Readers’ wildlife photos

I’m late today, for there are a million things to do and I’m trying to multitask. But let’s relax and look at some lovely moths by reader Paul Doerder. (And please send me your wildlife photos; it’s getting a bit low!). Paul’s notes are indented:

Here are some moth photos, the results of my new hobby of mothing.  Use as you see fit.  Some text is below.

This past summer a former student turned me on to the pleasures of mothing, a chance to be outdoors, after dark, on warm, preferably moonless nights, with insects rarely seen during the day. My simple setup to attract them includes a cotton sheet pinned to a rope suspended between poles or trees and illuminated by a black light CFL (party light) or small mercury vapor lamp. Attracted by the UV light, moths (and some other insects) rest on the sheet where they are easily photographed (challenging if wind blows the sheet).  The photograph turns out to be essential for identification of most species, as many are similar and not very showy. Plus, not all moths are in the major field guide.  Here are a few pics to illustrate some of the variety of smaller moths. I’ve purposely left out showy sphinx and large silkworm moths. This past summer I’ve identified over 100 species and haven’t finished going through the photos. Though mothing may result in sleepless nights, the up side is the variety of species mixed with night sounds of toads, coyotes and owls.

Ailanthus webworm mothAtteva aurea:

Dot-lined white moth,  Artace cribraria:

Double-banded grass-veneer (very small), Crambus agitatellus:

The Hebrew MothPolygrammate hebraeicum [JAC: I wonder if its markings were thought to resemble Hebrew]:

Variable Antepione (seasonal and sexual dimorphism) Antepione thisoaria; pic a bit fuzzy:

White furculaFurcula borealis:

18 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I suspect the Hebrew moth is thought to resemble a Jewish prayer shawl.

    http://cdn3.bigcommerce.com/s-620zx/products/1823/images/2449/rvbhhE_L1h5bm__59995.1467278729.380.380.jpg?c=2

  2. Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Nice photos! 🙂

  3. Posted January 10, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Beautiful stuff! I really admire your pictures. This is a rewarding hobby. I suppose one could stake down the lower corners of the sheet, but the added resistance could also spell disaster in a wind.

    The ailanthus webworm moth is high on my list, since it has a lovely blue sheen that you captured very nicely. There is a lot of this invasive plant around, so I should be able to see it.

    Hope to see your big moths soon!

    • Paul Doerder
      Posted January 10, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Mark. I do anchor the sheet, usually with firewood, but it still shifts in the wind and occasionally comes free. But, memory cards are cheap, so when the sheet shifts, I just take more photos.

  4. sarvesh raykar
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Really nice photographs of moths. I will send you my pics. I will be glad if you can post some of them.

    On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 7:46 PM, Why Evolution Is True wrote:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “I’m late today, for there are a million things > to do and I’m trying to multitask. But let’s relax and look at some lovely > moths by reader Paul Doerder. (And please send me your wildlife photos; > it’s getting a bit low!). Paul’s notes are indented: Here ” >

  5. sarvesh raykar
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    From 1st to last 1)Malbar pied hornbill 2)white rumped shama 3)Red whiskered bulbul 5)Siberian stonechat 6)Black headed ibis (juvenile) 7)Painted stork 8)Purple heron 9)Yellow eyed babbler​ DSCN0244.JPG ​​ DSCN0277.JPG ​​ DSCN0351.JPG ​​ DSCN0352.JPG ​​ DSCN0869.JPG ​​ DSCN1322.JPG ​​ DSCN1371.JPG ​​ DSCN1469.JPG ​​ DSCN2945.JPG ​

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Something went wrong there…!

    • Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Email the photos to j-coyne(at)uchicago(dot)edu

  6. Posted January 10, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Amazing diversity.

  7. Posted January 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Nice mothing… an underrated and rewarding interest, thanks.

  8. Posted January 10, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Very good pics

  9. Mark R.
    Posted January 10, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Wow! These are really cool. Looking forward to more moth photos from you.

  10. Posted January 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    The first one doesn’t look like a typical moth.

  11. Leigh Jackson
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Nature can be quite exquisite.

  12. Posted January 11, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    These moths give me the warm fuzzies. Thanks Paul.

  13. marvol19
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Just wondering, if you know the thread count of the cotton, does that not mean you can get a very accurate measure of the size of these insects?


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