Today we’re sharing with you some beautiful moth photography by Warren Krupsaw.
“With more than a half-century experience as a serious nature photographer (landscape & detail), I’ve always had an interest in insects as well as other animals and so they have been a part of my photographic fodder.
It has been my experience that most photography of Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies) is for purposes of identification. So obviously it is the wing shape and coloration that are of primary importance.
My idea, upon discovering that my newly acquired (several years ago) digital camera could be operated by one hand and auto-focus on my other hand’s fingertip, was to use that fingertip as a setting and scale (size) reference.
Experimenting with local moths, it soon became apparent that not only were there great wing pattern variations, but their visages also were distinctive and fascinating and so my adventure of “getting up close and personal” began.”
Below are just a few of Krupsaw’s beautiful photos, you can check out more in this article on the Photo Argus and at Warren’s gallery:
Luna moth- Actias luna by W. Krupsaw
”Fluffy” – Spilosoma dubia by W. Krupsaw
Adrian Thysse recently shared his fascinating and beautiful video of the Devonian Botanic Garden’s July 26th Moth Night.
It is a gorgeous production, with excellent & artful photography and set to lovely hypnotic music. Definitely worth the watch!
Visit his blog post to watch the video, or check it out on YouTube, or below!
Project Noah is a citizen-science based website open to amateur nature lovers and scientists alike. One can submit data points, known as “spottings,” identified or unidentified. If your “spotting” is unidentified, members of the community will assist in helping with the identified. To contribute to citizen science, one can add their spottings to “missions” which are ways to put a spotlight on the biodiversity of organisms. Some missions focus on ensuring populations of snakes are steady. The “Moths of the World” mission on Project Noah highlights the extreme biodiversity and beauty in such under-appreciated Lepidopterans, and in addition, provides a database which can be used to document the diversity of organisms in a certain area, or at a certain period of time. The mission currently contains over 16,000 spottings of moths, and nearly 2,000 participants from various locations of the world. National Moth Week 2012 was a huge success and Project Noah helped National Moth Week document 684 data points of moths from every continent except for Antarctica. This year, Project Noah has a goal of documenting 1000spottings of moths found during National Moth Week. Any moth found from July 20, 2013 to July 28, 2013 will be added to the official Project Noah National Moth Week 2013 count. To add your spottings to the “Moths of the World” mission, visit www.projectnoah.org to sign up. After you’ve signed up, join the “Moths of the World” mission, which can be found here: http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/8841449. Once you’ve joined the mission, you are ready to submit your first spotting! Follow this link to upload your first spotting: http://www.projectnoah.org/my/spottings/new, and from there, you can add a photo of your moth by clicking on the “Add another photo to this spotting” box. You will be given the option to either choose the photo from your files or to drag the photo into the appropriate field. If you are unsure of the identity of your moth, you can click on the “Help me ID this species” box. If you know the identity of your moth fill out the common name and scientific name in the appropriate field. To add it to the “Moths of the World” mission, you scroll down to the “Is it for a mission?” field. Click on the area that says “No mission assigned” and select the “Moths of the World” mission from the dropdown menu. After making sure the date and location is correct, you can save your spotting! Congratulations, you have successfully contributed to citizen science!
Timolis Frother, Queensland Australia
Yellow-collared Slug Moth, Texas
Silverground Carpet, Switzerland
Guest blogger: Jacob Gorneau / Project Noah
National Moth Week was featured on East Brunswick TV! Watch founders Liti Haramaty and Dave Moskowitz as well as members of the community below (segment is from minutes 1:10 – 6:00):
Click the picture to watch the video.
Judy Ganance (R) and the Wild Backyard Party attendees. GREAT tee shirts!
I often think about how to influence my neighbors in the direction of planting natives and observing the biodiversity in our back yards. We live adjacent to an urban forest and our yards are key in developing a biological corridor. How do we deepen our garden conversations ? How do we invite more caterpillars, butterflies and silk moths? Have a party of course! On August 16th my family hosted “My Wild Backyard Party” for the neighborhood.
My original hope was to set up a mothing light and sheet during National Moth Week, yet was concerned about the late hour moths come around. Who would stay up until 2 am? Neighbor Brandt Smith persisted about scheduling the moth viewing until I realized how handy his projector could be in showing off the wild world at a decent hour for families. So it was scheduled, and Brandt even crafted butterfly & moth t-shirts as a surprise.
Ice cream was an engaging feature, along with a time lapse slide show of the kids over the last 12 years. The main feature was a slide show of my backyard wild life, with a heavy dose of moths which I’ve been documenting this summer. I enjoyed telling stories about checking the garage door each morning; the shy behavior of the spicebush swallowtail larvae; the wasp egg guarded by the zombie caterpillar; the eggs laid by the Isabella Tiger Moth I had taken for dead; the eyelash mites on the crane fly, and more. I showed slides of folded leaves and nectaring butterflies. I shared Judy Burris & Wayne Roger’s books to show off their model of this treasure hunting hobby that has been so engaging for me. I preached about the benefits of native plants and the dangers of euonymus to our forests.
I am hoping to earn a “Nature-nut” reputation around the neighborhood. Next spring I plan to give out spice bush plugs & a native plant info-sheet, hoping that folks will ask more questions and share their own discoveries. You, too, can start organizing your pictures and choosing your stories for a “wild” party. If you do not have a projector, consider renting one. Exposing the macro world in a format larger than life can win friends over to slow down and look beyond the flowers and tomato plants.
Judy Ganance, August, 2013
Here’s a video from BBC’s Natural World on caterpillar mimicry.
Click the photo to watch the video at BBC
The larva of Calindoea trifascialis (Thrydidae), a species of moth native to Vietnam, uses the sun to navigate to safe shady areas. The caterpillar spends its life wrapped in a leaf and actually jumps around to find safe areas to pupate. Read the rest of the article and watch the video here.
The leaf-wrapped leaping caterpillar.
Adult Calindoea trifascialis. (photo via BBC)
Here’s a video from BBC’s Bill Oddie Goes Wild featuring the lobster moth caterpillar.
The lobster moth, also called the lobster prominent (Stauropus fagi, Notodontidae), has an odd-looking caterpillar that some say looks like a lobster. The caterpillar can also shoot formic acid (most commonly found in ant venom) as a defense.
Click the picture to watch the video at BBC.com
A lobster moth (photo by Kurt Kulac via Wikimedia Commons)
Watch the video here.
(The character of Archy, created by Don Marquis in 1916, was a cockroach who had been a poet in a previous incarnation. To write he must leap headfirst onto the keys of a typewriter, and thus is unable to capitalize his letters.)
i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires
why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense
plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then to cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is to come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves
and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself
Here’s a cool video of a newly-eclosed death’s head hawkmoth (Sphingidae) drying and unfurling its wings:
Death’s head hawkmoths achieved fame and fortune in the Silence of the Lambs.