Thursday, July 02, 2009

More Moths- And a New Avatar

I'm really starting to get into this moth thing, but first things first. I have a brand new avatar. Megan snapped this shot of me and Weston last evening, as we just peeked our heads into the living room. The soft and diffuse light pouring in from the window really lit us nicely. I've always thought Weston had a dark complexion- but his baby skin, preciously protected from the sun, is so much lighter than my own, sun baked complexion.

So here we go. Two days ago, I showed shots of the non-moth insects that frequent our lamp post. Now, let's go on to the moths.

Number one- This one has very long wings that are held out, so it is very wide, rather than long and narrow. Could it fold its wings and look very different? I'm not sure. I believe this is the first time I photographed this species.

Number two. An interesting white job. Again, I'm not sure if moths have a choice whether to rest with their wings open or closed. This one's white wings seem to be folded up and downwards, almost like a long cape.

And here is a really strange one, it is more antenna than moth. Look at those long, filamentous feelers. I photographed this species (or perhaps genus) last year when I did my first creatures of the night photo adventure. Isn't cool how there are two reflections of it on the glass of the lamppost?

Here's the weird one. Not much to it, and very strange, long, twig-like legs and antennae. This one creeps me out perhaps more than the others, and I'm not exactly sure why. Another view:

Here's a tiny moth clinging to our painted white brick wall of our first story. See those tiny bubbles in the paint? That and the small green bug should give a sense of scale.

And finally, we have this rather handsome looking moth. Alabaster white with a tinge of salty caramel striping.

I encourage you to get out tonight and photograph moths. Digital photography, especially the great macro modes available on every point and shoot cameras, can really make moths interesting. Although they have the same basic body plan and parts, I'm amazed just how different each species really is. So much biodiversity in just our front and backyards, it is almost hard to believe I was missing out on these creatures for so long.



  1. Great candid. You couldn't ask for a better shot of father and son.

  2. Hi Tom,

    Great new shot. What a handsome boy!

    The moth was cool too! lol


  3. You guys are much more handsome than any of those moths! lol. I really like the last white moth with the caramel neat, somebody was hungry when they named that one!

  4. I agree with Chris that you and Weston are much cuter than the moths!

  5. The new avatar is great! Megan is a good photographer :-) What an interesting bunch of moths. Such strange creatures out there in the night.

  6. The moths are nice, but you two are great! He sucks his thumb just like you used to! I love it!

  7. Awesome shot...Your Son looks like a little sweetie!

  8. Just catching up on all my blog reading now that we finally have internet in the home! I'm soooo behind...

    Glad to hear the moth bug has bitten you! :) Here's a few bits of ID help. For the most part, the majority of moths will always hold their wings the same way when at rest. Some exceptions to this might be a few of the pyralids and zales and such.

    The first is a pug, genus Eupithicia or related. Many look similar, so I only know the most distinct species. Pugs have that very distinctive shape you noted, with long, narrow, rounded wings held out flat to the sides.

    #2 looks like an Agreeable Tiger Moth, a worn individual. Tiger moths generally always rest with their wings tented over their back.

    #3 is actually a caddisfly, but you're on your own for the ID of those guys. :) They look a lot like micromoths, it took me a few mothing sessions to finally learn to separate them out.

    #4 and #5 are a grass moth of some sort, subfamily Crambinae. Some of these all-tan guys can look similar to others. These are one of the main groups of moths that flutter out of the grass when you walk through a meadow.

    #6 is likely a Eucosma sp. There are a *lot* of Eucosmas, but this one is probably one similar to this one.

    And #7 is the only one I can ID with any certainty, it's a Lesser Maple Spanworm, Macaria pustularia.