Project Overview

PNW Moths is the result of a collaborative effort involving many individuals and institutions.  Our goal was to build a site that would provide useful information for moth experts and non-experts alike.  PNW Moths is an ongoing work in progress, as we anticipate adding more content, new data, discovering new species for the region, and adding new functions to the site over time. In addition, we would like to add moths from other families (including the Geometridae, Pyralidae, and Tortricidae), as time and funding allow. If you have ideas for how we could improve the site, or have data you would like to share, please feel free to contact us .

Open Source

The source code for the PNW Moths project is released under the GNU GPL license and is available on github in the MatteBailey/pnwinsects-app  repository. Within the repository, you'll find a README with a comprehensive list of dependencies and an installation guide. Below is a high level overview of the architecture, should you wish to use our project as a model for your own.

Framework and CMS

PNW Moths was originally built on top of the Django 1.2 framework and Django-CMS 2.1 content management system, and we have updated it with periodic updates to new versions. If starting from scratch, we'd recommend basing your website off the latest versions of both of these software packages.


PNW Moths relies on MySQL (originally v 5.1) as our database storage system and Django South as our schema migration tool (for keeping database consistency when making changes to our data models). If starting from scratch, we'd recommend a database backend with transactions support such as PostgreSQL. Below is a visualization of our database schema created from our Django models.

database 7/7/2012


We make use of two closed source applications, one of which is Zoomify HTML5. This application is used to display high resolution images on our factsheets and plate images page. We have been very happy with the application and at the time of writing have not found any open source competitors. Zoomify is not included in our github repository.


The second closed source application used on our site is Lucid 3.5, which we used to build and run the interactive identification key.  Unfortunately, our key is no longer compatible with current browser versions. We are planning on developing a new interactive key to replace the Lucid key.