MOTH NIGHT 2019 CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA, Guest Post by David Rentz

The annual Moth Night was held in the Botanic Gardens, Cairns on 28 August 2019. More than 50 members of the public attended, including several children. It was a perfect night–warm, windless and dry. Moth Night is an international event with over a dozen countries taking part. It was organised in the Northern Hemisphere during July. Of course, it is mid-summer in July in those climes and moths are at their peak abundance at that time. We decided to hold our Moth Night a month later this year so it would be closer to Spring and maybe a few more moths than usual would be active. It seemed to be a good move but we feel it would have been even more productive if it were not so dry. A good rain a couple of weeks prior to the even might have prompted more insects to emerged from their winter slumber.
Moth-ers assembled at 6.00 pm in the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre for a short talk and to meet one another and view a couple of drawers of local moth specimens that they might encounter later. Light refreshments were served and then the attendees went out to check the two light sheets, We wandered around observing and photographing insects that were active in the vicinity of the light sheets. Most folks agreed that spiders outnumbered the insects. Several large Wolf Spiders and Huntsmen of various sizes were out and about. Lacewing eggs and a few caterpillars as well as nymphal katydids were discovered.
Photos were provided by Kylie Brown (KB), Louisa Grandy (LG) and Buck Richardson (BR).

To see more photos – click here


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NATIONAL MOTH WEEK 2019- Guest post by SAJAN K.C., NEPAL

This is my second year of National Moth Week. While last year I organized a public moth watching event at a national park in Nepal (Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Kathmandu), this year was different. I set up a light trap this year using a 160W Mercury Vapor Lamp and a white sheet during the entire month of July in 2 different districts of Nepal; Tanahun (for about 2 days) and Kaski ( for the rest of the month) with altitudes ranging from 2300 ft.-3800 ft.

Every (almost!) night after 7 PM, I would set up the light trap either at a special location or just on the balcony of my house. I’d then take a chair and sit by the light trap with my camera (also an umbrella if it’s raining). I photographed and recorded more than 300 different species of moths only during the entire month. Some other attendees were Hemipterans, Coleopterans, Hymenopterans, Trichopterans and Mantodeans.

National Moth Week is something that should be expanded and celebrated in countries all across the globe. After all, butterflies aren’t the only ones which are attractive!

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Moth Week in Cyprus – Guest post by Marios Philippou

Cyprus Island is a special place because it is located between three continents. Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The biodiversity of the island is very rich compared to its size (9.251 km ²). We count about 1950 plants, 650 seashells, 250 fishes, more than 6.000 insects, 400 birds including migratory, 30 mammals, 8 snakes, 11 lizards, three amphibians and 120 land snails.
Our mothing event was located in Akrotiri Peninsula, on Sunday the 28th of July at
the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre between 19:00-23:00.
Our event had a presentation about moths, moth colorations from Kids,
presentation for kids, explanation about moth traps.

We had 3 different light setups for the moths and also we had moth wine
ropes.
People and especially the kids were very satisfied.
We attracted about 100 moths and we identified 20 species in *only 3 hours*.

We would like to thanks everyone those joined to our event.

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First but not last… National Moth Week in Las Arrieras Nature Reserve, Costa Rica – Guest post by Dariel Sanabria

Costa Rica is worldwide known by its rich biodiversity. A country full of birds, plants, reptiles, frogs and……. moths! The tropics are home to a vast diversity of this interesting group that is barely known by science. Taking this into consideration, we decided to create a big event for the National Moth Week.

The activity took place at Las Arrieras Nature Reserve, in the Caribbean lowlands of the country, being one of the most diverse regions of Costa Rica! The Reserve protects more than 60 acres of tropical rainforest, rivers, swamps and it also have small patches of disturbed habitat that are in process of reforestation. The variety of habitats enables a lot of niches that moths occupy, resulting in a massive diversity of species!

The event was held on July 27-28. Luck was on our side, as we had perfect climate conditions, despite this being a very rainy place (it is a Rainforest after all). Twelve people participated in the moth-watching event, anxious to learn about these mysterious creatures.

