[Leps-l] moth sampling

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Tue Jan 20 08:35:17 EST 2015

Hi Tony,  I think your data are interesting and reflect a somewhat "mature" survey end point. - you are at the 39 records/species point.  Here is what I have at the 29 records/species mark for Belize butterflies at the (27,954 record for 958 species - hence a 25% less mature survey in my mind).  

406 species known from 5 or fewer records (note that in this accounting, a record may a more than one specimen - it's a measure of a collection of a species at a place on a unique date, irrespective of how many individuals were recorded):  

145 species known from single capture events 
91 species known from 2 events: 
61 species known from 3 records:
44 from 4 records;
65 from 5 records
One species has 459 records

The similarities are striking - no?

Our data set is probably about 4,000 records behind, and the change in the shape of the graph should be interesting once we decide to pull the plug and claim that we are "done".  But I hope to see the number of rarely encountered species decline as a function of "time" (as measured by # of records) 


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-----Original Message-----
From: leps-l-bounces at mailman.yale.edu [mailto:leps-l-bounces at mailman.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Tony Thomas
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2015 4:46 PM
To: leps-l at mailman.yale.edu
Subject: [Leps-l] moth sampling

Hi All,

Tidying up my computer's hard drive I came across a graph from my  moth diversity work in Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, Canada; many years ago.
Out of 401 species of macros with 15,851 specimens, about half (approx. 190 species) had 5 or less individual moths The number of species with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 moths was 75, 40, 35, 20, 20 respectively. At the other extreme one species had 1,253 individuals.
I believe this demonstrates that for the best inventory of species one should collect every night if one wishes to collect the very rare species (i.e., those with only 1 individual that comes to a trap).
Of course my data doesn't rule out the possibility that if  traps are operated just once every 5 days the singleton that would have been caught on day 2, when traps are operated nightly,  may be caught on day 5.

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