Find more projects


Main Project Information
Presented By Discover Life
Goal To understand how ecological factors affect moths.
Task Analyze moth data, photograph moths & upload, or help ID moths.
Where ,

Moths are incredibly diverse, are ecologically important as plant eaters, pollinators, and food for songbirds. How will climate and other large-scale ecological factors affect moths?

Three components - choose any or all:

1) Moth Math - analyze over five years of moth phenology data, correlate with weather, find patterns. (Best for high school AP Bio or undergraduate intro bio, high school and undergraduate math).

2) Take photographs of moths at your porch light and upload to Discover Life, either our pre-selected "Dark Dozen" and upload to Twitter or Instagram @darkdozenmoths (or if eager, photograph any other moths you find at your site and upload to an album on

3) Help us identify moths that you and others have uploaded, so that photographs become data. Participants can compare moths at their own site with moths from other sites, to answer their own original questions and do real science.

How to Join
Social Media
Required Gear

Moth Math - Computer, internet.
Dark Dozen or other moth photo upload - Porchlight or other light to attract moths, camera with good macro function, computer with internet access.
Moth ID - computer, internet (other moth ID resources such as Peterson Guides by Covell, or by Beadle & Leckie.

Special Skills Moth Math: high school level mathematics and biology Dark Dozen: intermediate photography; computer, internet Moth identification: advanced entomology skills
Ideal Age Group High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At night, At home
Class Materials
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags climate change, identify, insects, math, moths, photography, STEM
Project Updated 05/23/2018