Work is currently in hand on a more comprehensive website on the moths of all of the Eastern Caribbean, based on extensive moth collection on all of the islands between Anguilla and Grenada by M.J.C. Barnes throughout the 1990's. The latter is anticipated to appear sometime in 2002, but in the meantime this website on Grenadine Moths should cover many species also found in other islands of the Eastern Caribbean. The remarkable pioneering website on the Moths of the French Antilles by Bernard Lalanne-Cassou and colleagues at INRA in Paris is an invaluable resource for the region and has been the inspiration for much of my own work.
WHY THE WEBSITE WAS CONSTRUCTED
Identifications on this website have been made with the help of various specialists (see acknowledgements) in an effort to establish a very preliminary inventory of Grenadines moths and enable their identification for the first time without recourse to museum specimens or overseas specialists. Although the total number of species in a given area can never be known exactly, work to date suggests that of the order of 200 species of larger moth may be present in the islands of the Grenadines (just over 120 species being catalogued in this work). Although more than one in every ten animal species on earth is a moth, and the general biodiversity of the new world tropics is incredibly high, there are very few publications on the moths and other insects of the Antilles and the neotropics generally - especially colour identification guides (a notable exception is the butterflies, covered for the whole West Indies by Riley (1975) and Smith, Miller & Miller (1994)). A major purpose of this catalogue and similar internet catalogues (see links) is therefore to stimulate further interest in the study of the invertebrate land fauna of the Eastern Caribbean and elsewhere in the neotropics, which often languishes - especially among the young - for lack of appropriate reference works. An entomological equivalent of the excellent 'Flora of the Lesser Antilles' (see publications) is long overdue. Due to the aforementioned 'sunkissed golden beaches', ecosystems throughout the Caribbean are under increasing pressure from tourism, as well as from general population growth. It is hence also vital to document the biodiversity of these small islands accurately so that precise data can be added to arguments put forward by the growing pro-conservation movement as to which sites are in special need of protection.