Peterson Moth Guides

Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America - simulated coverPETERSON FIELD GUIDE TO MOTHS OF NORTHEASTERN NORTH AMERICA

Covering nearly 1500 species, illustrated by close to 2000 colour photographs, this book helps identify moths as they are found in their natural resting positions. Most macromoth species accounts include maps (guided by ecoregions) to depict ranges, flight periods are represented visually for quick reference, and of course, the plates utilize the Peterson identification system of arrows to highlight key features for confirming the ID of a species. The book covers the northeastern part of North America, from New Brunswick to Virginia, Missouri to Minnesota, but can still be useful in other parts of the continent.

The book is AVAILABLE NOW, and retails for about US$21 / CA$32. It is currently available at many bookstores and most online retailers.

The image below is representative of the plates in the printed guide.

Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America - simulated image

And just out this year:


This new volume covers the southeastern part of the continent, from North Carolina to Florida, Oklahoma to central Texas, and covers about 1820 species. Like its predecessor, it treats moths in their natural resting positions for easier identification of live specimens. About two-thirds of the species accounts are accompanied by range maps, including some groups that had none in the first book. The guide includes numerous regional specialties of southern Florida and Texas.

The book is AVAILABLE MARCH 13, 2018, and retails for about US$29 / CA$37.


Watch this space!



31 thoughts on “Peterson Moth Guides”

    1. Thanks, Karen! We’re very excited about the project. Dave and I haven’t discussed autographing copies, though it’s something I’d like to make available to people if interested, perhaps by setting something up for people to buy their copy through us and we’ll ship it out signed. A belated Seasons Greetings, hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday!

  1. I can’t wait for your book to come out. As someone who uses the Moth Photographer’s Group often, as well as BugGuide, I look forward to having a print resource that has comparative photos to help me make more accurate IDs. Very exciting. Do you have a way to notify interested folks, like me, when the book is released for purchase?-Nina (MightyMouse)

  2. Moth & Caterpillars of the North Woods has gotten me interested in moths. A guide that covers more than four times the species will come in handy, especially as I get better at mothing. I have only identified 21 moths so far. My main challenge will be to find good locations and good gear nearby to increase my exposure to moths.

  3. We’d love to have you come to one of the Athol Bird and Nature Club’s “MothBalls” We look forward to your guide of our great Northeastern Moths

    1. Thanks for the comments, Dave. You’ve got some great moths to your light. I especially love the photo of the wall under the light in the morning, covered in moths. I read about your Moth Ball last year when friend and fellow blogger Eric Eaton attended; it’s a shame we’re not a bit closer, but if it happens that we could make it we’d be delighted to take up your offer!

  4. The major difficulty introducing moths to beginners is the fact that NO GUIDE offered depictions of live moths. Also, moths are so numerous. Without good visual cues folks interest wanes. You are addressing this. Thanks…. Follow David to the Millers River Environmental Center website. You might be surprised at the attention there.

    1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Brent – I hadn’t realized there was another guide available for our area. Looks great for beginners, I’ll have to check it out.

  5. Thanks for your feedback, everyone! We’re equally excited about the guide, and sure hope it lives up to expectations! Progress has been steady; first draft of maps are done, going into review prior to being finalized. Wish we could speed up the process a little bit, but I have a feeling we’re going to need every bit of that time between now and publication in 2012.

  6. ….I know I should have asked this a long time ago, but will you please, pretty, pretty please move to Texas and get one sorted out for this region? All the best!

  7. Terrific! We could use that guide down here in southeastern PA.

    You have a wonderful blog here. And thanks for turning me on to NBN and all the regional blogs you list in the sidebar.

  8. Seabrooke,
    Congatulations – the layout for the new Peterson Field Guide looks marvelous!

    I have been one of Dave Beadle’s “moth roadies” for the past 7 years, helping to transport & set up moth sheets, lights and traps from Rondeau Provincial Park to High Park (Toronto) to Carden Alvar. I met you when you were one of the hosts for the September moth night that Dave ran at Leslie Street Spit about 3 years ago.

    After years of tagging along and watching Dave identify moths by the hundreds, I have finally starting to catch moths in my own yard in Oshawa. Identifications are an uphill struggle – without a book that shows living moths!

    I can’t wait to get my copy of the new field guide, the instant that Dave and you get it published!


  9. I have been looking for a guide to moths for a long time and I am really looking forward to the publication of this one. Thanks so much!!

    Kathleen Luisa

  10. Your comments really resonated with me as I also took up live Moth trapping in late 2007 and had a very similar experience when trying to identify the local moths. I live in Calgary and have only begun to make real progress with the assistance of a very helpful local entomologist.

    Anyway, really looking forward to your guide! Maybe one day I’ll have enough pictures to produce a photographic guide to the moths of Alberta :).

    All the best,


  11. This is great news. I heard from a friend about this book being in the works.

    Something you should strongly consider is a digital version for iPhones/ipads etc right from the get go (or perhaps delayed, so it doesn’t effect the purchase of ‘real’ copies?).

    The Peterson series seems to just be starting to get into this (, but the Audubon guides are also a good model a href=””>(, as well as the popular iBird Pro and Sibley guides for iPod.

    Looking forward to the book, and good luck with its assembly,


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