Moth Ultraviolet Reflectance Survey

The moth ultraviolet (UV) reflectance survey dataset is constituted of images showing the portion above 360 nm of the UVA reflection of specimens belonging to 176 moth species. The dataset images are of 1760 specimens (10 per species) and of the whole drawers where they are stored together with other specimens in the British and Irish Lepidoptera collection at the NHM, London. The dataset contains also images of the same drawers in visible light for comparison.

These moths were collected mainly in the second half of the 19th and across the 20th centuries; their collection information has been transcribed and every specimen was barcoded as part of the iCollections digitisation project, and this information is available on the NHM portal. Through the barcodes it is possible to contextualise the UV reflectance in relation to temporal, geographical and environmental factors.

This survey aims to support further investigations of this character (the UV reflectance), which is well known for playing important roles in butterfly and other animal group communication and taxonomy.

Data and Resources

Cite this as

Elisa Cane, Jonathan Laventhol, Sophie Ledger (2017). Dataset: Moth Ultraviolet Reflectance Survey. Natural History Museum Data Portal (

Retrieved: 20:46 04 Jul 2020 (GMT)

Additional Info

Field Value
Author(s) Elisa Cane, Jonathan Laventhol, Sophie Ledger
Affiliation Natural History Museum
Contributors Alessandro Giusti
Last updated December 1, 2017
Last resource update December 1, 2017 (Moth Ultraviolet Reflectance Survey)
Created December 1, 2017
License Creative Commons CCZero