Eric Metzler completes White Sands/Carlsbad Caverns Lepidoptera Surveys

In 2012, Eric Metzler, Adjunct Curator in the ARC, completed a volunteer study begun in 2007 that was supported by the National Park Service to sample moths from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

Eric Metzler.

In 2012, Eric Metzler, Adjunct Curator in the ARC, completed a volunteer study begun in 2007 that was supported by the National Park Service to sample moths from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Eric ran UV light traps in various habitats and locations yearly to sample the Lepidoptera in those areas. Thousands of specimens and hundreds of species were collected, identified and recorded. Several new species of moths were discovered and described, and many other species displayed pale or light colored-forms that were endemic to the light-colored sand habitats in study areas.  Eric’s volunteer research efforts were considered sufficiently significant such that in Sept 2014, the National Park Service awarded Eric their Intermountain Regional Director's Award for Natural Resource Research. The ARC was designated as the main voucher repository for the specimens from these studies. With completion of the project in 2012, the Carlsbad/White Sands ARC voucher specimens comprise 19 families, 200 genera, 319 species, and 3018 specimens of Lepidoptera. These are placed in the main collection in separate unit trays marked to denote them as vouchers. These add a unique faunal assemblage to the ARC from the Southwest US that was poorly represented in our collection prior to this project. To date, Eric has published 7 papers with new species descriptions from this research as well as several popular articles. See Publications and links below.

To read more about these studies:

http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/features/072704/white-on-white

http://www.nps.gov/cave/learn/news/moth-researcher-earns-award.htm

Metzler Vouchers
Moth voucher specimens.

Metzler Vouchers
Moth voucher specimens.

Metzler Vouchers
Moth voucher specimens.

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