We had three different setups for the moths to be attracted to light (blacklight and fluorescent bulbs were used). Turning on our lights at 18:00, the activity of moths started to warm as the night advanced. The firsts species came from the Crambidae and Pyralidae families, followed by other groups like Notodontidae, Geometridae and Arctiinae appearing later on.

People were especially attracted to the diversity in forms and colors of geometers and tiger moths, but what really caught all of our attention was the enormous Automeris belti with its striking eyelike patterns in the hindwings!

But we not only saw moths, we had nightwalks in the inside of the forest, where we found more insects and frogs! We played a Bingo with the species of moths that were appearing at the traps and games regarding the tropical nature of our country! In the traps we also had the presence of other insects such as praying mantis, giant cockroaches, dobsonflies, beetles, a couple of mantidflies and even a Bullet Ant (the insect responsible of one the most painful stings in the world!).

By the end of the night, everyone was completely satisfied because of the high diversity of moths that we saw and the time spent meeting people that are also interested in this amazing group of insects!

Las Arrieras Nature Reserve showed us more than 120 species of macromoths in only 6 hours! The tropics are incredible and we only can imagine the infinite mysteries that this group is hiding!

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Moth Week event at WWF-India – Guest post by Kaustubh Srikanth

We are delighted to share that WWF-India was invited to participate in the National Moth Week, wherein we organized a moth observation and awareness event at the Secretariat on the 24th July, 2019.

Two moth setups were placed- one near the entrance of the office, while the other was placed in our office’s Butterfly Garden. 

Glad to share that our office backyard is home to over 15 species of moths that were recorded in our backyard itself. Topics regarding moth identification, behaviour, breeding biology and habitats were discussed through informative activities such as moth themed quizzes and moth tambola. The participants were fascinated to spot  the Beet Webworm Moth which was around us through the event.

We had received registrations from 45 participants, but due to rains only 15 were able to make it. Overall we received a positive response on the event organized and we are grateful to have been invited by National Moth Week and Dr. Shubalaxmi Vaylure to guide us in conducting this event.

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First Moth week in Slovakia – Guest post by David Turčáni

For the first time we made mothing event in Slovakia. The organizer was the project Land of Bees, which educates about pollinators, mainly bees. But this year we started a special program about butterflies and moths.  

Our event was held on July 25, 2019. Mothing attracted not only moths, but also people and kids from our local community. We were also pleased by a visitor – 13-year-old enthusiastic entomologist that was talking with such passion about his experiences. We experienced that nature and insects are still attractive for kids. 

We observed approximately 15 species, forexample Phragmatobia fuliginosa, Chiasmia clathrate, Acronicta megacephala, Ematurga atomaria, Chlorissa clorar. Our visitors and even we were so surprised how diverse, colorful and fascinating the moths can be.  

We hope everybody enjoyed this night and we will continue 5th of August with second Moth night. 

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7 Year Old “Little Moth Volunteer” from India – Guest post by Saurabh Singh

National Moth Week is around the corner and the buzz can be felt throughout the scheduled mothing events across the globe, all preparing to make it a grand one. About 40 countries are participating in 2019 edition of NMW and the citizen scientists are waiting eagerly for the moths to glam up their event.

Shreemoyee Das

 

 

Shreemoyee Das (2)A little girl from India, Shreemoyee Das is just 7 year old but her interest towards science and environment is just amazing, every time she gets an opportunity to express her love for nature she beautifully narrates her perspective through her artistic approach and showcases her love through beautiful sketches. She is the youngest volunteer of NMW this edition for us at Jashpur, Chhattisgarh, India.


Shreemoyee Das (3)Shreemoyee has always been on the first notch every time an event is there to serve environment and wildlife. She has been educating their fellow classmates about various creatures of wild and why we need to conserve them. Isn’t this amazing signs for future?? Yes!!! Indeed. I am absolutely sure that Shreemoyee and other kids like her will definitely make this a better planet to live that is degrading day by day.

Shreemoyee Das (1)As always educating a kid is always a good investment to invest on. Keen interest, enthusiasm, energy etc. always on high side and that too with a lifelong awareness be pinned upon their heads. There is a saying that, if you want to educate a society for future and with maximum impact, “educate a child”.

