'all

These days, it seems to me that there are more and more people out there
selling live moths, and a few questions/concerns popped up during a
recent conversation I had with my biology teacher on this subject.

First, I have detected no one in the business who has stated when
advertising that they won't sell live moths outside of their indigenous
range.  I of course, have some faith that as naturalists, many of these
people do exercise caution in who they sell these moths to, but
nonetheless, this faith is not absolute.  For example, Hyalophora
cecropia is not found west of the rockies, but I'm confident that it
would not be hard for someone living there to obtain some cecropias.

Moreover, there should be concern even if these moths are sold within
their indigenous range.  For a moth with a large distribution, there may
be unique populations contained within that range (they may not be
recognized subspecies, but they may be unique nonetheless), and the
introduction (accidental or otherwise) of moths from another population
could potentially hinder/aid gene flow in, and therefore change that

I welcome any thoughts/comments on this topic.

Xi Wang - fellow heterocerophile

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