National Moth Week is pleased to welcome Oz Rittner of Tel Aviv University in Israel as the newest NMW country coordinator.
Oz is the Lepidoptera collection manager at the Steinhardt Museum at the Israel National Center for Biodiversity Studies at the university. He started and maintains Israel-nature-site.com and has been an NMW partner since the beginning.
“I have a great interest in moths and beetles, in particular,” Oz says. “From the age of 14, I started to collect butterflies, and soon enough I realized that moths are the ones that need more special attention. Later, I started studying beetles as well for the same reason.”
In addition to being the collection manager at the museum, Oz is also a photographer there and is dedicated to capturing images of elusive moths.
He operates light traps across Israel “in order to encounter rare and unique species that elude the eyes otherwise.”
“This gives me the best conditions for photographing but it’s also the best tool to actually see many interesting species and collect large amount of data in just a few hours,” he says. “For me photography and taxonomy are mere tools for studying the insects fauna of Israel, which are very diverse and still in great need of research.”
As a country coordinator, Oz will help promote National Moth Week throughout Israel and encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate by hosting or attending events and submitting photos and data to partner websites.