Cheers!!! Happy Mothing

 

 

 

 

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In a War-Torn Country, Moth Watching Offers a Peaceful Diversion

In war-torn Syria, Mudar Salimeh has found an oasis of tranquility by studying moths.


MudarSyria2019 (5)Thanks to Mudar’s interest in moths, Syria is on National Moth Week’s world map for thefirst time since it was started in 2012. He will be setting up lights near a lake in the Mashqita area to observe and photograph moths and invites others to join him.

“I like nature and photographing nature, but I have just started my second year following butterflies and moths,” said Mudar, who adds that he also will be working on the “first Syrian encyclopedia about Lepidoptera.”

MudarSyria2019 (4)“After I saw the event announcement on the National Moth Week website, I said to myself: ‘why I do not join, I am naturally looking for Lepidoptera everywhere’ and because the event specialized in moths, I decided to make overnight camping in the forest.”

He chose  a mountainous area close to a large lake, “part of the coastal mountain range in western Syria, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea,” where he hopes to discover new species.

MudarSyria2019 (6)Mudar says he is still learning about the  moths of Syria, but believes there are many species that deserve attention. “There may be species that are not described in the rest of the world,” he writes. “I think that Syria is the ideal place to get samples from them. “

He hopes to get IDs for his moth photos to properly identify them. National Moth Week recommends that moth-ers submit their photos to our partner organizations listed on the website.  Experts will assist will identification.

MudarSyria2019 (1)Mudar laments that moth watching is not very popular in Syria.

“I live in a country where the war began eight years ago and has not yet ended. This means that there will not be many people to join in the event and maybe I will be there with one or two of my friends,” he said.  

 

“But that will not be frustrating,” he said. ” I am doing this to enjoy myself and certainly will not be alone.”

Mudar’s Syrian Butterflies (and moths) website – click here

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Sandy Lanman

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Why should you register your public or private event with National Moth Week?

Here are some reasons: 

1.National Moth Week provides a central portal for teaching and learning about moths.

Grammiavirgo by CarlBarrentine

Grammiavirgo (Photo: Carl Barrentine)

2. National Moth Week helps researchers see the big picture. Where are people looking at moths? Where is data coming from?

Figure 2 Reproduced by kind permission of Magarell

 

3. We post your event on our events map. This helps people find public events all over the world. 

Royal moth

4. We spotlight great events and groups on our blog (just ask).

5. You’ll receive a beautiful certificate of participation from the NMW team designed by our talented NMW artist Belen Mena.

Jacob2 50 s j

********

Sandy Lanman

 

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Moth Breakfast – Guest post by Marnie Crowell

We are looking forward to our annual Moth Breakfast. We hang our moth sheet and UV lights and the moths come. Then comes dawn and enough moths stay to delight the humans who arrive to be amazed at the moths. We serve coffee and doughnuts and sit on the lawn in front of the moth sheet and talk about what fascinating creatures moths are.

MarnieCrowellMothBreakfast
This year promises to be a little different. We have been getting a Luna or two in recent nights. But that’s not new; what is new to us is an invasion of browntail moths. We have had them in the hundreds for the past few nights.

sheet IMG_3261

Sheet covered with Euproctis chrysorrhoea (L.), a.k.a. browntails

This invasive species has been around for some years but only recently made it up the coast of Maine to where we are. They defoliate trees and the urticating hairs on the caterpillars cause severe rash and even respiratory problems for humans.   

We offered workshops and made it a point to remove from public places as many of the browntail winter webs as we could last February. Total eradication is unlikely but perhaps that helped cut down the numbers where we hold our moth breakfast.

 

 

Good moths? Bad moths?  Lovely moths? Fantastic moths? THOUSANDS of species of moths live in Maine. Most all the rest are not a problem. In fact 98% of them are quiet vegetarians that go about their business not bothering us humans.

 

 

This year we may well get both browntails and a Luna or two. You can bet that we will be talking about diversity, ecosystems, balance, and human actions and responsibilities.

Happy moth watching!

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Marnie will be serving Moth Breakfast in Deer Isle, Maine, USA. 

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