Though they share the same order of Lepidoptera, moths have long played second fiddle to butterflies. But of the nearly 180,000 species in that order, fewer than 20,000 are butterflies and skippers. The rest of the 150,000-plus species are moths. And in New Jersey, it's estimated there are more than 1,500 species of moths compared to about 125 species of butterflies. Join Wade Wander as he offers up a chronological look at the amazing diversity of moths that he has photographed at his moth lights at home in Sussex County.
Wade, along with his wife, Sharon, is a partner in Wander Ecological Consultants, investigating wetlands and conducting surveys for Endangered and Threatened species. He has been an active New Jersey naturalist since childhood, interested in birds, reptiles and amphibians, plants, and butterflies (and of course, moths and other insects). He is a past president of the New Jersey Butterfly Club, for which he is a frequent speaker and field-trip leader. At the moth station he runs at their home in Sussex County, Wade has recorded more than 1100 species of moths since 2001.