My personal website, thegreenjay.com
, now has galleries of moth and butterfly photos. As of March 24, 2020, the moth gallery consists of 791 photos of 435 species in 34 families. As of March 13, 2019, the butterfly album consists of 158 photos of 84 species in 6 families. I recently added a new gallery called "Arthropods of a Suburban Yard and Home
". As of May 26, 2020, it consists of 1039 photos of insects, spiders, and other arthropods taken around and in my home near Rochester, NY USA.
I’ve been a nature lover ever since childhood, and insects were the first organisms that fascinated me. While growing up in New York City in the 1950s, from about age 10 to age 14, the Field Book of Insects
by Frank E. Lutz became my bible. I also hung out at the American Museum of Natural History where he was the curator of insects and admired the collections. Unfortunately, I never met Lutz and had no friends or adult mentors who were interested in insects. In those days, I collected and mounted insects myself, although I didn’t like killing them. Although my father was somewhat supportive of my interest in bugs, my mother was vehemently opposed. She insisted that entomology was not a respectable profession and that one could not make a living from it. Perhaps because of her, I didn’t pursue the study of insects as a profession. However, my doctoral research in cell biology at the University of Chicago involved fruit flies (Drosophila
species). I was investigating processes such as the synthesis of ribosomal RNA and messenger RNA that are universal and not unique to insects. Therefore, I abandoned insects later in my career, instead working with cultured mammalian cells and yeasts. It has only been since I retired in 2007 that my dormant interest in insects has reawakened. I no longer collect them, but I enjoy photographing them, preferably in their natural surroundings. However, I am acutely aware that insects can’t always be identified to species from photos.
As of June 30, 2021, my contributions include 18 firsts from New York State, 2 from New Jersey, one from Massachusetts, and 10 firsts for BugGuide.net.
The website also has a gallery showing development of a single monarch butterfly from egg to adult with at least one photo taken every day. This gallery also has a quantitative analysis if caterpillar growth, showing that it is exponential. This gallery can be viewed at Monarch Butterfly development